The US Justice Department on April 10 opened an investigation into the purported leak of US Department of Defense intelligence documents.
The trove of apparently classified files contains the Pentagon’s assessments of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and Washington’s efforts to persuade its NATO allies to jump on its proxy war bandwagon.
South Korea, Britain, Israel, and Bulgaria have all rushed to deny the veracity of the alleged Pentagon leak.
The dump not only exposed Washington’s possible plans and routine spying, but also cast a shadow on its allies, with Seoul, London, Tel Aviv, and Sofia branding the batch as false.
I think [the documents are] extraordinary, for a number of reasons, Professor Joe Siracusa, US political expert and dean of Global Futures, Curtin University, told Sputnik. Number one, most leaks in the past we’ve learned about in retrospect.
These documents are fresh. Some of them are barely 40 days old and tell us exactly the debates that are going on in South Korea. South Korea doesn’t like to pass on ammunition to third parties, for example.
And there’s a debate within South Korea about the pressure from the Americans. And there it is. It’s all in the documents. It’s not even in the South Korean media. What’s extraordinary about this is how recent these documents are.
And it’s not like Snowden, or Chelsea Manning, or Julian Assange, [where] sometimes the documents are two or three years afterwards, or even in my day, the Pentagon Papers were many years afterwards. These are very fresh and, I think, very embarrassing.
The much-discussed Pentagon docs showed that South Korea found itself between a rock and a hard place after agreeing to sell artillery shells to help the United States replenish its stockpiles.
The problem was that Seoul was worried that Washington would divert munitions to the Kiev regime. The Asian nation’s official policy prohibits it from providing lethal weapons to countries at war.
In addition, the report concerning South Korea’s back-and-forths was based on signals intelligence, meaning the USA has been spying on its ally, as per The New York Times.
While the leak risks triggering tensions between Washington and Seoul, it may simultaneously backfire on longstanding relations between South Korea and Russia.
Addressing the plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in October 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Seoul against arming the Kiev regime.
The Russian president suggested that Seoul would be similarly disappointed if Moscow had resumed nuclear cooperation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Likewise, Israel appears to be displeased after the disclosure of potential scenarios in which the USA believes Tel Aviv would supply Ukraine with lethal weapons.
One of the scenarios, eloquently titled the “Turkish Model,” envisages that Israel could supply defense systems to Kiev through a third party while still calling for dialogue between Ukraine and Russia.
The Pentagon’s list of Israeli weapons supposedly includes Barak 8 missiles, the Spyder air defense system, and Spike anti-tank missiles.
The apparently leaked report hypothesized that Tel Aviv would provide lethal weapons to Ukraine in the event of a diplomatic crisis with Moscow stemming from Russia’s growing ties with Iran.
Moscow’s reinforcement of Syria’s air defenses resulting in the downing of the Israeli aircraft could also drive a wedge between Israel and Russia, as per the document.
Yet another scenario raised by the report envisions US cooperation with Israel to prepare action against Tehran in order to persuade the Israelis to arm the Kiev regime.
The much-discussed docs further alleged that a Russian fighter jet nearly shot down a British spy plane off the coast of Crimea on September 29, 2022.
At the time, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace did not describe the incident as a near-shoot-down, but called it a malfunction, adding that he had spoken with senior Russian defense officials about it.
When it comes to Bulgaria, the country allegedly offered to donate its MiG-29s to Kiev, as per the Pentagon leak. On April 10, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense asserted to the public that it had not held any talks on the provision of MiG-29 jets to Ukraine.
Such a decision would lead to a deficit of capabilities which is contrary to the country’s Constitution, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense stated.
The NYT called the Pentagon leaks a nightmare for the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. However, Siracusa does not believe that the apparent leak will pose a challenge to the Anglophone bloc.
As per him, it won’t impact the bloc’s intelligence sharing. However, when it comes to other allies of Washington, the unfolding scandal has definitely hit a raw nerve.
To complicate matters further, the leak pertains to the USA and NATO’s ongoing proxy war in Ukraine and their attempts to involve more nations in their fold, thus putting the latter in dire straits.
These leaked documents (…) show that America is guiding the war, it’s providing targeting information, satellite information to hit Russian troops and positions. This highlighted that the NATO proxy war as a real war. This is direct involvement.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.