The arguments that there isn’t enough oversight of the huge US assistance to Ukraine and the calls for increased oversight were harshly criticized on Saturday by House Armed Service Chair Adam Smith, who called such assertions Russian propaganda.
Pointing out that claims that tens of billions in Ukraine aid aren’t overseen properly make him a little crazy, the Washington state Democrat Smith, who addressed the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, said that those assertions are part of Russian disinformation, argued that the money is being spent wisely by Ukraine and that’s why it is winning.
Smith will revert to ranking member of the Armed Services Committee in January after the Republicans will take over the House, so this argument could be how some national security Democrats respond to potential efforts to put Ukraine aid under more increased scrutiny than it already is.
Though many top GOP officials have insisted that Republicans will continue backing Kyiv in its fight against Russia – while also boosting oversight – some far-right lawmakers want the assistance to Ukraine curtailed.
While insisting the money is spent properly, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, has argued Congress – which has so far poured roughly $66 billion into Ukraine’s response to Russia’s invasion – should look to speed up weapons to Kyiv.
That includes money for the Pentagon to replenish stocks of weapons that have been sent into the fight as well as emergency funding for military, economic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine on top of the billion’s worth of weapons and equipment Washington has also transferred to Ukraine directly from military inventories.
President Joe Biden has also requested that Congress weigh in on another $38 billion for Ukraine as part of year-end funding talks.
However, the Biden administration has so far resisted the pressure and bipartisan calls to get a clearer view of how American weapons are being handled by Kyiv out of fear that sending inspectors too close to the frontline may antagonize Russia and fuel a wider conflict.
Several US lawmakers are pushing for increased oversight of weapons since, as they stressed, Kyiv’s transparency record is too poor to let American weapons out of sight.