Western officials have reportedly expressed shock at the level of detail made public about US spying efforts
A recent leak of classified documents on Washington’s war planning in Ukraine has caused turmoil in the Pentagon, forcing officials to step up security, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing sources.
Several Western officials interviewed by the outlet said they were still trying to assess the damage from dozens of leaked national security papers which grabbed the public’s attention in recent days, with many wondering how the breach had gone unnoticed for so long.
While the first media reports on the story emerged only this week, a batch of the documents was shared on the Discord chat platform in late February and early March. The authenticity of the intelligence remains unverified.
Two US officials told the Post that the Pentagon leadership has “restricted the flow of intelligence” in response to the leak. One source described the measures as unusually strict, and a testament to “a high level of panic” among the top brass.
Both US officials and their foreign partners were “stunned” and even “infuriated” by the level of detail provided in the documents, which exposed how the US “spies on friends and foes alike,” the report says, suggesting the files could stir diplomatic unease.
A senior Ukrainian official told the Post that the leak had caused anger in Kiev, as the files provided insight into information it wanted to keep secret from Russia – namely “vulnerabilities related to ammunition shortages and other battlefield data.”
Meanwhile, a European intelligence official reportedly expressed concerns that due to the disclosures, the US could cut back on intelligence sharing with allies. While some of the documents made public were supposed to be shielded from foreign nationals, others had been cleared for transfer to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, composed of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The wide-ranging batch of sensitive documents, which made media headlines this week, provides an assessment on Russian and Ukrainian battle readiness and casualties, timetables for training and equipment deliveries, as well as tactical information on the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
However, the true scale of the leak remains unclear, as on Friday the New York Times reported that a new trove of secretive American documents had appeared online, this time covering not only the Ukraine conflict, but also China, the Middle East and terrorism.
April 09, 2023 at 04:37PM