NS Sabotage, Ukraine Led To 'Total Breakdown' Between White House, Intel Community - Hersh

NS Sabotage, Ukraine Led to 'Total Breakdown' Between White House, Intel Community - Hersh

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th April, 2023) The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines and lack of strategic planning with regard to Ukraine have caused a growing rift between the White House and the US intelligence community, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in a new article on Wednesday, citing an intelligence official.

"There is a total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community," the intelligence official was quoted by Hersh as saying.

The alleged rift dates back to the covert operation last fall to blow up Russia's Nord Stream pipelines, a move that was purportedly ordered by President Joe Biden.

"Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community," the official said.

Another issue dividing the Biden administration and the intelligence community is the lack of planning on Ukraine. The official highlighted Biden's decision to deploy two brigades a few miles from the Ukrainian border in response to Russia's special military operation.

The actual manpower of the 101st and 82nd airborne divisions could total more than 20,000, but there is still "no evidence that any senior official in the White House really knows what's going on in" the brigades, the intelligence officials told Hersh.

"Are they there as part of a NATO exercise or to serve with NATO combat units if the West decides to engage Russians units inside Ukraine? Are they there to train or to be a trigger? The rules of engagement say they can't attack Russians unless our boys are getting attacked," the official said.

The official said that while the White House lacks clarity on its policy in Ukraine, the Pentagon is somewhat optimistically preparing for an end to the conflict. Two months ago, the US Joint Chiefs tasked members of the staff with drafting an end-of-war treaty to present to the Russians "after their defeat on the Ukraine battlefield," Hersh said, citing a source.

But it remains unclear what will happen if the Pentagon's scenario goes wrong and Ukrainian forces fail on the battlefield: Will the two American brigades deployed close to the war zone "join forces with NATO troops and face off with the Russian army inside Ukraine?" Hersh asks.