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Rubio Demands Ukraine Equipment Cost Transparency

Jun 12, 2023 | Press Releases

Recent reporting suggested that the Pentagon had inconsistently calculated the value of the military equipment sent to Ukraine, resulting in a $3 billion accounting “error.” Now, there are concerns that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) officials are actually undervaluing the equipment sent to Ukraine under the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). Undervaluing the equipment means it will be more expensive for the American taxpayer to replace in order to defend the U.S. and its interests.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting a full GAO review of DoD’s accounting for all equipment provided to Ukraine under PDA, and how it compares with the valuation of equipment provided to other countries using PDA.

  • “DoD plays an important role in supporting our allies and partners, but Congress needs to know the true costs of the use of PDA.”  

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Comptroller Dodaro:

I write with regard to the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) recent $3 billion accounting “error” where the Biden Administration inconsistently calculated the value of the military equipment given to Ukraine as part of presidential drawdown authorities (PDA). Instead of consistently tabulating the value based on the replacement costs for all donated equipment, DoD appears now to be using the depreciated value of the equipment. As such, I request a full GAO review of DoD’s accounting of all equipment provided to Ukraine under PDA since the Russian invasion in 2022 and how it compares with the valuation of equipment provided to other countries using PDA. This will ensure U.S. taxpayers are not footing an even larger bill to replace the equipment needed to defend the U.S. and its interests. 

While 22 U.S.C. §2318 gives the President leeway in the valuation of equipment it donates, this inconsistent calculation enables DoD to skirt Congressional caps on donations. Additionally, because Congress will need to appropriate funds to replace the equipment, lawmakers should be aware of DoD’s methodology when calculating equipment values. 

DoD plays an important role in supporting our allies and partners, but Congress needs to know the true costs of the use of PDA. For this reason, I ask for a GAO review of DoD’s accounting of all equipment provided to Ukraine under these authorities, and a review of the DoD’s process for valuing the equipment and whether it was the depreciated or replacement value. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,