UKRAINE: The Taxpayer Just Got HOSED By Sullivan’s $3B Line — Here’s Why

Jake can fall back on two possible explanations -- neither is satisfactory

When asked a reasonable question about the accounting behind a $3 Billion dollar ‘accounting error’ in equipment sent to Ukraine, Jake Sullivan waved it away as a non-issue.

Note carefully the wording Jake uses in his response:

‘Well one thing I just want to make clear, that is not money that went out the door and disappeared. that is not a ‘waste’ of that $3 billion dollars. It is simply a tally of how much military equipment we have given them. And the way the that the Pentagon was counting it was, ‘what’s the replacement cost for the equipment we provide rather than just the actual cost of that equipment.’ Once you make that adjustment, it turns out that we have an additional three billion dollars that we can spend to provide even more weapons to Ukraine.

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Clearly the Biden administration’s real priority is on maximizing the amount of military equipment sent out the door to arrive (we are told) in Ukraine to assist in the fight.

But let’s think this through. Why are countries around the world shipping Ukraine equipment from their own military stockpiles rather than just going to the military contractor with a shopping list of helmets, boots, shells, rifles, grenades, drones, F-16s and so on? The simple answer is that everything they want is already on backorder.

This means anything we send to Ukraine has a two step-process. We ‘borrow’ from our inventory in shipping what we already have, and we buy new equipment to replace what’s on our shelves.

Jake Sullivan is smart enough to understand that. But he’s betting the American public is not… or at lest, the media will let him get away with it. Let’s look more closely at the accounting claim CNN let him get away with.

Oops, he says. We made a mistake! We were using the ‘replacement’ costs of this equipment to decide how much we could send to Ukraine and not the fair market value of the ‘used’ equipment of what we’re sending over.

In Jake’s mind, this so-called mistake ‘frees up’ another $3 Billion to send even more military gear over to Ukraine.

Why does Sullivan’s logic fail? Because he is doing one of two things, and both are bad for National Security. Either he is deliberately fudging numbers to recognize this as the two-step process that it really is — and short-changing both the taxpayer and the armed forces who’s equipment he is depleting. [A dangerously shortsighted “sell low, buy high” approach to military procurement.]

Worse still, he might be admitting he has no intention of replacing the units he is sending off to Ukraine whatsoever. In that case the replacement cost is of no interest to him because there will be no correlated expense to compare its value to.

Whichever way you slice it, depletion of our own armed forces and military readiness in the event some kind of major conflict arose in the the world is the very heart of the concern raised by skeptics about depleting our supplies in the first place.

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