In the past year, Congress has disbursed roughly $100 billion in total aid in support of Ukraine’s efforts to beat back Russia’s brutal invasion. This aid has enabled Ukraine to halt Russia’s advance, but the very large volume and speed of its dispersal raises questions about accountability. John Sopko, who has served as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction since 2012, has advocated for the creation of a special inspector general for Ukraine aid, but the White House and many in Congress oppose this.
What lessons can we learn from the U.S. government’s experience dispersing military and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan? Why is it important to follow a whole of government approach to oversight, rather than relying on individual inspectors at agencies like the Department of Defense and State? What advantage is to be gained by setting up comprehensive oversight now, rather than later?
To tackle these questions and more, the Quincy Institute hosted a panel featuring John Sopko, Andrew Bacevich, co-founder and board chair of the Quincy Institute, and Danielle Brian, president of the Project on Government Oversight.