When it comes to messaging in favor of the woke cause of the week, President Joe Biden’s administration seems to have no trouble coordinating a response, but on matters pertaining to the military and national security, White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s denial of American involvement in a Ukrainian strike highlighted serious concerns within the Department of Defense’s chain of communication.
During a press gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to Cincinnati, Ohio Friday, Psaki was asked about a recent report that claimed the United States was directly involved in the sinking of the Russian Navy’s warship Moskva in mid-April. She contended the reports were not only “inaccurate” but seemed to go as far as to belittle the actual intelligence capabilities of the United States.
“On Ukraine, maybe, we’ve seen reports about how U.S. intelligence is helping the Ukrainians take out generals and ships,” a reporter said. “Is there a risk that those revelations could help the Russians in the sense that they go with the rhetoric of a proxy war and that this could lead to further escalation?”
“Well, let me first say, to speak to the reports: They’re inaccurate,” Psaki declared. “We did not provide Ukraine with specific targeting information for the Moskva. We were not involved in the Ukrainians’ decision to strike the ship or in the operation they carried out. We had no prior knowledge of Ukraine’s intent to target the ship. The Ukrainians have their own intelligence capabilities to track and target Russian naval vessels, as they did in this case.”
Psaki is asked about reports that US intelligence is helping Ukraine take out generals and ships:
“To speak to the reports, they’re inaccurate.” pic.twitter.com/giz3X1IndJ
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 6, 2022
Her claims appeared to contradict reports made by anonymous U.S. officials to corporate media outlets like NBC News which alleged, “The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa…The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”
Likewise, The New York Times reported this week that the United States has been integral in providing intelligence for Ukrainians in their efforts to locate and eliminate an unspecified number of the approximately 12 Russian generals killed since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.
Psaki furthered her denial of those claims by expressing, in part, that the United States has lesser intelligence capabilities than Ukraine.
“And I’ve discussed this with both our national security advisor and the president, and the view is that, one, this is an inaccurate over-claiming of our role and an under-claiming of the role of the Ukrainians who, frankly, have a greater level of intelligence and access to intelligence than we do,” she said.
“They take – we do provide a range of intelligence to help them understand the threat posed by Russian ships in the Black Sea and to help them prepare to defend themselves against potential sea-based assaults, but they take our intelligence and they combine that with what they have access to. And so, on this specific report,” she concluded on the matter, “it’s just not an accurate depiction of how this happened.”
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby echoed that notion during his briefing Thursday, stating, “Ukraine combines information that we and other partners provide with the intel that they themselves are gathering and then they make their own decisions and they take their own actions.”
A breakdown in communication as a result of too much focus on public relations was reported as being an integral part of the failures of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The allegations contradicting the official statements from the administration harken back to the tumult that concluded the summer of 2021 and raise serious concerns about the objective and focus of the United States’ supportive role in Ukraine.
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