The Pentagon said an accounting error resulted in an overestimation of the value of weapons being sent to Ukraine by $6.2 billion over the last two years, and as a result, there is a surplus of money available for future security packages.
Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters on Tuesday the accounting error was the result of military services using replacement costs instead of the book value of equipment sent to Ukraine.
Final calculations, she added, showed that in the current fiscal year there was an error of $3.6 billion, and in 2022 there was an error of $2.6 billion.
The discovery comes as fiscal year 2023 nears an end, and it allows the Pentagon to have an extra stash of money to support Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia.
To get weapons and ammunition to Ukraine quicker than going through the purchase process, the Department of Defense uses what is called presidential drawdown authority, allowing them to pull supplies off the shelves, or in stock.
The Associated Press reported that previous estimates from June 13 showed the U.S. committed over $40 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, but using the new calculation, the U.S. provided less than $34 billion in aid.
As for the exact amount of money available for drawdowns and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, officials have not been able to provide a firm number.
The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative provides long-term funding for purchases like larger air defense systems.
U.S. officials have approved about $113 billion, divided into four rounds of funding, to aid Ukraine with fending off Russia’s invasion, and some of that money is for restocking equipment sent to the frontlines.
Congressional members continue to pressure the Defense Department about tracking aid to Ukraine and ensuring it does not land in the wrong hands.
In defense, Pentagon officials say a “robust program” is in place to track all aid as it enters Ukraine, keeping track of it while there.
The accounting error, though, according to Singh, will not affect the U.S. delivery of aid to Ukraine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.