The Pentagon Documents that caused an international scandal last week were neither the first nor the last. Document leaks from the United States Department of Defense (Pentagon) have occurred multiple times from the Cold War to the present day.
However, the scandal announced by The Washington Post last week gained worldwide attention and raised significant concerns, particularly in the United States. The leaked documents, allegedly published on a social media platform called “Discrod,” contained sensitive information that should have remained classified, regarding various countries including Ukraine, Russia, EU member states, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel, and Turkey. Among these pieces of information were critical intelligence regarding the Ukraine-Russia conflict, attack plans, and the coordinates of important military areas.
Serious discussions continue around the world, particularly in the American media, regarding the published documents. While some claim that the documents indicate a major intelligence vulnerability, others believe that the United States intentionally disseminated them for disinformation purposes. Although the initial public perception, in the hours following the scandal’s announcement, was that the documents were disinformation containing false information, American officials have confirmed that a significant portion of the classified information in the documents is indeed real. However, they also state that some of the documents have been altered.
During the investigations into the source of the documents, it was initially believed that they were obtained through a cyber hack. However, as the investigation deepened, it became clear that this scandal was an internal leak rather than a cyber hack. The documents were initially published on the Discord channel. According to officials conducting the investigation, the documents were hastily folded and taken out of the secure area, then quickly photographed in a state of panic.
Setting aside how the documents emerged and how they were disseminated, the focus is on the classified information contained within them. Upon closer examination of the documents, it is evident that they do not contain any war plans or information about planned future attacks. It is particularly significant that they do not include information about Ukraine, which has been known to be preparing for an offensive against Russia for a long time. However, the documents do contain intelligence about how the United States and NATO planned to strengthen Ukrainian forces before Ukraine’s major offensive and the extent of support they could provide through which channel.
The documents also reveal that many things known to the public about the war are not true. Although it is known that the Russians have withdrawn, the documents indicate that the Ukrainian army is not in a good condition either. In particular, it is understood from the documents that the Ukrainian defense systems that repelled Russian airstrikes are vulnerable and that without the necessary reinforcement support, Russia could gain air superiority and change the course of the war.
The impact of the leaked documents is likely to persist for a long time. This is because the documents not only contain classified information about the United States and the Ukraine conflict but also led to serious leaks concerning allied countries of the United States. In fact, the significant information of the countries that share intelligence with the United States has been revealed through this leak. The exposure of these countries’ political positions and moves through the leaked documents has created an atmosphere of mistrust between the United States and its allies.
“Although the leak indicates vulnerability, it also demonstrates the intelligence power of the United States.”
According to documents leaked from the Pentagon, it appears that the US intelligence has infiltrated Russian intelligence and security services to gather secret information about the war. It is understood that the information collected from Russian security and intelligence agencies by US intelligence units is being transferred to Ukraine and used by Ukraine in the war. The information obtained by the US about Russia’s future moves, military capabilities, and vulnerabilities is undoubtedly one of Ukraine’s most important assets in the war. When looking at the documents, it is possible to say that the US has successfully and professionally managed the process both militarily, politically, and intelligence-wise since the beginning of the war. We should acknowledge that the US intelligence units have been a lifeline for Ukraine, providing real-time intelligence data about Moscow’s attack times and priority targets from the early days of the war. However, it is certain that many things will change after these leaks, especially considering that Russia will take necessary steps in terms of precaution.
According to the leaked documents from the Pentagon, the Special Forces of the US, UK, France, the Netherlands, and Latvia are actively operating in the Ukrainian war. Another notable aspect mentioned in the documents is that NATO forces are providing training to Ukrainian soldiers.
What do Ukraine and Russia think about the Pentagon leak?
According to Ukrainian and Russian officials, who are the two sides of the war, the dissemination of the documents is not an intelligence weakness but rather a disinformation campaign conducted by the US for the purpose of deception. Mikhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski, stated in an interview with The New York Times after the scandal that the published documents are completely fictional and filled with imaginary information. According to Podolyak, Russia is behind the leak, and it is a fictional creation planned to change the course of the war and undermine the pre-attack confidence of the Ukrainian government and people.
Russian military experts believe that the leak is an American game aimed at surprising and misleading Russia and Russian soldiers before the Ukrainian attack. According to individuals associated with the Russian mercenary group Wagner, who are fighting on the frontlines, it is an intelligence deception aimed at disrupting Russian military power and strategy before Ukraine’s attack.
What else is in the documents?
At the beginning of our article, we mentioned that the documents contain information not only about the Ukraine-Russia war but also about a global scandal. When examining the documents, there is sensitive information that concerns all countries worldwide. Particularly, it contains sensitive information about the Middle East, Indo-Pacific, China, Israel, South Korea, and North Korea.
One of the most striking details in the documents is related to the ongoing protests against Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. It is seen that the Israeli intelligence agency MOSSAD incited the public and encouraged Israeli citizens to participate in the protests that started in the country in March and led to conflicts.
The leaked documents also include significant information about Turkey. It includes information about the Russian mercenary group Wagner trying to establish connections in Turkey to procure weapons. However, it is not known to what extent Wagner has been able to procure military equipment through Turkey.
In conclusion, it is possible that the echoes of the leaked documents, which were leaked by 21-year-old US National Intelligence Guard Jack Teixeira, will continue for a long time. Many things in the documents are still not fully understood. Analysts and strategists continue to work on the documents. The reactions of countries to this scandal are a subject of great curiosity. Especially how it will change the course of the Ukraine-Russia war is a mystery for everyone. Will this leak, which occurred before Ukraine’s planned major counterattack, lead to a change in the attack plans? We will see together.