OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Biden administration made an accounting error to the tune of $3 billion dollars meaning the government has an extra $3 billion it can use, but it is not going to use it for American citizens.
The administration is going to take that $3 billion, which was allocated for Ukraine, to give Ukraine more weapons to use in its war with Russia.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was grilled about the error on Sunday when he appeared on the CNN show “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper.
“You were talking about aid to Ukraine a minute ago. There was this very bizarre admission from the Pentagon this week of an accounting error that suggested that the U.S. has at least $3 billion that it didn’t know it had that it can use for Ukraine aid. That’s a hell of an accounting error, and it provides a lot of fodder to critics of U.S. aid to Ukraine and critics who say there’s not enough oversight going on. Are you concerned about this accounting error?” the host said.
“Well, one thing I just want to make clear, that is not money that went out the door and disappeared. That is not a waste of that $3 billion,” the National Security Adviser said.
“It is simply a tally of how much military equipment we have given them. And the way that the Pentagon was counting it was, what’s the replacement cost for the equipment we provide, rather than just the actual cost of that equipment?” he said.
“Once you make that adjustment, it turns out we have an additional $3 billion that we can spend to provide even more weapons to Ukraine. And, at the end of the day, not one penny of U.S. dollars will have gone missing or had been misallocated. It will all be provided in the form of equipment to Ukraine on the battlefield,” Sullivan said.
“But, of course, it would be better to get right, in terms of the accounting, up front. In the end, though, the Pentagon discovered the error, the Pentagon corrected the error, and Ukraine will get what it needs, and the American taxpayer will be able to be confident that this money is being spent effectively and appropriately,” he said.
And it was apparently not the only mistake the administration made in recent weeks.
There are reports that the military mistakenly killed an innocent man in a recent drone strike in Syria.
“Another correction coming from the Pentagon, the U.S. is walking back claims that a drone strike in Syria earlier this month killed a senior leader of the terrorist group al Qaeda. The family of the man killed told CNN he was just a 56-year-old shepherd with 10 kids, zero connections to terrorism. Is that right that the strike did not kill the senior al Qaeda leader, it killed a civilian? And if it is true that it was a civilian killed, is anyone going to be held accountable?” the host said.
“Well, in fact, Jake, it was President Biden who stood up with Secretary Austin guidelines for this administration to ensure that there would be accountability and oversight of any potential civilian casualties from counterterrorism strikes,” Sullivan said.
“In this particular instance, the Pentagon is conducting a full and thorough investigation. They will report the results of that investigation to the president, and we will proceed from there. So far, we do not have evidence to validate the claims being made in Syria. But I am going to withhold any judgment on what exactly happened here until the Pentagon’s investigation is complete,” he said.