Direct aid to Kiev amounted to only 20% of over $100 billion appropriated so far
Most of the money Congress has designated for aiding the government in Kiev has actually gone to the US military-industrial complex, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee admitted in an oversight hearing on Wednesday.
"Of the $113 billion appropriated, across four supplementals, approximately 60% is going to American troops, American workers, and on modernizing American stockpiles," said Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican. "In fact, only 20% of the funding is going directly to the Ukrainian government, in the form of direct budgetary assistance."
McCaul is a staunch supporter of arming Ukraine, and insisted that his oversight of the aid is not intended "to undermine or question the importance of support" for Kiev, but to let American taxpayers know how their money was being spent.
The witnesses at Wednesday's hearing on "oversight, transparency, and accountability of Ukraine assistance" included the acting or permanent inspectors-general at the Pentagon, the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The trio was featured in a Wall Street Journal report last month about American auditors going into Ukraine to ensure the weapons, equipment and cash are not "diverted" for unintended use. They told McCaul on Wednesday that, so far, there haven't been any "substantiated" instances of diverting US aid.
"Every dollar counts," said McCaul, arguing the oversight would promote the efficiency and effectiveness of Ukraine funding, in service of US interests. He also noted that the multinational consulting company Deloitte is working with the Ukrainian government to verify the expenditure of US cash sent to prop up Kiev's state budget.
"I don't think the US has ever been engaged in anything quite like this," McCaul said later in the hearing, referring to the "pipeline" of NATO weapons headed to Ukraine through Poland.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that supplying Ukraine with weapons and equipment only prolongs the war and raises the risk of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. The US and its allies insist that sending over $100 billion worth of weapons to Kiev doesn't make them a party to the conflict, even as many public officials described it as a proxy war that Russia "must lose."