- The disturbed diplomatic relations highlighted in these documents provide us with a glimpse of a world with failed international relations.
- The leak in itself is a blunder that the Biden administration is now trying to rectify through extensive efforts to find other documents, along with damage control.
- The documents also highlight the increasingly warming relations between China and Russia and Egypt’s covert support of Russia.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard, Jack Teixeira, on April 13, 2023, with regard to the leaking of classified government and military documents which is being considered one of the worst national security breaches in recent years. The documents, allegedly leaked by Teixeira over online forum platforms like Discord and 4Chan highlight the grave geopolitical tensions worldwide in detail, largely focusing on the US intervention in the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The leak in itself is a blunder that the Biden administration is now trying to rectify through extensive efforts to find other documents, along with prompt damage control by visiting and reaffirming its confused and agitated allies that were spied upon. While the leak of such highly classified documents is of grave concern, it is imperative to note the extent of involvement of countries such as the US, Egypt, South Korea, and China in the war. The US has publicly admitted to committing USD 35 billion in military assistance as of April 2023, but what was not known was the pressure it put on its allies to support Ukraine—such as forcing South Korea to send arms to Ukraine while eavesdropping inside its presidential office.
The documents also highlight the increasingly warming relations between China and Russia (China lending an economic breather to the heavily-sanctioned Russia), and Egypt’s covert support to Russia by producing and supplying 40,000 rockets for the war. Another Pentagon document shows how one of the most pro-Russian nations in Europe, Serbia, agreed to send arms to Ukraine, despite standing against the sanctions imposed on Russia by the rest of the world. One of the documents mention four ‘wildcard’ scenarios that could potentially affect the outcomes of the war—like the deaths of the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, a fallout amongst the Russian authorities, or a Ukrainian strike over Russia.
|1) US spies aggressively on allies as well as adversaries.|
2) US spies on allies such as Israel and South Korea.
3) Documents show that Mossad, the intelligence service of Israel, could have encouraged protests against PM Benjamin Netanyahu that rocked the country in March with active support from the CIA.
4) Shows that the US eavesdropped on senior South Korean officials who discussed the U.S. pressure on Seoul to help supply weapons to Ukraine, and its policy of not doing so.
5) The US was surveilling the Ukrainian president Zelenskiy, showing that Washington wants to keep tabs on Kyiv.
6) The leak shows how deeply the US has penetrated the Russian political and military establishment as it is able to alert Ukraine about coming missile strikes and targets.
7) The US doubts Ukraine will be able to take back Russian-occupied territory this spring, as per its own intelligence assessments.
8) Leaked documents show significantly lower Russian casualties than numbers publicly stated by U.S. officials.
9) It lists 16,000-17,500 Russian casualties and up to 71,000 Ukrainian casualties while the US publicly claimed that Russia lost more than 1, 00,000 soldiers.
10) Details on the U.S. training and equipment schedules to assist Ukraine and NATO plans for supporting the Ukrainian military have been leaked.
It is certainly a fact, as stated by Olesky Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, “Everyone is gathering intel on everyone,” and the US is no exception. It is, however, a matter of how and what information is made public to the masses. It is vital to note how the Western media is downplaying the enormity of the situation, despite the volatile geopolitical consequences that could follow the US. One such consequence could be its direct involvement in the war through financial and military assistance to Ukraine, thereby ‘declaring war against Russia’, even though it does not directly pose threat to American national security—making it a crime under the US Constitution (under Article I, Section 8).
The entire debacle raises a significant question: are we closer to a third world war than we previously anticipated? Provided how the documents—altered or not—present concrete evidence of the involvement of multiple countries in supplying arms and manpower to both parties, it is already evident that most of the superpowers are somewhat directly party to the war and its subsequent war crimes, despite the repeated reminders of avoiding a full-fledged third world war. The disturbed diplomatic relations highlighted in these documents provide us with a glimpse of a world with failed international relations, a world in which trust, which was rebuilt over the course of several decades, comes undone.
(Shubhangi holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the Queen Mary University of London. She has authored articles on India’s vaccine diplomacy and the politics of gun reform in the US. Views expressed are author’s own)