While the security breach at the Pentagon, which has resulted in top-secret intelligence files appearing on the internet, has caused Washington deep embarrassment, it also provides a telling insight into how the Biden administration views the Ukraine conflict.
About the only consolation America’s security chiefs can draw from this sorry affair is the fact that the primary suspect in the scandal, Jack Teixeira, was not acting on behalf of a hostile state.
Instead it appears that the 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts National Guard was simply motivated by a desire to share highly-sensitive US intelligence with friends he had made in an online club known as Thug Shaker Central.
Questions will inevitably be asked within American security circles as to why an oddball like Teixeira, who on one occasion is said to have recorded himself at a shooting range making racist slurs before opening fire, was able to access classified documents before sharing them undetected with his friends.
But there will also be a sense of relief among US intelligence chiefs that the leak was caused by inadequate security and vetting procedures, and not by a hostile power like China, Russia or Iran managing to penetrate the heart of America’s intelligence-gathering network.