By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – The United States was rushing Saturday to limit the damage of a security breach after classified documents detailing American national security secrets from Ukraine to the Middle East to China surfaced on social media.
Commentators were quick to say that the Biden Administration “is scrambling to put a band-aid on a sucking chest wound” at a time when President Joe Biden has faced criticism of being weak on security issues.
The scale of the leak — analysts say more than 100 documents may have been obtained — and the sensitivity of the documents themselves could be hugely damaging, U.S. officials said.
A senior intelligence official called the leak “a nightmare for the Five Eyes,” referencing the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the so-called Five Eyes nations that broadly share intelligence.
And as Easter approached, there was concern about the impact of the leaks on the battlefield in Ukraine.
The documents suggested that Ukrainian troops would launch a counteroffensive in the coming months to regain territory from occupying Russian forces.
One slide, dated February 23, and reviewed by Worthy News, is labeled “Secret/NoForn,” meaning it was not meant to be shared with foreign countries. It provides details about weapons and ongoing training.
Biden administration officials said the classified Ukrainian war plans also include assessing Ukraine’s air defense capabilities.
The documents on Ukraine’s military also appear as photographs of charts of anticipated weapons deliveries, troop and battalion strengths, and other plans.
Mick Mulroy, a former senior Pentagon official, said in published remarks that the leak of the classified documents represents “a significant breach in security” that could hinder Ukrainian military planning.
“As many of these were pictures of documents, it appears that it was a deliberate leak done by someone that wished to damage the Ukraine, U.S., and NATO [military alliance] efforts,” he added.
The Russian military spent the last few months attempting to capture the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, with limited success.
However, a British intelligence report said Moscow has “regained some momentum” over recent days.
It comes after a second set of supposedly confidential documents covering not just Ukraine but also U.S. relations with China and various powers in the Middle East. Those secrets were posted on the social media messaging board 4chan on Friday.
Security analysts reviewing the material said the trove includes sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East, and terrorism.
That was due to undermine efforts by the U.S. to defend democratically-ruled Taiwan against a possible Chinese invasion and its efforts to tackle terrorists and help Israel in the Middle East.
The U.S. Defense Department and security agencies were working overtime to find the culprits behind the leaks.
However, while admitting they are legitimate, copies appear altered in certain parts from their original format.
The modified versions, for example, overstate American estimates of Ukrainian war dead and underestimate estimates of Russian troops killed.
Both sides are believed to have lost at least tens of thousands of troops in Europe’s worst armed conflict since the end of World War Two.
With global tensions rising, China, Russia, and several Middle Eastern countries are believed to have increased their spying methods targeting the U.S., the NATO military alliance countries, and other Western states.
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