Intelligence leak exposes US deep involvement in Ukraine issue, scale of spying on adversaries, allies
Published: Apr 09, 2023 06:31 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

Illustration: Chen Xia/Global Times

The US public opinion field has been continuously cast bombshells in recent days. According to media reports, a number of alleged US military classified documents have appeared across social media, detailing information such as maps of Ukraine and charts on where troops are concentrated and what kinds of weapons are available to them. One is labeled "Top Secret," and is titled "Status of the Conflict as of 1 March."

Analysts said that if the documents are true, it means that the US is more deeply involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and provides intelligence to support Ukraine more than previously known. Not only that, but there are more than 100 leaked documents. Besides the situation in Ukraine, there are many US national security secrets concerning China, the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, and the Indo-Pacific.

In addition, in a reminder that the US also spies on its allies, another document reports that South Korea's National Security Council in early March "grappled" with a US request that the country provides artillery ammunition to Ukraine, without unduly provoking Moscow, according to the Washington Post. 

It is not clear whether the leaked documents were deliberately leaked by US intelligence. The document leak is so eye-catching as it involves a wide range of areas, not only the situation in Ukraine, but also China, the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, and so on. 

This shows the ambition of the US that it is making more countries get involved in the US strategy to maintain its global hegemony, even at the expense of world peace and stability. The US also hopes to provoke global disputes, while it is unwilling to get involved directly.

The biggest US intelligence leak last time was the PRISM exposed by Edward Snowden. At that time, the information of the US monitoring the world, including its allies, made its allies feel startled and the US itself experience considerable embarrassment.

It is not clear how the leak happened, how big the hole in the US intelligence system was, and whether it was due to technical problems in the US intelligence community or an inside job that led to the leak. But, the leaks will make allies of the US worry that the US has no way to keep them safe, nor could it ensure its own national security.

It is possible that this was a deliberate leak from within the US, especially from pro-Russian Americans, in order to get the US out of the Ukraine crisis as soon as possible. Will the US continue its deep involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the future, or will it end abruptly? The source of the leak likely wants to warn the US government not to get too involved, which could lead to a direct confrontation between the US and Russia. It is also likely that some well-informed people in the US obtained the information and disclosed it to the media, which is the normal way in the US. 

"We don't have the slightest doubt about the direct or indirect involvement of the US and NATO in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine," Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on the leak of secret US military documents, adding that the involvement of the US and NATO in the conflict is deepening. After such a classified information leak, the pressure on the US side is very high.

One thing is for sure - the US is the world's largest spying nation and the country that monitors other countries the most. It is monitoring the entire world, not only its adversaries but its allies as well. The Five Eyes alliance is just a pawn used by the US, and the US will not trust the other four countries in the alliance.

After the outbreak of these incidents, the US allies should be prompted to think about whether the US as an ally can be trusted. The US talks about ideology, democracy, freedom and values, but only its self-interests are a priority.

The US is unreliable. It is only a matter of time before the US abandons its allies at a critical moment. The document leaks may be a good thing, just as Snowden leaked a large number of US secrets, forcing the US to adjust some of its policies. But no matter how much it adjusts, monitoring the world will not change. As long as the US wants to maintain its global hegemony, it needs to know everything about the world, and monitoring is an important means for achieving its goal.

The author is a Chinese military expert and TV commentator. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn