Regarding the Chinese spy balloon hovering in US airspace

Early yesterday it was reported a suspected Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon is hovering over the United States.

The Chinese foreign ministry said they "regret the unintended entry" into U.S. airspace and that it was an accident caused by force majeure. They insist the balloon was "mainly for meteorological" purposes and warned against “deliberate speculation.”

The balloon flew over Alaska's Aleutian Islands and through Canada before appearing over the city of Billings, Montana.

Montana is home to one of America’s three nuclear missile silo fields.

According to U.S. officials, the balloon has now moved over the Midwest and is now over "the middle of the country." 

This is an unprovoked invasion of U.S. airspace and a violation of international law.

The Pentagon’s press secretary, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, declined to divulge the balloon’s current location.

Defense officials were reportedly prepared with fighter jets, including F-22s, in case the White House ordered the airship to be shot down.

However, Ryder insisted that the balloon “does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground at this time” since it was “well above the range of civilian air traffic.”

Ryder said that the U.S. decided not to shoot down the balloon because of the danger posed by falling debris to civilians and property.

Ryder also added that the airship did not pose a risk to people on the ground as it currently is "traversing the continental United States" and they will “continue to monitor and review options.”

Ryder said that the Department of Defense is seeing reports of another balloon transiting Latin America.

If the airship flies over California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas? That would be alarming considering the number of military installations in those states.

Experts say that balloons of this kind could be fitted with advanced technology spy cameras and radar sensors. 

There are advantages to using balloons for surveillance - the primary reason being that they are relatively inexpensive and easier to deploy than drones or satellites.

The fact that balloons linger around make it easy to monitor the target locations for prolonged periods of time.

In contrast, the movement of a spy satellite is restricted to its orbital pass.

Few have considered the possibility that toxic chemical or biological substances could be sprayed which may cause long- or short-term harm to the population or crops or property or military installations.

If this truly was an accident or a malfunction, the Chinese officials should have warned U.S. officials in advance and worked with them to either redirect or bring down the balloon and then issued a groveling apology.

But instead, the Chinese officials issued terse statements about the balloon’s function without proof. There was regret but no apology. Worse, despite being at fault, they issued warnings against "speculation."

So the question remains, why would the Chicoms engage in an act this blatant?

They have could have sent another spy to honeytrap Rep. Eric Swalwell or various other U.S. politicians to get the information they wanted.

They could have infiltrated the staff of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein or any other prominent politicians or government agencies.

They could have hacked into various government websites.

Why opt for a surveillance balloon, which is so conspicuous?

Balloons are ancient in surveillance technology considering the rapid development in the field. They were used during the Napoleonic wars

Yet they could be dangerous. The Japanese military used them to launch bombs in the U.S. during World War II.

They were also widely used by the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

For powers such as the Chicoms, every action is a symbolic gesture.

The statement here is that of domination.

The presence of an uncontrolled foreign airship is an ominous sight for citizens.

It is very likely that being spotted and being covered by the news and spreading paranoia was the whole point of the exercise.

The balloon was probably meant to demonstrate sophisticated Chinese technological capability to penetrate U.S. airspace without risking a serious escalation.

This is the equivalent of a bully invading the personal space of his target. The bully may not engage in a physical confrontation or verbally attack his target. But the fact that the bully made his target uncomfortable and his target failed to retaliate is symbolic of the domination of the bully and cowardice and surrender of the target.

None of this would have ever occurred without Biden’s hasty and unplanned withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Yes, the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan needed to be drawn down but the withdrawal should have been strategic, like the Trump administration had intended.

Instead, Biden went against the advice of experts and declared to the world that he was withdrawing from Afghanistan.

The withdrawal on the ground was so abrupt that U.S. allies in Afghanistan who had risked their lives to join the Americans were not informed. They just turned up one morning to find that everyone had left.

The order of withdrawal should have begun with expensive advanced equipment and weaponry, then key personnel, and finally, the armed forces.

Instead, U.S. officials were pulled out first, allies were left behind, and millions of dollars’ worth of weaponry were abandoned.

This caused the Taliban to retake Afghanistan and declare victory. The fact that the al Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul around this time shows that various radical Islamic terror outfits had indeed made Afghanistan their haven.

Biden squandered the efforts that cost the U.S. roughly $2 trillion, hundreds of thousands of lives, and more than two decades of commitment.

Biden’s poor leadership and decision-making made the U.S. look like an incompetent, uncaring, untrustworthy, and unreliable ally that has no appetite for a fight anymore.

Real toughness doesn’t mean entering wars, but building the armed forces to such an extent that it serves as a deterrent.

In street terms, an individual does not need to enter into a fistfight to triumph over every thug in the neighborhood to prove superiority. The individual could show strength to such an extent that none dare to enter into a physical conflict.

This is exactly what President Trump did during his tenure.

Months after Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia's Vladimir Putin decided to militarily invade Ukraine and China began acting aggressively toward Taiwan.

Biden’s support for the conflict in Ukraine cost the U.S. almost $111 billion and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is now demanding more. There have been threats of retaliatory nuclear attacks on U.S. soil from Russia and even from North Korea.

This airship seems to be a threat both literally and symbolically.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s report highlighted that there had been 366 newly categorized unidentified aerial phenomena in U.S. airspace in 2022.

It is quite likely that similar balloons have loitered in the airspace before.

The Biden administration's tepid response despite the serious risk shows the lack of will and leadership in the White House.

Some wondered if Biden’s shady business deals in China has encumbered him.

The only viable option is shooting down the balloon when it reaches an unpopulated area. This will deter the Chinese or other adversaries from dispatching more balloons or engaging in any other hostility in the future. 

As President Harrison Ford said in the movie Air Force One — "If you give a mouse a cookie, he will demand a glass of milk."

Image: David Remmers via Dr. Roger Marshall, Twitter screen shot.

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