Yes, We Should Be Concerned About China’s Balloon Gambit
Yes, We Should Be Concerned About China’s Balloon Gambit
UPDATE BELOW: While there are all sorts of memes (admittedly hilarious) out there regarding China’s balloon, we ALSO have members of the media and political pundits telling us ‘nothing to see here, move along.’
They are wrong. Before I get into several of the reasons as to WHY we should be concerned about China’s balloon gambit, here are just a few spit takes from the usual suspects.
Wait until the MAGAs hear about these platforms flying overhead called…satellites.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 4, 2023
And, let me just say, Bill Kristol tweeted one for the ages, as in he went down the racism Trump rabbit hole. Trump REALLY and I mean REALLY broke his brain.
And Joe Walsh is attempting to insist that this started while Trump was not only Putin’s puppet, but Xi’s as well. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Needless to say, the U.S. government’s response to this issue, as Deanna reported here, has been less than stellar and has led to more questions than answers!
China insists this was just a weather balloon gone astray. Except the path of that balloon conveniently wanders over a variety of military installations. Per Mike Pompeo:
Even if it were true, the CCP’s policy of civil-military fusion—which requires all available research and technology, from China’s private sector or otherwise, to be shared with the Chinese military—makes such an excuse an impossibility. Thus, this appears to be an intentional act of espionage, and it signals that the CCP is feeling ever more emboldened with Biden in charge. If the Biden administration does not act to change this paradigm quickly, the threat of conflict will only continue to grow. Weakness breeds aggression. America must demonstrate clear strength and resolve.
So, the clear strength and resolve was to sit on this information for well over a week until a journalist at the Billings Gazette broke the news.
NEW: Bloomberg reports the Biden admin was first aware the Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. airspace one week ago on 1/28, and had opted not to inform the American public about it until the Bilings Gazette published a photo of the balloon on Thursday. https://t.co/kTXFWpUalP— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) February 4, 2023
As it turns out, US authorities were well aware of the unidentified object that had entered American airspace on Jan. 28, that had then left and re-entered over North Idaho on Tuesday. But with such a high-profile trip at stake, keeping it on the down-low was key.
By the time the thing became visible in Montana, President Joe Biden had already been briefed and the White House was scrambling to decide whether to blast it from the sky.
The gravity of the situation was only exacerbated by Montana being home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, which houses a large portion of the US’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.
[…]For now, the White House opted not to inform the American public. Events, however, soon forced Biden’s hand.
Even the Governor of Montana was unaware of this!
Why is this balloon and the one reportedly wandering over Latin America of concern? Chinese spying, espionage, and what other technology is on board with these balloons?? Balloons have a history in warfare and espionage. YEARS of history in fact. Furthermore, given today’s technology, see drones for example, the payload on the balloons can accomplish multiple things…possibly to the detriment of those below. For example:
The PEO IEW&S slides, seen earlier in this story and below, show high-altitude (HA) balloons in these roles. When it comes to ISR, they indicate that the lighter-than-air craft could carry electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) suites, as well as radars with synthetic aperture imaging, or SAR, and moving target indicator (MTI) functionality. Though not mentioned, these balloons would also be ideal platforms for carrying electronic warfare jammers and cyber warfare systems.
If OUR military is working on drones being launched from unattended aircraft (a BALLOON) what do you think China has been doing?? Twiddling their thumbs? I don’t think so. Which is why China’s balloon gambit is highly concerning.
Balloons could also carry missiles, bombs, or loitering munitions for strike missions. Their slow speed means they can't replace aircraft but they could come in handy for missions that require persistence or low cost. 9/10https://t.co/B35nErgEMk— William "Balloon Guy" Kim (@TheKimulation) July 6, 2022
Now, as of this writing, ground stops had been issued for airports across North and South Carolina.
Now Pentagon officials are planning to shoot the balloon down so that it lands in US territorial waters. The action will require a substantial localized airspace shutdown in order to protect civilians, the source told ABC.
Spy balloons usually operate at altitudes of up to 120,000ft, but the Chinese aircraft has descended to around 46,000ft, meaning it is well within striking distance for an F-22 Raptor which can soar to 65,000ft.
In both reports linked above, one can see the pathway of both China balloons. Oh, but these were just weather balloons or something that went off track.
Given that China’s extreme secrecy has given us still-unanswered questions regarding Covid and others who’ve been arrested and jailed for trying to steal satellite capabilities, are we supposed to trust China now?? I don’t think so.
I don’t think a virus can be delivered from 60,000+ feet. I mean come on. Other weapons can be delivered so let’s quit making dumb theories— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) February 4, 2023
Comer Worries Chinese Balloon a 'Bioweapon' From Wuhan https://t.co/BBIxEcvkMU
Really?? You absolutely SURE about that Adam??
Will the balloon be forced down? What secrets could it unveil? Should we trust China? No. Should we have confidence in the United States response to this? No.
China’s balloon gambit is a major national security concern, and thus far, the Biden Administration response has been a clown show.
⚠️ HAPPENING NOW: Additional footage shows moment US fighter jets shot down a Chinese spy balloon. pic.twitter.com/40gZU4TRXt— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) February 4, 2023
Xi has had well over a week to gather information from this balloon in real time. You can’t tell me that there was an innocent explanation for all of this. The Biden Administration needs to tell us what they find. But I doubt they will.
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Feature Photo Credit: Original artwork by Victory Girls Darleen Click
No worries. We have top men working on it, top men.
Good write up! Ridiculous that we had to put this much effort into pressuring our leaders to do what obviously needed to be done and should have been done much sooner.
When these things are operating at 120,000 ft, shooting them down won’t be easy. Remember our spy planes. To avoid being shot down, the SR71 and the U2 flew high and fast. Fortunately, the only way to “steer” a balloon is to adjust the altitude of the balloon to a height where the winds are blowing in the desired direction.
We need to use this incident to get it through the heads of our fellow citizens that China is not our friend. I don’t know what they will find in the wreckage, but Congress definitely needs to know if contains tools for gathering military intelligence. The Biden Administration cannot be trusted to tell us the truth about China. TOO COMPROMISED!
You forgot delivery of EMP weapon via drone or other method. This is an excellent reason to harden your personal electronics.
The sun can blast out EMP too. We should have hardened the power grid and our essential electronics years ago.
Who told Canada not to shoot down the balloon? That balloon floated over a large part of Canada that is pretty empty before it got to Montana.
Anybody else wonder why nobody is asking “What the heck is in Butte Montana that would warrant the Chinese wanting to have a “loitering-lookie-look”?”.
Go ahead, use your favorite mapping website and take a looky. Nothing to see here.
EXCEPT A MAJOR RAIL HUB for for the USA.
Now again…”What would NEED a Major rail line to be UP AND FUNCTIONAL?”
What “stuff” gets moved from East to West, or South to North in the event of a Major Military Mobilization?
….so WHY do you think China would want to have a RECENT look at Butte again?