The White House confirmed last month that it had sent an undisclosed number of U.S. military personnel to Ukraine to inspect weapons, a move that led to some concerns that Biden would be breaking his pledge not to send U.S. troops to fight in the war.
This was the first time the administration admitted to having a military presence in the country beyond simply safeguarding the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.
"U.S. troops, whenever they're sent to one of these nations, whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan or otherwise, we're always told that it's just military advisors," Jack Posobiec of Human Events said on Friday, pointing out that often in cases of these "advisory mission[s]" there end up being "an entire squad of U.S. military troops" on the ground.
"They're using this to play a numbers game to slip active duty US military troops into Ukraine," Posobiec suggested.
The Pentagon won't reveal how many U.S. troops are assigned to what missions, saying that "for operational security and force protection reasons, we won’t discuss specific numbers of personnel."
A former U.S. official has described the move as "classic mission creep," an allegation the defense department described as "ridiculous."
"This is about supporting the Ukrainians, not fighting the Russians," a U.S. defense official said, as it was revealed that there are also "experts" in the country to help Ukraine use critical weapons such as air defense and counter-drone systems."
The Pentagon has said that of the dozens of U.S. troops in Ukraine, only a very small number have been assigned to track arms. By adding additional troops to this mission, they are seeking to increase accountability at a time of increased scrutiny and dwindling public support for the war.
A leaked State Department cable revealed earlier this week by Politico admitted that keeping track of U.S. weapons once they have entered the country was a nearly "impossible" task, and that American intervention in crises like this will "inevitably turn into hugely expensive undertakings."
Once Republicans take over the House in the new year, they have stated that there will be increased Congressional scrutiny over what has been spent and where, with Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene stating that "Republicans will not be writing blank checks."
In addition, the United Kingdom admitted for the first time this week to sending Royal Marines to carry out high-risk special operations on the ground in Ukraine on multiple occasions, as reported by The Times, further fueling speculation that the U.S. may have done the same.