Arms trade or not, DSCA wants on-the-ground supervision in Ukraine

WASHINGTON — DSCA, the agency in charge of foreign US arms sales, currently has no on-the-ground access to US-donated weapons to Ukraine and whether they are being used as intended. This was stated by Jed Royal, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] to journalists during a round table meeting last Thursday [June 30].

Washington wants an extension of the arms embargo against Iran
Photo credit: VOA

Due to the war in Ukraine, no toolkit works as it did in peacetime, i.e. going to a foreign country, opening military warehouses, tracking serial numbers, the state of weaponry, its availability, etc. Royal confirmed the view that currently in this situation, DSCA officials are “somewhat limited” in their ability to carry out more robust monitoring of weapons supplied to Ukraine.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in recent weeks there have been allegations of illegal arms trade during wartime. As we wrote, sources claim that Ukraine sold Russia two self-propelled French Caesar howitzers. Ukraine [France too] rejects this claim. Last month, a Javelin anti-tank guided missile system appeared for sale on the darknet, with the place of purchase being Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

Jed Royal told reporters that officials will have to be more creative in carrying out their duties, but only if the agency sends more people into the field to conduct inspections. “Once we have more people in the country, we should be in a position to actually go do more physical validation [and] verification, going forward,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing that we’re looking for here. It still won’t be like a peacetime environment for it. So we’re going to have to get creative in how we do this.”

It has not yet been decided how and when DSCA officials will begin inspections of weapons delivered to Ukraine. Royal is hoping to get a cooperation office in Ukraine to house examiners, a practice worldwide carried out by the agency. However, Royal does not want to send a “task force”.

Ukraine received M30/M31 rockets with 51lb of PBX-109 high explosives
Photo credit: Think Defence

Jed Royal said that at the moment the only verification being done was on credibility – assurances from the Ukrainians that were given to DSCA agents and described them as “very solid and satisfactory”.

Congress wants the same

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that currently, Ukraine has received US$6 billion worth of military equipment as military aid. US President Joe Biden almost once a month announces a new package of weapon systems, ammunition, and consumables that the US is ready to give to Ukraine, thereby increasing the revenge against Ukraine.

While Congress has been broadly supportive of security assistance to Ukraine, lawmakers across the political spectrum — including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — have raised concerns about the department’s seeming lack of oversight.

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