The recent leak of classified documents about the Ukraine war is posing a significant risk to the national security of the United States, according to a top Pentagon spokesperson. The Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, has initiated an investigation and contacted allies to determine the extent of the information lost and who has access to it. The Pentagon has also taken steps to limit access to the briefings and regularly reviews the access lists to ensure only those with a need-to-know can access classified material.
Details of the Leaked Documents
The leaked documents contain sensitive information related to U.S. training and equipment schedules to support Ukraine, assessments of losses, and Russian troop estimates.
They also explain what the US is watching for in terms of critical friends and strategic partners, as well as potential Russian actions to disrupt those relationships. At least one document shows that the estimates of Russian troops’ deaths in the Ukraine war are significantly lower than those publicly stated by U.S. officials.
The White House and National Security Council expressed concern that there could be additional leaks, but officials have declined to provide specifics on the scope of the release, how it happened, and to which country leaders the U.S. has spoken. A criminal inquiry into the disclosures has been launched by the Justice Department, as reported by AP News.
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Response and Measures Taken
U.S. officials are interacting at the highest levels with allies and partners to reassure them of their commitment to safeguarding intelligence and the fidelity of their partnerships. The Pentagon is being cautious and monitoring where the information is being posted and amplified, as the documents may have been circulating for months in private internet chats on the Discord discussion platform.
The leaks have the potential to spread disinformation and pose a risk to national security. To address this, the Pentagon has taken steps to limit access to classified material and regularly reviews access lists to ensure only those with a need-to-know can access sensitive information.
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