The White House modified rules to expand intelligence sharing with the Ukrainian government to help Ukraine fight Russia, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
Unnamed US officials told the Journal that the White House made the move last week after complaints from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress that the Biden administration wasn’t sharing real-time targeting data that would help Ukraine strike Russian armored formations.
The plan allows the Pentagon and US spy agencies to share information with Ukraine with less bureaucratic red tape. “We’re adjusting as circumstances warrant, and we’ll continue to ensure that operators have flexibility to share intelligence as the conflict evolves,” a US intelligence official said.
Other US officials said that the US is providing Ukraine with battlefield intelligence while also being careful not to become directly embroiled in the conflict. But providing targeting data to Ukraine could be viewed by Moscow as Washington directly entering the war and risks provoking a response.
Last week, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said the US was not providing “real time targeting” intelligence to Ukraine because that kind of cooperation “steps over the line to making us participate in the war.” But his comments were quickly contradicted by the White House.
On March 3, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the US had been giving Ukraine “real time” intelligence to help fight Russia. “We have consistently been sharing intelligence that includes information the Ukrainians can use to inform and develop their military response to Russia’s invasion,” she said.