Pentagon Looking To Send Weapons Inspectors Into Ukraine
PENTAGON - The Pentagon is considering sending weapons inspectors to Ukraine in order to monitor the U.S. weaponry being sent to the country, according to Jed Royal, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
At the moment the United States is only able to view receipts for the over $6 billion worth of weapons that have been transferred to Ukraine and are unable to see if the equipment is being stored or used correctly.
"Over time, we would like to be able to extend our insights with a greater presence on the ground," he said, but said that if inspection teams were sent in, they wouldn't be "some kind of operational detachment or anything along those lines".
"What I'm talking about is a security cooperation office, appropriately the right size given the mission set for Ukraine, that would fall under chief of mission authority as we have in other countries," he stated.
Usually the Pentagon's "end-use monitoring" involves inspectors who are able to physically inspect the weapons and check all of the serial numbers on the equipment.
This is "just harder to do that without a robust presence on the ground," Royal said. "we are somewhat limited in our ability to get the kind of insight that we would like to have," he added and said that his organization is working closely with officials in Ukraine.
Usually, arms monitoring officials "actually go open up warehouses and bunkers and actually check by serial number, these systems of highest interest to make sure that the accounting is what we think that it is, or is as it is being reported," he stated.
He added that if United States arms inspectors do go to Ukraine, "we should be in a position to actually go and do more physical validation verification,”
Royal added that officials are “going to have to get creative" regarding how they carry out the inspections due to the fact that Ukraine is currently in a wartime situation.