The Senate is expected to vote on an amendment this week introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) that would appoint a special inspector general to oversee the over $113 billion that has been authorized to spend on the war in Ukraine.
Hawley said the ideal candidate for the position would be John Sopko, who has served as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction since 2012 and has issued scathing reports on US policy and waste in Afghanistan.
“He’s done a terrific job – maybe he’d like to do this job. I mean, he already knows how to do it. And that’s winding down,” Hawley said of Sopko in comments to Fox News Digital. “Maybe he’d like to shift over to Ukraine. I think that would probably be my first choice, but somebody like him, who’s been tough, tenacious, and independent.”
Sopko recently warned that he fears the US will repeat the same mistakes it made in Afghanistan in Ukraine. “I’m not super optimistic that we are going to learn our lesson,” he told reporters in February. “I’ve been in Washington since 1982 and learning lessons is not in our DNA in the United States, unfortunately.”
Hawley is trying to include the Ukraine oversight amendment in a bill the Senate will vote on soon to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Iraq Authorizations for the Use of Military Force. His amendment will require 60 votes to pass, meaning it will need some Democratic support.
Hawley is a major China hawk and has been critical of US support for Ukraine and NATO’s plans for expansion into Finland and Sweden because he thinks the US should be focusing on building up in the Asia Pacific. In December, he sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden administration to prioritize arming Taiwan over Ukraine.