The leaking of American documents has been on the radar of global political circles lately. The issue pertains to the inner workings of policymaking and decision-making in the world’s foremost strategic powerhouse.
This subject raises several inquiries, such as the origins of the leaked confidential materials from the US Defense Department and whether it was orchestrated by the implicated young man or the result of a cyberwarfare campaign that US institutions are hesitant to admit.
In my opinion, this matter has undisclosed facets, and a considerable portion of it will remain confined within the classified US archives.
It’s challenging to accept that the youth, caught on camera during his arrest, is the perpetrator behind the leak of perilous and classified documents – jeopardizing US ties with various nations worldwide – that he disseminated on social media and video game sites.
There exist various possible scenarios to account for the event. Some focus on the plausibility of a meticulous intelligence operation, accomplished by forging documents to attain particular objectives, including deceiving other players like Russia and China, amid the fierce information warfare between them.
Another hypothesis proposes that the leak was a deliberate selection of authentic and precisely chosen documents. Regardless of some adverse effects on American strategic interests, it accomplishes specific goals, like pressuring countries to comply with American interests, instigating discord among certain international players, or hindering countries from taking specific steps or measures to avoid further provoking America. This neutralizes these countries’ roles in the strategic contest against Russia and China and reinstates the dwindled American role and influence globally.
A catastrophic information breach for the US
A third scenario is predicated on a veritable information breach that transpired in a colossal strategic military establishment of the magnitude of the Pentagon. This would a significant security/information catastrophe for the global superpower. The issue at hand is that in case this scenario holds water, it will not be admitted, or at the very least, the genuine extent and the internal and external parties involved will not be revealed.
It’s common knowledge that most analyses lean toward the intelligence deception scenario, either due to the prevalence of the “conspiracy theory” among many, or due to the numerous precedents in this regard and the difficulty of infiltrating the world’s most potent military institution.
But what is highly noticeable, in my view, is that the majority of the leaked documents don’t reach a very high level of sensitivity, to the point of damaging US relations with significant nations or putting US foreign policy in a genuine dilemma.
This is especially meaningful in light of the remarks about the young man who leaked these documents and published them within a private group via social media, where there is no benefit to releasing some of these documents, even if it is to demonstrate the ability to possess essential documents or information.
The Pentagon spokesperson declined to confirm the authenticity of the documents and suggested that some of them had been tampered with, while noting that the format of the documents resembled those used for updates on Russian and Ukrainian military activities. Despite this, media sources have cited Pentagon officials as verifying the documents’ authenticity.
Genuine US attempts at distorting information
Nonetheless, there is a clear attempt to manipulate or distort some of the information, which aims to create confusion between what is genuine and what is altered. This is intended to deepen the confusion of those seeking to exploit the content of the documents, and may also be designed to deceive or diminish the credibility of the documents and encourage others to disregard them entirely.
THE LEAKED documents shed light on the events taking place in Ukraine, with a specific focus on the involvement of other nations in training the Ukrainian military and the casualties incurred by both sides. The documents suggest that Russia has suffered significantly higher human losses than Ukraine, almost double the number.
This revelation puts Russian President Vladimir Putin in a compromising position. While the figures reported in the leaked documents are comparable to the numbers officially announced, the credibility and appeal of the figures are enhanced due to the circumstances surrounding the leak and the media coverage it has received.
The disclosure of Ukrainian preparations for the expected spring attack may not have added much new information. This is because Russia is supposed to gather the information it needs, or because information surrounded by question marks cannot be relied upon.
However, the documents reveal weaknesses in Ukrainian defenses, prompting some American lawmakers to warn of Russia’s exploitation of this information. They are demanding compensation for Ukraine’s “exposure” of these shortcomings and the prompt provision of the necessary equipment.
Exposing confidential files from a US establishment is not unprecedented in American history. There have been numerous instances of this kind in history, with the Watergate scandal being the most well-known, resulting in Richard Nixon’s resignation. Veteran journalist Seymour Hersh also leaked the Iraqi Abu Ghraib prison documents in 2004, which caused a major scandal.
The leaks from WikiLeaks also serve as another example. To this day, we still haven’t gotten to the bottom of these and many more.
The writer is a United Arab Emirates political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate.