Always Ask “Why Now” After Every Media Story

( According to a senior U.S. defense source and senior U.S. military official, American military personnel is currently stationed in Ukraine to monitor the billions of dollars worth of weapons and equipment that the United States has provided since the start of the Russian incursion.

According to the officials, the inspections have already started and are being led by Brig. Gen. Garrick Harmon, the U.S. defense attaché to Ukraine. They are being assisted by the Office of Defense Cooperation staff, who has returned to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Why now?

Not only is the content of this tale intriguing, but also the timing. Starting in April last year, worries were expressed concerning the fraudulent transfer of American military supplies to nefarious groups operating inside Ukraine. Because of this, CBS created a 60 Minutes segment that aired in August and made the uncomfortable claim that a sizable portion of American weaponry was never used in battle. After this article was published, CBS News deleted a tweet claiming that only ‘like 30%’ of US military supplies to Ukraine made it to the front lines.

It would have been elementary to install an audit system and routinely check that there was no sleaze going on if the U.S. was serious about making sure the weapons purchased with American taxpayer money ended up in Ukrainian forces’ hands.

Which method should be used? Here is one possibility:

The Ukrainians should have been forced to identify and record in a shared database where those items would be housed and who would ultimately be getting them whenever every plane lands down and cargo is off-loaded. Documents showing when, where, and to whom those supplies and weapons are delivered should be provided.

After that, you periodically audit (every three weeks) to confirm those facts. No one on the American side saw the need to take this action. Therefore the dishonest Ukrainians originally plundered the stockpiles as is their wont.

Brigadier General Garrick Harmon speaks Russian and studied Russian at West Point. He has served as the American Defense Attache in Moscow for over two years. His arrival in Kyiv in late July received little attention, and his name is only now being mentioned.

CBS reports that U.S. troops are conducting audits of military equipment sent to Ukraine on the ground. It is possible for soldiers assigned to the audits to be instead used to staff M777 batteries, HIMARS rocket launchers, HARM missile launchers, or operate war drones.