Espreso. Global

US has two backup ways to support Ukraine with weapons without approved budgets

29 February, 2024 Thursday
17:35

This refers to a rather interesting program called Excess Defense Articles, as well as the opportunity to use the result of an accounting error worth billions of dollars

Defense Express writes about this.

While funding for military assistance to Ukraine since October 2022 has been held hostage by political disputes in the United States, along with the entire budget of the country, which continues to live in a mode of avoiding a "shutdown," Washington still has the opportunity to use two backup channels to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The first is to send weapons without funding for their replacement. The second is the Excess Defense Articles mechanism, as described by Defense News.

“Regarding the first, after an error was discovered in calculating the cost of the donated weapons, the Pentagon technically still has $4 billion left. But for now, these are just funds on the balance sheet, not a real resource. Because the Pentagon does not use them as the US has not adopted a budget and any additional spending is blocked,” the article states.

Therefore, a strong-willed decision needs to be made on how to use these funds under the PDA program. But it should be noted that these funds have already been spent, as initially there were 6.2 billion dollars, and now only 4 billion dollars remain.

Defense Express recalled that in the summer of 2023, an internal audit revealed an incorrect calculation of the cost of weapons transferred to Ukraine under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). Instead of the carrying amount of the old weapons, the price of their replacement with a new model was calculated. The difference over 1.5 years amounted to $6.2 billion, or 28%.

“As for Excess Defense Articles, this is a program for the transfer of surplus weapons. It is being implemented quite actively by the United States, when instead of disposing of weapons, they are simply transferred to a partner country that assumes the costs of their repair, restoration, and logistics,” the report explained.

For example, under this program, Ukraine received "Afghan" Mi-17s, the Czech Republic received AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters under this program, and 300 Bradleys were planned to be sent to Greece at once. And Washington can technically use Excess Defense Articles to transfer its weapons to Ukraine through third countries, the Defense Express concluded.

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