Pentagon Leaks: A critical Analysis

By Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan | Gwadar Pro Apr 18, 2023

Editor's Note: The author is Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, BRI & CPEC. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

It seems that the friends and foes of the US are in the line of fire due to the most recently leaked documents from the US Pentagon. This has rattled many capitals in the world, especially those of South Korea, Ukraine, and even Israel.

In this regard, the US government and its military establishment have termed it as an act of cyber-attack. However, independent experts have dubbed it as the work of an "insider" who shared the information with numerous social media outlets. This event has exposed the deep fragility in the domains of the deep state and the levels of insecurity of data within various civilian departments, secret agencies, and military organizations in the US, which is known as the superpower of the world. The timing of this event is also crucial. It shows poor management of privacy, secrecy, and proper management of big data at different layers of the US government's organs and its associated sub-organizations.

One thing has once again been proven: the US does not care about other official decorum, political sovereignty, or territorial integrity. The US bulldozes its way through with its chronic fraudulent, false, fake, fictional, and fabricated propaganda campaigns and serious activities of espionage. These campaigns have ruined the so-called honeymoon spells of friendship, love of strategic partnerships, regional allies orientations, and close military agreements. The latest Pentagon leaks uphold the US double standards in international diplomacy and relations, and they vividly reflect its constant and continued containment policy towards China.

The leaked documents have deeply rattled US officials, defense departments, and even intelligence departments, who fear that the revelations could jeopardize sensitive sources and compromise important foreign relationships.

Ironically, some of the documents that US officials say are authentic have exposed the extent of US eavesdropping on key regional partners and global allies.

The embarrassed US Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the leaks of several classified US military documents that were posted on social media in recent days. The department has termed the leaks as having a destructive effect on its national security apparatus and the capacity-building orientations of intelligence agencies.

The US mainstream media, namely the New York Times and the Washington Post, reported that the first batch of documents appeared on Discord, a social media chat platform popular with video gamers, in early March 2023. The documents provide precise details about the Ukrainian battlefield, the use of US weapons by Ukrainian troops, and the training of Ukrainian troops. This leak has badly affected their professional preparedness and tactical operations in the ongoing war.

Astonishingly, CNN reported that the leaked documents covered a variety of topics, ranging from the Wagner Group's operations in Africa and Israel's pathways to providing lethal aid to Ukraine to intelligence about the United Arab Emirates' ties to Russia and South Korean concerns about providing ammunition to the US for use in Ukraine. Additionally, the documents mention Iran's nuclear program and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's missile program.

The lengthy leaked documents have become a nightmare for Five Eyes, comprising the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, which broadly share intelligence. The leaks have caused panic in many countries around the world, as they try to fix the faulty lines that have been exposed from the massive disclosures. Widening diplomatic fractures are now being treated, but spirits of distrust, disharmony, and disinformation are spreading like wildfire.

As usual, the Pentagon declined to comment on the size and scope of the leak, revealing that the Defense Department was still investigating the matter. The US Department of Defense is now working around the clock to assess the impacts and start mitigation measures, but the damage is colossal and may not be managed easily.

Unfortunately, the US has notoriously been using its technological advantages to carry out secret activities of espionage against its regional allies and global partners, which is an astonishing act. Previously, many declassified documents from the CIA and Pentagon revealed its regional as well as global spying networks.

The disclosure of the highly classified material represents Washington’s worst national security breach in many years. It fears that the largest US military leak in the last ten years is a serious setback to Ukraine’s war strategies, air defense capacity, combating plans, counter-offensives measures and looming threat to its national security because the leaked documents on social media offer extensive details about munitions, training and air defense systems at a critical point in the fight. It is indeed most unfortunate for Ukraine government, policy makers and military junta. 

The chief of the Australian Defence Force, Gen Angus Campbell, described the alleged leaks as potentially damaging, and said their dissemination could undermine trust between allies.

In the ongoing mad race for regional dominance and global imperialistic outreach, the US is seriously violating the basic concepts and conventions of international law, international relations, and last but not least, diplomacy and morality in the world. The government of the US and its military establishment should understand that its comparative advantage of superior technologies does not provide any legitimate right to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries and communities, and spying and espionage activities are anti-human and anti-world peace.

The leaked documents have already sparked controversies in Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Kiev alike, and also sparked outrage in many other capitals, most of which term it fake and fictional.

It seems that the Pentagon's geometry is under severe criticism in the world because of the leaked documents. Lastly, the US should never use its strong technological advantages to conduct fictional propaganda against other countries, and manipulate and subvert other regimes.

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