By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
The Pentagon on Tuesday claimed that an “accounting error” has freed up an additional $6.2 billion to spend on military aid for Ukraine.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters that weapons sent to Ukraine from US military stockpiles using the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) were overvalued by using the cost to replace the arms rather than the depreciated value.
“In a significant number of cases, services used replacement costs rather than net book value, thereby overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from US stocks and provided to Ukraine,” Singh said.
Reports first surfaced in May that said the Pentagon may have overvalued weapons it was sending to Ukraine. At the time, the estimate was that the error would account for at least $3 billion in new funds for Ukraine, which has more than doubled.
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Singh said that for the 2023 fiscal year, the Pentagon overvalued weapons by $3.6 billion. In the 2022 fiscal year, it was $2.6 billion. “These valuation errors in no way limit or restricted the size of any of our PDAs or impacted the provision of support to Ukraine,” she said.
The additional funds mean that the White House might not need to ask Congress to authorize more spending on Ukraine before the end of the 2023 fiscal year, which is September 30 for the federal government.
Congress would likely approve any new Ukraine aid package as there is still strong bipartisan support for funding the proxy war. The debt ceiling deal reached between the White House and House Republicans put no limit on emergency spending packages, which is how Congress has authorized the $113 billion that has been approved for spending on the war so far.
Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.