Kirby Confirms Special Forces in Ukraine, After Pentagon Document Leaks Raise Big Questions

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

As we previously reported, there have been concerning leaks of what appear to be Pentagon documents that made their way onto the Internet. Some of the documents were first reported on a Discord server and allegedly contained highly sensitive intelligence regarding aspects of the readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces.


In addition to documents pertaining to the war in Ukraine, the leaked files included purported copies of the daily intelligence report provided to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, Central Intelligence Agency reports on leaders of Israel’s Mossad spy service, and intelligence on discussions within the government of South Korea on sales of artillery ammunition to Kyiv. Most of the documents are dated in February and appear to have been posted online shortly after their creation. Many contain details of future operations.

I think it’s safe to say, that’s a bit of a problem. It also may have exposed how deeply we’ve been able to penetrate Russian intelligence and thus exposed our methods regarding that.

Then, on Monday, another leak came out reportedly alleging there were NATO forces in Ukraine — setting forth how many Special Forces from a small number of NATO countries were on the ground in Ukraine. I’m not going to post that here. But that naturally raised more questions that got the Internet going about what the forces were doing there.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has now confirmed that yes, there is a “small U.S. military presence” at the American embassy in Ukraine.

“I won’t talk to the specifics of numbers and that kind of thing. But to get to your exact question, there is a small U.S. military presence at the embassy in conjunction with the Defense Attachés office to help us work on accountability of the material that is going in and out of Ukraine,” Kirby said, referencing the weapons and other support the U.S. has been sending to Kyiv. “So they’re attached to that embassy and to that the defense attache.”


Kirby said that that small number “are not fighting on the battlefield” and that there was “no change” to the pledge not to have our military fighting on the ground there.

Fox also reported that the small number provided “security services.”

Kirby said they were making “overt attempts to reach out to the relevant allies and partners to explain to them as best we know what we know” what was going on with the leaks.

And we don’t know a lot right now, but to make sure that they understand we’re taking this very, very seriously, that we’ve got a criminal investigation going on, as well as a review across the Department of Defense to look at the national security implications and of course, where we’re listening to their questions and their concerns and doing the best we can to answer them at this point.

Kirby also said “we don’t know what else this individual or individuals might have and might still release.

“I won’t talk about the content in some of these leaked documents. I think you can understand that we have to do what we need to do to protect our national security,” he added. “Clearly, this is a breach of our ability to protect some information, and that’s why we’re taking it so seriously.”

On April. 10, Kirby seemed not to have any idea of what might have been leaked or how much trouble we could be in because of it.


Is this an ongoing threat? His answer was, “We don’t know.” Well, that’s more than a little concerning.

Kirby instead chided the media for daring to even report on it.

Fox suggested that the leak may have come from outside the Pentagon. Obviously, the question remains as to who is leaking this very sensitive information, but they may be able to figure it out. If those documents are printed out, investigators can track where they were printed from as the pages have to run through secure printers that are often numbered.


Separately, among the classified documents published online, there is also highly classified intelligence that was not part of any of the Department of Defense briefing books, Fox News has learned.

That intelligence appears to be produced by other U.S. agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

This intelligence is not easily accessed by those in the Pentagon and their inclusion suggests that the leak may have come from outside the Pentagon.

So they may be able to track who was behind the leaks.


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