Ukrainian deaths could have been caused by Pentagon leaks, says U.S. lawmaker on intelligence committee

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman hears from lawmakers on the administration's China policy in an
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on the administration’s China policy in the “era of strategic competition,” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Feb. 9, 2023. (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Reuters)

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has been named to lead the diplomatic response to the leak of highly classified Pentagon documents, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

U.S. State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedante Patel said U.S. government officials “are engaging at a high level with allies and partners on the matter, including assuring them of our commitment to protecting intelligence and ensuring The loyalty of our partnership” on Monday.

Patel would not elaborate on which countries they had engaged with, saying only that “work is in progress”.

Asked by CNN whether the State Department was leading these conversations, Patel said, “As the primary foreign service and agency of this administration, the State Department certainly has a role to play in communicating with our allies and partners, but These whole-of-government conversations are taking place.”

“U.S. officials are engaging at the highest levels with allies and partners on this,” he said.

Patel would not say whether any steps had been taken to limit access to classified State Department information because of the leaks and said he did not want to discuss policy decisions.

CNN reported that some of the leaked documents included intelligence related to the Ukraine war.

international response: Patel would not comment specifically on how South Korean and Israeli officials reacted to the leaked documents. South Korea’s presidential office said it would hold “necessary discussions” with the U.S. over the leaked documents, as relations between Seoul and Washington were already strained by anger and concerns over the Inflation Reduction Act, which would harm the country’s electronics and auto industry. US CHIPS Act related.

“People are very frustrated that the Yoon administration is so loyal to the U.S. alliance that every aspect of U.S.-South Korea relations is under the microscope,” said a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

The South Korean president is scheduled to visit the White House later this month, making the timing of the incident particularly unfortunate, the former diplomat said.

“Will Yoon have to raise the issue during a state visit? We don’t know yet,” the diplomat said

More broadly, a diplomat from a NATO country told CNN they don’t think Moscow was overly surprised by much of the intelligence revealed in the leaked documents, noting that Russia has a robust intelligence-gathering operation.

They also said they were not frustrated that U.S. intelligence was not widely shared with allies. Most countries don’t share everything with their allies, nor expect them to, the diplomat said.

“That’s not how it works,” the diplomat said.

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