House Democrats voted down a bill that would provide for an audit of where military and economic aid to Ukraine is going. Why are they afraid of accountability?
The House Foreign Affairs Committee rejected by party line vote a bill introduced by Marjorie Taylor Greene that would have provided for an audit for where aid to Ukraine is going. Over on the Senate side, Rand Paul has made similar calls for oversight of aid programs which are now closing in on $100 billion.
Given Ukraine’s history of corruption calls for an audit or other oversight are entirely reasonable. Ukraine ranks 122nd among the nations of the world according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. That’s not far from Russia itself which was 136th.
Given the amount of spending and the high likelihood that some of the lethal weapons being shipped to Ukraine will end up in the hands of terrorists or international criminal gangs, oversight is appropriate.
Nevertheless, the corporate media in the United States continues to give escalation of the war in Ukraine a good leaving-alone or as CBS News did, buries its own story about military aid going missing.
However, the media overseas is far more forthcoming.
The Manchester Guardian spoke with Jurgen Stock, the head of Interpol, amount his concerns that weapons sent to Ukraine are ending up in the hands of international criminal gangs. He said:
“Once the guns fall silent [in Ukraine], the illegal weapons will come. We know this from many other theatres of conflict. The criminals are even now, as we speak, focusing on them,” Stock said. “Criminal groups try to exploit these chaotic situations and the availability of weapons, even those used by the military and including heavy weapons. These will be available on the criminal market and will create a challenge. No country or region can deal with it in isolation because these groups operate at a global level.”
Similar warnings appear in the Canadian press. Here’s an excerpt from a report by CBC News, a government-run broadcaster:
“There is the real threat that the Ukrainian government can potentially not control all of these weapons,” said Kelsey Gallagher, a researcher with Project Ploughshares, a Canadian non-government disarmament group. “They could end up anywhere.”
The $100 billion spent so far on Ukraine is just a drop in the bucket compared to the amounts that the United States will have to spend to rebuild the country after the war ends or an armistice is declared.
The cost of Ukraine nation-building will dwarf the $2-3 trillion that the U.S. spent on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Zelensky himself estimates that rebuilding Ukraine will cost over $1 trillion and the war isn’t even over yet.
These costs will be borne almost entirely by the young Americans because, as in the past, America’s endless wars are financed through debt.
On the upside, the more expensive the war and rebuilding, the more successful careers in foreign policy it will create. Here’s a link to a master class in nation building for those interested in getting an early start on a new and promising career.
As for future costs, Europeans will argue that they shouldn’t pay because they bore the brunt of the cost of Russian sanctions. Moreover, the Europeans are already accusing the U.S. of profiting from the war.
Countries in the developing world will argue that they didn’t care for the war in the first place. No nation outside of the traditional Western alliance—not Mexico, Brazil, India or China—have imposed sanctions on Russia.
Given the enormous sums that the U.S. taxpayer is going to be spending on Ukraine it’s high time to establish some oversight over these programs. Hopefully the next Congress will insist on oversight before appropriating more for this war.