The Pentagon Documents  

Max Cauchi, Staff Writer

You might have seen in recent news the recent spread of classified Pentagon documents that were leaked. The documents held important information on the war in Ukraine and predictions of what was going to happen, and classified information gathered from spying on other countries. These documents were leaked through an online site used for communication called Discord. The recent leak has raised many different questions about national security and how the information on the documents affects the relationship the U.S. has with other countries. 

The first issue that the leak brought up was national security and how easy it was to leak the documents. CNN states that “the fact that the documents sat online for months before being discovered has revived questions about how classified information is handled across the government.” Due to the amount of time the documents were available online and the fact that they were leaked in the first place it creates new issues about security that should be tackled in the government. Sophomore Ayla Lee states that “if one worker is able to leak secure documents, it makes me think that it is easy to leak classified documents.” Especially because they were leaked by a young man with low clearance and is new to the military, who, according to the Washington Post, “toiled for hours writing up the classified documents to share with his companions in the Discord server he controlled.” Eventually, he began to take pictures of the documents as “rather than spend his time copying documents by keyboard, he took photographs of the genuine articles and dropped them in the server.” Even students in high school understand the severity of the leaks, including freshman Gaspard Augier de Cremiers who states that “It is bad that the documents got leaked because it makes the U.S. government seem weak since so many documents were leaked and online for so long.” With the public view of the government being harmed it can also affect what votes are made, and it can change laws. This is just one of the effects of the leaked documents but there are many others. 

The documents can also affect the relationships between the U.S. and other countries like South Korea and Ukraine due to the content of the information that was leaked. The spying that was taking place towards South Korea, China, Turkey and Israel could harm international relations, not only breaching trust but maybe some treaties.  CBS states that “many of the documents appear to be part of briefing slides for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, which could include analysis from the Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. One of the documents is titled ‘CIA Operations Center Intelligence Update’ and includes updates under different subheadings like ‘Near East,’ ‘Russia,’ ‘China’ and ‘Africa.’ Several others indicate the document was prepared by the J2, the Joint Staff’s intelligence arm.” Senior Avanthikaa Narayanan states, “It is not a good thing that the fact that the spying of the other countries was leaked because it is bad for the relations that the countries had.” This demonstrates how the public image of the government can be damaged as well. 

The information on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine covers the lack of supplies Ukraine has and that they are going to run out before Russia does. The spread of this information can be used to lower the morals of Ukraine soldiers and boost those of Russian soldiers. NPR states that “exposing it to the world is another matter. It embarrasses the targeted governments. It also shakes the confidence of frontline combatants such as Ukraine who depend on the U.S. for much of their weaponry. It has the potential to sow discord among the U.S.’ allies in the NATO alliance and thereby aid the Russian invaders.” With these affects, it could not only affect the soldiers at war who need any moral boost they can have but it also harms Ukraine’s government and their trust in the U.S. who has played a big role in supporting the counterattack that Ukraine is doing. With this negative response to the pentagon leaks it creates new questions on how easy it would be to leak information that can alter the winner and loser in a war which changes human history. Even so, the documents should still be reviewed as it is important to know what is going on in the U.S. government since it holds so much power in the world. Even if it has negative effects, Junior Chris Talvez states that “the documents should be more talked about and reviewed worldwide.” With a deeper understanding of the effect of what happens when classified documents get leaked as the documents are very influential, and the effects can be unpredictable, they should not be leaked again.