Week of April 18, 2023

The Politics of the Recently Released
American Intelligence Documents


The recent hemorrhage of secret American documents was certainly a crisis for American foreign policy.  It showed the lack of faith in Ukraine’s final victory.  It showed that the US spied on its allies as well as its enemies.  And it gave insight into American pressure on some of its allies to help Ukraine.

Everyone was willing to put their spin on this American intelligence fiasco.  Russian bloggers changed some of the documents to show that the Ukrainians were losing ten soldiers to every Russian killed.  Ukraine used the information to show infighting inside the Russian government.  The Washington Post, referred to the group that the leaker belonged to as, “United by their mutual love of guns, military gear, and God.”

The latest report is that the leaker was a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.  Of course, the question is how a lowly airman from a second-tier military unit hundreds of miles from Washington DC managed to get his hands on such sensitive information.

It’s likely that the commander of the Air National Guard unit will be relieved within days.  He had probably been briefed by Pentagon officials along with other National Guard commanders and brought some classified information back home with him.

There is also the question of why an Air National Guard unit had to be briefed on all this information.  This goes back to the fact that the US gives too many people access to classified information.

Classified information is given to authorized people based on their “need to know.”  Obviously, the lowest rank in the Air Force doesn’t need to know what was in the documents.  And one wonders why even the commander of a second-rate unit needs to know the latest intelligence – at least until his command is scheduled to deploy to the European theater.

So far about 50 documents have surfaced among 100 documents reported to have been leaked.  Many concerns geopolitical subjects.  They were first circulated on Discord.  They are Department of Defense documents and include reports from the CIA and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.  They show how the US gathers intelligence and provides analysis on regional political developments around the world.

Before taking any part of the document leak as truth, it’s important to take any information with a grain of salt.  Here are a few:

One document that appears to be doctored shows Russian casualties at about 17,000.  The same document shows Ukrainian casualties at about 170,000.  Those figures are very suspicious.  In the type of attrition warfare taking place now, the Russians are probably losing five soldiers to one Ukrainian soldier since the Russians are on the offensive.

One piece of leaked information was that the Ukrainians were likely to run out of surface to air missiles by the end of May.  This assumes that these missiles are the heart of Ukraine’s air defense.  However, these missiles are out-of-date S300 missiles, and they haven’t been the real reason for the Russian’s failure to gain air superiority.

Although the Russians dramatically outnumber the Ukrainians in fighter aircraft, they have failed to gain air superiority, which is considered the key to winning a modern war. Russian aircraft take off, fire their long-range at Ukrainian targets and head back to their base.  Meanwhile, Ukrainian pilots are learning advanced NATO air combat techniques.

The reports also give munitions delivery information, which will be important for Russian leadership, who need to plan for any Ukrainian offensive. The analysis seems pessimistic on Ukraine’s chances for victory.

The documents show how that the US has penetrated the Russian leadership and has given the Ukrainians detailed information on Russian attacks.  It also showed American efforts to get munitions from Turkey, Israel, and South Korea.  According to reports, the US has promised to help Israel against Iran if they give Ukraine ammunition.

Leaked documents show that Serbia, which is neutral in the Ukraine war, has shipped munitions to Ukraine.

Although the leaked documents indicate Ukraine is weak, investigations show that much of that information was falsified by Russian Telegram users, not the Russian intelligence service.


What are the consequences of the publication?

The damage has already been done.  American allies are upset that the US was spying on them – although the allies are likely spying on the US too.  France has been especially aggressive in industrial espionage in the US.

The Ukraine has been forced to change some of its military plans.

Both Israel and South Korea have said the documents are false.

The impact will likely be short therm.


Additional leaked information

Here’s a summary of some leaked information.

The US doesn’t expect any Ukraine peace talks until 2024.  The DIA says a loss of territory by the Russians and unsustainable losses by the Russians will not lead to peace talks as Putin is determined to win.  The report also says that China hasn’t shown signs of sending munitions to Russia.

Although denied by the Serbians, a document shows that Serbia has the political will and military ability to arm Ukraine.

The US and its allies have 100 Special Forces on the ground in Ukraine.  The Pentagon has finally admitted that there are Special Forces in Ukraine but said they “aren’t fighting on the battlefield.”  Knowing how carefully the White House words these statements, this may mean they are behind Ukrainian lines advising on the use of long-range weapons.  There could also be US contractors, who aren’t considered US soldiers by the Pentagon.

The spying on South Korea’s government has softened their willingness to sell artillery shells to the US to resupply US stocks.  By selling to the US to restock their inventory, it allows South Korea to say they are not involved in the Ukraine War.

Ukrainian agents are responsible for the sabotage behind lines in Belarus and Russia.  They have hit oil facilities, air bases, and civilian infrastructure.

Egypt may be sending rockets and artillery shells to Russia.

Canada’s natural gas pipelines may be targeted by hackers, who are close to Russia.

The Pentagon published a paper titled “Israel: Pathways to Providing Lethal Aid to Ukraine.”  It looks at making third party sales to Ukraine, expanding sales if Russia starts to boost arms sales to Iran, US support for Israeli operations in Iran, and if Russia starts firing at Israeli aircraft in Syria.

Undoubtedly more information will come out.  Keep an eye on the news coming out from the Massachusetts Air National Guard.  There are more senior people involved in this.