Defense Secretary Austin Claims No Ukraine Aid Was Misused

In his first public appearance since being hospitalized, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin claimed there is “no credible evidence” that aid to Ukraine was misused.

Austin was recently treated for prostate cancer.

The hospital also confirmed Austin was hospitalized at the start of the month for a urinary tract infection.

“The United States continues to work hard to monitor and account for U. S. Security assistance delivered to Ukraine. And we’ve seen no credible evidence of the misuse or illicit diversion of American equipment provided to Ukraine. But what we do see is Ukraine using the capabilities that we provided to defend itself against Russian aggression,” he said during the meeting about Ukraine.

Despite Austin’s claims that aid has not been misused, a Pentagon report revealed that millions of dollars of Ukraine aid remains unaccounted for.

“Although ODC-Ukraine and Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel conducted some required inventories, as of June 2, 2023, serial number inventories for more than $1.005 billion of the total $1.699 billion (59 percent of the total value) of EEUM-designated defense articles remained delinquent,” the report says. “Additionally, the DoD did not maintain an accurate inventory of Ukrainian EEUM-designated defense articles in the Security Cooperation Information Portal–End-Use Monitoring (SCIP-EUM) database.”

“It was beyond the scope of our evaluation of the DoD’s efforts to comply with the monitoring requirements for EEUM-designated defense items provided to Ukraine to determine whether there has been any diversion of such assistance in Ukraine,” the report added in a footnote.

A senior Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) official expressed serious concerns about the possibility of U.S. and other Western nations’ weapons, supplied to Ukraine, falling into the hands of Iran, a notorious adversary of both the U.S. and Israel.

Speaking to Newsweek, the Israeli commander voiced his grave concerns, stating, “One is that they can research capabilities, and then learn how to manufacture them. I’m talking especially about Iran. The other problem is that we are very worried that some of these capabilities are going to fall to Hezbollah and Hamas’ hands.”

Unfortunately, accurately gauging the magnitude of these weapon diversions is proving challenging, given the IDF’s usual concentration on Middle East affairs while the current arms flow extends to Europe and North Africa.

“It’s really challenging to build the picture, but we see the signs,” the official acknowledged. “We see the signs, and this is very, very troubling.”