Over the past week, the largest leak of US military documents in a decade began to appear online. The documents, with the classifications “Secret” or “Top Secret,” had apparently been on Discord for several weeks before being picked up on other social media platforms. They then came to the attention of governments and news media around the world. (Discord is a social media platform popular with many gamers.)
The documents provide extensive information on how the US is waging its proxy war in Ukraine against its imperialist rival, Russia. The include many details of the Ukrainian military’s overall capabilities, training and defense systems; its needs and shortcomings as it prepares for what is expected to be a major offensive soon to begin. There are also documents that reveal that the United States is spying on many other countries throughout the world, both friends and enemies.
No one in the US power structure has disputed the authenticity of the leaked documents as a whole, although intelligence and military officials in several countries—including the United States—have alleged that information in some of them is incorrect or has been altered. This includes the reports of troop losses from both Russian and Ukrainian forces. Why the material was on some social media for about a month before any public announcement of its existence was made is not known, nor is it whether there are more leaked documents than have been made public.
On April 13, the FBI arrested a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard and charged him with leaking classified information. That Washington Post reported that the alleged leaker was seen on videos yelling “racist and anti-Semitic slurs into the camera, then shoot[ing] more rounds at a target.” It said he runs an invite-only Discord group united by its “love of guns, military equipment, and God.”
But much of the reason for the leaks, their extent, their content, the motivations and background of the man arrested, and whether he acted alone, remains unknown. As more becomes known about this development, Revolution will continue to monitor the situation. But for now, below are some key points about the leaks and what is known about their contents:
What are the leaked documents, who were they prepared for?
According to multiple reports, the documents appear to be “briefing slides prepared by the US military’s Joint Staff.” They appear to be based on information obtained from “a number of US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees US spy satellites.”
Reports indicate that they were intended for the top US military leadership, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley. Some of the documents are marked “NOFORN” – military speak for “no foreigners”, including allies and partners, must see it.
Deep US-NATO involvement in the Ukraine war:
- David Singer, a New York Times journalist, wrote that “While President Biden has prevented U.S. troops from firing directly at Russian targets and blocked sending weapons that could reach deep into Russian territory, the documents make clear that a year into the invasion, the U.S. is heavily entangled in almost everything else .”
- A slide from one of the leaked documents shown on the website for Daily mailan English newspaper, shows that the US-NATO has a contingent of 97 “special forces“ in Ukraine. Fourteen of them are from the US military, despite Biden’s assurance that the United States “will not be directly involved in this conflict….”
- That The US gives “detailed targeting data” (for Ukrainian military forces in the field) and coordinating “the long, complex logistical train that delivers weapons to the Ukrainians.”
- The leaks show details about 12 newly formed brigadesequipped with US and NATO “tanks and armored vehicles likely to lead the charge against entrenched Russian positions” in a planned Ukrainian offensive this spring.
- United States Secret Service evaluates it Ukraine’s battle for the eastern Donbas region has become one “grinding campaign of attrition” that is “likely headed for a stalemate that thwarts Moscow’s goal of capturing the entire region by 2023.” A document describes how Ukraine could soon run out of ammunition for its anti-aircraft missile systems, revealing a significant vulnerability in Ukraine’s air defenses in future battles.
Spying on Russia
- The leaks reveal extensive US espionage against Russia, particularly its Defense Ministry, through “intercepted communications and human sources” (ie spies paid by the US). The documents repeatedly refer to information based on electronic interception. The US is concerned that the disclosure of any of this could do “significant damage” to US spy agencies.
- Infiltration of the Russian military enablesp US spy agencies warn Ukraine of upcoming attacks. Some documents discuss the internal planning of Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU) and the Wagner Group, a private Russian military contractor that has been integral to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. Wagner is also central to Russian military efforts in Africa. A document claims Wagner is considering “branching out to Haiti, right under the nose of the United States, with an offer to help the country’s embattled government take on violent gangs.”
- Some documents allegedly state how the US tracks Russian forces with satellite images and locations where the Central Intelligence Agency has recruited some agents. The tracking information is provided to the Ukrainian military to aid their attacks on and targeting of the Russian military. Map of Russian troop movements and capabilities, from “human confidential sources”, were in some documents.
- One of the sources of battlefield information described as being from a “LAPIS time series video.” This is an advanced satellite system that had been “among the more closely guarded capabilities in the US intelligence arsenal.”
Who prepared the leaked documents
- That Washington Post reported that the leaked pages it reviewed “involved nearly every corner of the US intelligence apparatus. The documents describe intelligence activities at the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, law enforcement agencies and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) — arguably the most secretive intelligence agency in the government , responsible for a multibillion-dollar constellation of spy satellites.”
Four “Wild Cards”
- A document outlines four scenariosU.S which could suddenly have a dramatic impact on the course of the war in Ukraine: the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin; the death of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky; a Ukrainian attack on the Kremlin (the center of the Russian government in Moscow, Russia’s capital); removal of the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces. That New York Times reported that “US officials declined to say whether the document was genuine, but they did not dispute its authenticity.”
The US spies on its allies
- Israel—One of the documents reveals how the US intelligence service analysts evaluate scenarios it could “get Israel to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine – contrary to current Israeli policy.” Israel is already working with Ukraine to develop an early warning system to warn of incoming rockets and missiles. Someone else says so The US intelligence service claims that the Mossad– the largest spy agency in Israel, a key US ally – called on citizens and its own members to participate in massive protests against the current government there.1
- Turkey-Leaked documents described how Turkish government representatives discussed the sale of “weapons and equipment” to Russians for use in “Mali and Ukraine.” Turkey is a NATO ally of the United States, and Mali is a country in West Africa where the Wagner Group has been active.
- South Korea-Private conversations among high-level South Korean leaders were leaked about South Korea possibly providing artillery support to Ukraine. This indicates that the United States was performs “surveillance on a key Asian ally, even as the two nations publicly vowed to strengthen their alliance.” South Korea has long been dominated by the United States and is a key American “ally” in East Asia.
Spying on China
- In February, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a warning to China that there would be “pserious consequences” if China sold arms to Russia. A document just released reveals that the US was interception of communications between Russian and Chinese military leaders when it made the threat.
Iran, Egypt, Serbia, Hungary, Haiti, Canada
- Documents indicate that a number of other countries – friend, enemy and in between – have been exposed to US espionage. And these are the ones known from a limited number of leaked documents, so the total is undoubtedly much higher.