US government launches investigation into major leak of military secrets

The US government is in damage-control mode - announcing an investigation into a major leak of military secrets online.

More than 100 documents have surfaced discussing Ukraine, the Middle East, and China.

And the leak is being described as a nightmare for its Five Eyes intelligence partners - like Aotearoa.

For just over a year, Ukraine has been under attack. And with the help of the West, it has survived - and at times been on the front foot - in the bloody war.

But crucial war secrets are now being shared across Twitter, Telegram, and 4Chan after a leak of classified Pentagon documents.

Some documents appear to have been altered, dramatically reducing the Russian death toll, and that's left America's former ambassador to Russia pointing the finger for the leak in one direction.

"If I had to make a guess it would be that it was more a Russian disinformation campaign as opposed to some sort of espionage undertaking," said national security expert John Sullivan.

It's thought the original documents contain top-secret information about US and NATO support for Ukraine.

That includes a Ukrainian offensive to take back lost towns and cities, weapons deliveries, and even information about the Middle East, China, and the Indo-Pacific.

One senior official told The New York Times it is "a nightmare for the Five Eyes". That's the intelligence alliance of five nations that share secrets, which includes Aotearoa.

"I'm sure our Government will be very concerned and our national security officials, this is a pretty extensive leak," said international affairs expert Professor Robert Patman.

Prof Patman said of concern will be anything related to China. He says our Government has so far done a good job of managing that tricky relationship.

But this leak threatens that.

"The fear in Wellington might be there are documents in the leak that hinder managing that relationship," said Prof Patman.

Newshub approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which said it would get back to us next week.

In the meantime, the US has launched an investigation to find out who leaked such sensitive information.