Discover more from Rachel Blevins
Why U.S. Officials Claim 'No Evidence' of Weapons Smuggling in Ukraine
U.S. Defense officials claim they haven't SEEN evidence of weapons smuggling in Ukraine—while admitting their investigation is still ongoing.
But as they blame "Russian propaganda" for the concerns, police in the EU have been finding illegal weapons on the black market for months…
Top Defense officials in the Pentagon are now claiming that there is no evidence of arms smuggling involving weapons the U.S. has sent to Ukraine.
But their testimony comes months after police agencies in Europe reported that weapons smuggling, was in fact, becoming a serious problem—so much so that the EU created a special support hub to address the rise in illegal weapons that were being trafficked out of Ukraine.
However, the Pentagon’s Inspector General says that no weapons have been lost or diverted – while at the same time, saying the investigation into the matter is still ongoing…
“I’m obviously not at liberty to talk about any investigations, but we have not substantiated any such instances," DoD Inspector General Robert Storch testified.
It was the continued references to ongoing investigations and audits that were used as a scapegoat by Defense officials during this week’s hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, which was held on the topic of the $113 BILLION Congress approved in aid for Ukraine in 2022, and how it is actually being spent…
When asked, “Has there been any waste fraud or abuse uncovered or reported to your office in these investigations?” Storch responded, “The audit is still ongoing.”
Those investigations were deemed necessary as a way to show that there was at least some sort of a response to reports like this one the Pentagon’s Inspector General published last month, which admitted that the agency was "unable to provide end-use monitoring in accordance with DoD policy," which means they weren’t tracking the serial numbers of weapons and ammunition that were sent to Ukraine.
At the same time, top oversight officials told the Wall Street Journal that they need to increase their efforts on the ground, given the sheer amount of money that has been approved in such a short amount of time – saying that while they “haven’t seen evidence of major fraud,” they also haven’t had the personnel there to see it either.
But we have to remember that the officials who testified before Congress this week have been deeply involved in U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine for years now, so it came as no surprise that one Obama-era official could hardly hide his excitement at just how much money they convinced Congress to approve for Ukraine last year:
"We have surged tremendous amount of security assistance into Ukraine. More than $31.7 Billion in a year. I don’t know that there’s any historical precedent for that. The vast majority has come out of our stocks, and has come very rapidly,” said Under-Secretary of Defense Policy Colin Kahl.
It really is mind-boggling when you stop and think about it… the Pentagon spent over $62 BILLION on weapons, ammunition, training, logistics, supplies, salaries and stipends. The U.S. Agency for International Development spent $46 BILLION on everything from border security to basic government services. And even the Department of Agriculture spent $5 BILLION on Ukraine.
But one of the most bizarre parts of the latest hearing was the fact that you had members of Congress talking about how much more support Ukraine needs from the U.S.—even asking how soon the U.S. can send F-16 fighter jets—while at the same time admitting that the government they are propping up has a LONG and well-documented history of corruption. And to say that corruption was mentioned a lot is an understatement.
Then again, if you ask Joe Biden—if you’re concerned about how much money the U.S. is spending on Ukraine, and HOW it is being spent, then you must be a right-wing Republican…
And the establishment media is right there with him, arguing that if you’re questioning whether the unprecedented number of weapons that are sent to Ukraine are being smuggled out of the country on the black market—then you’re just parroting Russian propaganda.
Never mind the warnings from Interpol in back in June that “Once the guns fall silent [in Ukraine], the illegal weapons will come.”
But it didn’t even take an end to the conflict for the smuggling to ramp up—with the EU’s law enforcement agency reporting there is evidence that “weapons trafficking from Ukraine into the bloc to supply organized crime groups has begun and is a potential threat to EU security.”
So much so, that the EU announced in July that it was creating a hub in Moldova to tackle arms trafficking across the border from Ukraine.
Of course, while they were in the process of creating that hub, their delegation to Ukraine was publicly claiming that “smuggling claims are often simply lies.”
How well that weapons smuggling hub is working… we don’t know.
But we do know that Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation revealed in October that weapons sent to Ukraine were found in the possession of criminal gangs – confirming that “routes from Ukraine to Finland to smuggle arms have been established.”
Weapons from Ukraine were also found in the hands of criminal gangs in Sweden, according to local media reports published this week
Those findings are likely just the beginning, as a report from CBS News in August noted that only 30 percent of the military aid send by the U.S. to Ukraine actually makes it to the front lines. The network went on to revise that report shortly after it was published… because Ukraine got mad, and made it known that it didn’t approve of their reporting.
Yes, really. There’s a reason why Zelensky thanked the media when he was asked to send a message to the American taxpayers who are funding his entire government…
The establishment message is that the Ukrainian Government says they are combatting weapons smuggling—therefore the world should believe them. In the exact same way that they’ve been saying for years that they’re combatting corruption.
Which, as a reminder is so bad in the country that even the IMF has put a pause of loans or refused a bailout of Zelensky’s government – admitting that they would just be throwing money away to be abused in the country.
Then again, throwing money away in foreign countries with no accountability is one of the things the U.S. does best. And the timing couldn’t be more notable, as a the Special Inspector General on Afghanistan released yet another report on the colossal failure that was the longest war in U.S. History. He says there are countless lessons the U.S. Government could and should learn from Afghanistan, but that there is no indication they will apply any of them in Ukraine—and that’s something everyone should be talking about.