The US government is working to trace large amounts of “lethal aid” transferred to Ukraine’s armed forces in recent months, officials told CNN, noting that intelligence agencies have “almost no” ability to track shipments to their end users.
Although the weapons shipped to Ukraine represent “the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict”, the White House is increasingly concerned that the aid “could end up in the hands of other armies and militias that the United States did not intend to arm,” a senior defense official told CNN on Tuesday.
“We have loyalty for a short time, but when it goes into the fog of war, we have almost zero,” said another briefed US intelligence source, adding that the weapons fall “into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense”. at all after a short period of time.
Despite this “blind spot” — which the outlet says is “largely due to the lack of American boots on the ground” in Ukraine and the portability of many of the weapons provided — the Biden administration has “taken consider the risk” that some US weapons will go to “unexpected places,” another Pentagon official said.
Western estimates of Ukrainian casualties and other battlefield details also remain “muddled”, two intelligence sources added, meaning the US and its NATO allies are often forced to rely on information from the Kyiv government, which they claim is not always reliable.
“It’s a war – everything [Ukrainian officials] doing and saying publicly is designed to help them win the war. Every public statement is an information operation, every interview, every broadcast appearance of Zelensky is an information operation,” said another source close to Western intelligence, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine in late February, Washington has provided more than $2.6 billion in military aid to kyiv and several billion more in humanitarian aid, while President Joe Biden has sent a total of $3.2 billion since taking office in 2020. More than 100,000 U.S. troops have also been redeployed to bolster NATO’s “eastern flank,” while individual members of the military bloc have also offered them billions of aid themselves.
On Tuesday, the White House is reportedly mulling another major lethal aid package for Ukraine in preparation for a Russian assault on territory claimed by the Donbas republics, after authorizing $800 million in artillery heavy, drones, armored vehicles, military helicopters and other equipment last week. The Pentagon, however, declined to detail what the next arms transfer will include.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)