The bottom line is we still know VERY LITTLE about these spy balloons. Right now, it’s easier to discuss what we ~don’t~ know rather than what we do. Not helping matters is President Biden, who has been out to lunch concerning these intrusions.
Why is this important?
I can’t recall a time in history when our military has shot down a foreign object over the continental United States. In just the last 10 days alone, however, we’ve shot down three. Four if you include the object downed over the Yukon territory of Canada.
Biden seemed perfectly fine allowing that first spy balloon from China to fully complete its mission over our country – presumably transmitting troves of data back to Beijing – before he FINALLY authorized it to be shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
Since then, however, the President’s posture has shifted. This past weekend, additional objects were identified over Alaska, the Yukon, and Michigan. And they were taken out by our military fighter jets in relatively short order.
What’s the difference? Why act like the first spy balloon was no big deal but then take rapid action to down three additional objects only days later? Was it public outrage over Biden’s handling of the first balloon? Was there intelligence indicating those objects could pose a legitimate threat? Why the change in Biden’s response?
It is NOT uncommon for air traffic controllers to give aircraft wide berth around known or suspected hazards such as legitimate weather balloons, civilian rocket launches, military training activities, large flocks of birds, bad weather, etc. So the “risk to commercial air traffic” excuse is questionable at best.
We have no idea if our national security apparatus was caught flat-footed. Or if our ability to detect airborne threats needs to be improved. Or what the initial assessments have revealed from the equipment that’s been recovered so far.
We don’t know what our enemies have learned. Or what findings are being withheld from Congress and the public for national security reasons. Or what our response to future incursions will be.
We don’t know ANY of this because our President of the United States is refusing to talk about it. This is such poor leadership.