Think back to the last major military engagement the United States appropriated a vast amount of funding for (I'll give you a hint, it ended under the Biden administration). When we were engaged in military actions in Afghanistan, the U.S. set up a position of a special inspector to oversee funding for the ongoing military campaign.
So why have we not done the same for the war in Ukraine? I know that we haven't yet put boots on the ground, but considering we've already spent upwards of $113 billion on Ukrainian aid, doesn't it make sense to establish a position to oversee that funding. Don't we need an impartial overseer to ensure that they're not misappropriating or embezzling funding from American taxpayers?
Currently, every American has spent over $750 on the war in Ukraine, and it doesn't look like we're going to stop funding them any time soon. Fortunately, Senator Josh Hawley, from Missouri, has put forth legislation that would immediately solve our problem of not having any idea where the funding ends up. According to Sen. Hawley, the legislation he introduced would create a government watchdog – a special inspector general for Ukraine – who would be responsible for overseeing how our taxpayer funding is spent in the war-torn country.
Right now that responsibility falls to three government agencies – the Dept. of Defense, the State Dept., and the U.S. Agency for International Development. But the question remains: if they can split the responsibility for oversight among three agencies, then who would ultimately be responsible in the instance of misappropriated funding or mismanagement from the Ukrainian government? If you agree with Sen. Hawley, that there needs to be one person who is responsible for overseeing our foreign funding, then please read this article from Fox News and learn about the issue for yourself. An excerpt from the article has been copied below:
Right now, no single authority is responsible for overseeing our Ukraine spending. The responsibility is supposedly split between three agencies – the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. But when the buck stops with no one, there’s no ultimate accountability for policing waste, fraud and abuse.
So let’s change that. Let’s put a single Senate-confirmed person in charge, and give them power to conduct the necessary audits, investigations and oversight. And let’s insist on regular reporting to keep track of the flow of funds, the military equipment being acquired, and Ukrainian anticorruption efforts. That’s the kind of toolkit we need.
We’ve created positions like this before. During the war in Afghanistan, Congress established a special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction to ensure that aid funds weren’t being embezzled or misappropriated. Doing the same for Ukraine is a straightforward fix that every member of Congress should endorse. If our constituents’ tax money is being stolen or misspent, Congress has an obligation to know that and take action.