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Torrent of Cash for Ukraine Arms Puts Pentagon Watchdog on Alert

  • Inspector general to look for fraud, waste in replenishment
  • Office also will probe for any black-market weapons diversion
A US-made Javelin missile on the frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A US-made Javelin missile on the frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine.Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

As the Pentagon rushes to replenish billions of dollars in weapons sent to Ukraine, its inspector general says he’s on high alert for signs of fraud and abuse in the thousands of contracts being awarded.

“We have developed a universe of thousands of Ukraine-related contracts” that come in under $2 million each, Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell said in an interview. That’s more than 7,800 contracts valued at a combined $2.2 billion, O’Donnell added, even before an approaching deluge of bigger-ticket orders for advanced weapons such as the long-range HIMARS rocket systems prized by Ukrainian troops.