LONDON—British Members of Parliament have warned that the leak of classified US intelligence documents could put British lives at risk, according to The Times of London. Tobias Ellwood, Chair of the Defense Select Committee and a Conservative MP, stated that the US leaks could “endanger lives.”
Leaked Pentagon documents containing classified information about the military strength of US allies and adversaries reveal that the UK has deployed 50 elite troops to Ukraine, making it the largest NATO contributor of special forces. The leaked documents first surfaced on the social media platform Discord in early March and are currently circulating online.
The leaked online US intelligence documents consist mainly of photographs and typed files, many of which are marked with top secret designations or appear to reveal sensitive information regarding the conflict in Ukraine. The leaked US intelligence documents also contain both reiterations of previous allegations, such as the National Security Agency (NSA) monitoring of allied leaders’ conversations, as well as current analysis of significant global events in near real-time. According to documents, the NSA is monitoring conversations between President Zelensky and his advisers, including discussions of using drones to attack Russian army units in Rostov. The documents also reveal classified information about the force dispositions of both sides in the conflict, with Ukraine reportedly facing a shortage of anti-aircraft missiles that could lead to Russian air superiority by the end of next month.
“Given our long-established lead in scale and capability when it comes to elite forces, it will come as no surprise that our special forces are doing much of the heavy lifting,” Tobias Ellwood said. “But this deliberate large-scale disclosure of sensitive material could easily endanger lives and should prompt an urgent review about who has access to sensitive information and how it is shared.”
Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central and a former special forces commander in Afghanistan, said the operations were “by necessity shrouded in secrecy.” He added, “Any compromise of secret material regarding their deployment or numerical strength is not only politically embarrassing but also militarily disadvantageous. It risks jeopardizing the security and effectiveness of those operations and could put lives at risk.”
CIA Director William Burns acknowledged that the leaks were “deeply unfortunate,” while US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pledged to thoroughly investigate and find the individual responsible, stating they will “turn over every rock” in the process.
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