The US government on Tuesday defended the aid sent to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion a year ago, stressing that the best example of its good use is the resistance of the country against the forces of Russia.
“We see no evidence of embezzlement. We believe that Ukrainians use what they have been given correctly. Our conclusion is that if any of these systems were hijacked, it was by Russians who captured materiel from the battlefield,” Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl told the Armed Services Committee. from the room.
Since Republicans won a majority in this chamber in January after midterm elections in November, they have focused their efforts on holding the government to account both on the aid sent to Ukraine and on the management of the pandemic or the situation at the border with Mexico.
This Tuesday’s interrogation, which also summoned the Inspector General of the Ministry of Defence, Robert Storkand Lieutenant General Douglas Simsis part of this political offensive launched by the opposition.
“It is imperative that the American people understand where our aid is goinghow it is used and what are the guarantees that it does not fall into the wrong hands,” the Republican lawmaker said. mike rogersChairman of the Armed Forces Committee.
Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Congress has authorized more than $113 trillion in humanitarian, economic or security aid. About 60% of this figure corresponds to military support.
“If the weapons, equipment and support we sent them had gone elsewhere, been stolen or misused, they would have been long lost. That they have been so successful is the best proof that the systems and support we send them are being used to the best of their abilities.“, underlined the deputy democrat Adam Smith, member of the committee.
This support, he stressed, does not amount to a blank check, as partly reflected in Washington’s reluctance to send the fighters. F 16 Asked by Kyiv: “Even if we say there is nothing more important, at best we could maybe get them in a year or maybe eight months. This is not an appropriate use of the resources needed to win.”
The MoD inspector general added that his office was already carrying out a thorough assessment of the material sent “From the moment it arrives at the port until it is transferred to the stopover points and enters the country.”
But the Republicans go further. Along with accountability, according to Rogers, chair of the committee, it is also about ensuring that management sets strategic goals and implements policy to achieve them.
“This is where I have serious concerns. From the start, the President (Joe Biden) has been too concerned that giving Ukraine what it needs to win would escalate. This hesitation only prolonged the war and increased the costs in terms of dollars and lives,” he said.
For Rogers, Biden must be prepared to do whatever it takes to end this war as the indecision continues.”just empowerto Russian President Vladimir Putin andsends the wrong signalboth to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and to the Chinese Communist Party.
The current situation on the battlefield, as summarized by Lieutenant-General Sims, is “pretty static”. Both sides mobilized “large amounts of artillery which resulted in only minimal changes”.
But the end of the war will not mean the end of aid: “Ukraine continues to need the support of the United States and our allies and partners and that will be the case for some time,” he said. said the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. concluded on the need for this country to ensure that it has a strong army which will allow it to defend its territory in the long term.
(With information from EFE)