Without U.S. troops in Ukraine, tracking the use of lethal aid to Ukraine amid Russia's invasion has shortcomings, including relying on the very beneficiary that would be inclined to keep asking for more.
How the anti-tank, anti-aircraft, and other weaponry are being used by Ukraine is going to be a bit of an unknown, but it will not stop the Biden administration from supplying those amid war, sources tell CNN.
"We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero," a source told CNN. "It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time.
"It's hard to track with nobody on the ground," a source added.
The Biden administration is sending "certainly the largest recent supply to a partner country in a conflict," according to a senior defense official. Thus far, the U.S. has transferred hundreds of millions in equipment, but the need to supply Ukraine is trumping the potential for the weapons winding up in the wrong hands, according to the report.
The U.S. is forced to admit it is relying on Ukraine's honesty on the use of the aid and weapons, even if Ukraine might be inclined to only share information that keeps the supply from the U.S. ongoing.
There is potentially billions in aid to come.
"It's a war – everything they do and say publicly is designed to help them win the war," an intelligence source told CNN. "Every public statement is an information operation, every interview, every [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy appearance broadcast is an information operation.
"It doesn't mean they're wrong to do it in any way."
Both Russia and Ukraine are engaging in information warfare designed to bolster their positions in the war that began with Russia's invasion Feb. 24.
Among the weapons are Javelin and Stinger missiles or the Slovakian S-300 air defense system, which are portable.
Also on the way are 11 Mi-17 helicopters, 18 155 mm Howitzer cannons, and 300 more Switchblade drones, according to the report.
"I couldn't tell you where they are in Ukraine and whether the Ukrainians are using them at this point," a senior defense official said last week. "They're not telling us every round of ammunition they're firing and at who and when. We may never know exactly to what degree they've using the Switchblades."
The location of the weapons is more concerning once the war concludes, according to CATO Institute defense and foreign policy analyst Jordan Cohen to CNN.
"This could be a problem 10 years down the line, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be something we're thinking about," Cohen, the CATO analyst, told CNN. "Over 50 million rounds of ammunition – all that ammunition isn't just going to be used to fight Russians. Eventually that ammunition is going to be misused, whether intentionally or not."
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