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5 Takeaways from the Leaked Pentagon Documents


1. American Intelligence Gathering Efforts

The newly leaked documents shed light on ways the United States Intelligence community conducts espionage against foreign adversaries like Russia. While government officials have not confirmed the information in the leaked documents, experts say there is little reason to doubt the credibility of the reports. The leaked documents show how and where the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has recruited agents with access to closed-door conversations with world leaders. Officials say the newly-released information might have compromised various intelligence-collection methods and sources, allowing foreign enemies like Russia and China to evade future U.S. espionage efforts. National security experts say that the leaked intelligence reports bring up significant questions about whether the U.S. can spread and share classified intelligence information within the government safely in a way that does not impede national security interests.

2. Egypt's Relationship with Russia

According to the leaks, Egypts’ President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi secretly ordered his government to produce and ship around 40,000 rockets to Moscow in mid-February. Under El-Sisi, Egypt has remained a strong U.S. ally against Islamic terrorism, publicly maintaining a policy of non-involvement toward Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. U.S. officials have told media outlets that the U.S. is unaware of Egypt's rocket shipment toward Russia or how far such efforts have progressed. Some experts note that following the election of President Biden, the administration has remained critical of El-Sisi’s crackdown against the Islamic terrorist group known as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In late January, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. would freeze around $130 million of foreign military aid to Egypt over human rights concerns. For several months, many U.S. allies in the Middle East have come closer to China, Russia, and Iran as a result of the Biden administration's lackluster foreign policy and abandonment of allies like Saudi Arabia.

3. Ukraine's Pushback Against Russia

One aspect of the leaked documents from the intelligence community that caught the eyes of many was the details regarding the ongoing efforts by Ukraine to push back Russian military forces. As America continues to support Ukrainian fighters against Russian invaders, new assessments from early February showcase serious doubt about Ukraine's ability to take back much of its territories now occupied by Russian forces. American officials say that the upcoming counteroffensive by Ukraine will generate "modest territorial gain" because of Kiev's lack of military equipment, ammunition, and troops. The leaked reports also show that the U.S. has been surveilling Ukrainian President Zelenskyy's communications with Ukrainian military officials and even suggested striking Russian military locations using unmanned aerial vehicles, which officials say will lead to serious escalation. The leaked documents also reveal that America has intercepted discussions among South Korean leaders on whether to cease funding to Ukraine, prompting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to downplay the leaked conversations.

4. Russia's Military Strength

According to a leaked American military document, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said to British lawmakers in October of last year that several Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted and harassed a British RC-135 reconnaissance plane flying in international airspace over the Black Sea in September 2022, with the Russian military fighter flying within 15 feet of Britain and another releasing a missile from afar. The leaked reports also indicated that in early February this year, the Russian-backed mercenary force, the Wagner Group, met with Turkish contacts to obtain military weaponry and equipment for military campaigns in Mali and Ukraine. The same group also sought to work in Haiti to gather lucrative contracts with the Haitian government and fight against local gangs in exchange for military resources. Another set of leaked documents showed that in early 2023, the U.S. intercepted electronic communications between pro-Russian hacking group Zarya and officials in the Russian FSB security service, working together to breach a Canadian gas-pipeline company and obtain access to its control system, leading to a loss of profit for the company and energy for critical infrastructure.

5. China's Military Strength

The leaked intelligence report from the CIA and other agencies revealed details regarding Russia, Ukraine, and Europe, along with China's growing military strength. According to one of the leaked documents, China has been deepening its ties with countries in South America like Nicaragua, conducting negotiations over building a deepwater port in Bluefields with plans for such construction beginning in mid-2022. American officials say that while Nicaragua maintains its relationship with Russia, it would consider offering Beijing "naval access in exchange for economic investment." The leaked information also said that Beijing evaluated its experimental DF-27 hypersonic glide missiles in late February, which flew for 12 minutes at 2,100km (1,300 miles). According to officials, the newly experimental military projectile is strong enough to destroy American ballistic defense systems. Officials have also been concerned about China's naval buildup and mapping capabilities in the South China Sea, which would aid Beijing in a potential invasion of Taiwan. As Chinese officials in Beijing continue to build up military forces and prepare for a potential military invasion of Taiwan, lawmakers in Congress have called on the Biden administration to adopt a tougher stance against Beijing, doing everything to purge the Communist government's influence in America and provide military aid to the Taiwanese army.

Related Story: Leaked Document Appears to Show U.S. Doubts About Ukraine’s Anticipated Counteroffensive: Report

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