Leak of Classified Pentagon Documents Reveals U.S. Plan for Ukraine

A leak of 100 classified United States military documents, marked “Top Secret” and dated March 1, appeared on social media last week. The files outline nato plans for building Ukraine’s military. This includes troop numbers, schedules for arms supply, and ammunition costs.

  • Data on 12 combat brigades, created by the Armed Forces of Ukraine; each consisting of 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers
  • Statistics for causalities, including 16,000 to 17,500 Russian soldiers and 71,500 Ukrainian soldiers
  • How the U.S. tracks Russian forces with satellite imagery

According to the Pentagon, some of the statistics appear modified, understating U.S. estimates for how many Russians have died while overstating how many Ukrainians have died.

Other sensitive files dealt with:

  • an analysis of potential British policies on the South China Sea
  • the activities of a Houthi leader in Yemen
  • intelligence assessments regarding nuclear plans in Iran and North Korea.

Where did the leak come from? The documents were first posted on an online forum about the video game Minecraft. They later appeared on other social media sites such as Twitter and Telegram. The Pentagon has launched an investigation into the leak as they attempt to get all the posts removed. The authenticity of the documents has not been confirmed.

Though the source of the leak is uncertain, speculations are circulating among experts and officials. Some believe that the disinformation came from Moscow. Its motive could be to cause tension between the U.S. and Ukraine.

On the other side, some accuse the U.S. and its intelligence agencies of spreading the disinformation as a way of confusing the enemy. If that is the case, they’ve made themselves look incompetent in the process. It also seems unlikely that if they were trying to get false information out quickly, that they would use a video game server to release it, rather than a more prominent platform.

The timing of the leak, according to Ukrainian officials, could be a means of influencing possible Ukrainian counterattacks to reclaim territory.

The U.S. has suffered several embarrassing intelligence leaks, from Edward Snowden to WikiLeaks. Those previous leaks had wide-ranging ramifications, both harming the U.S. and exposing the government’s wrongful actions. The latest leaks could prove a similar blow to U.S. power and prestige.

Learn more: Read “Spies, Snoops, Snitches and Godly Intelligence.”