The United States has begun conducting on-site inspections of weapons stockpiles in Ukraine as part of a broad effort to ensure that weapons supplied by the United States are not illegally diverted, according to the Pentagon.
This is the first public acknowledgment that troops are used for anything other than embassy protection. The effort is led by Brig. General Garrick Harmon, the US Defense Attaché in Ukraine, as well as the Embassy’s Defense Cooperation Office.
The effort comes as some members of Congress call for a closer look at the billions of dollars worth of weapons being sent. Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin recently discussed the need for arms accountability with the Ukrainians, the official said.
Although the US has not seen “credible evidence of diversion of US-supplied weapons” in Ukraine, according to a senior US defense official, the administration has taken steps to prevent such diversions, including conduct inspections of US arms stockpiles on the ground in Ukraine. “wherever security conditions permit”.
The official did not say where these inspections took place, but said that “in each case, our US Embassy Kyiv team found the Ukrainians to be very transparent and able to support the inspections.” .
The official described a detailed effort that begins with the United States keeping detailed records of each shipment just before it enters Ukraine. Then, once in Ukraine, this government registers and tracks the weapons from the border to the front line. Ukraine also details weapon damage on the ground so casualties can be tracked.
Additionally, “the DOD is conducting hands-on training with the Ukrainian Armed Forces on U.S. best practices so they can provide better data, for example, from sites near the front lines that U.S. personnel cannot visit. “, said the official.
Another defense official noted that the effort in Ukraine is similar to other efforts by US embassies around the world, but in Ukraine, changing security conditions dictate what can be accomplished.