Communist China’s Egregious Violation Of U.S. Sovereignty And U.S. Airspace

Looking back -- The initial decision not to shoot down the spy balloon highlighted a continuation of Mr. Biden’s soft approach toward Beijing. Now that the balloon has been downed, let's look at ‘what should have occurred’.

Regardless of the purpose, mission, or capability of the Communist Chinese Balloon -- whether it was collecting intelligence, sampling air, surveilling property to buy from money grubbing woke realtors and politicians, dispersing chem/bio agents, was designed to deliver an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) package, or was conducting meteorological and weather experiments -- you take it down, before it enters U.S. Airspace and territory! Period! 

Any unauthorized aerial system that cannot be authenticated and has not filed a flight plan and violates U.S. airspace has to be brought down before it ever enters U.S. territory. You don't sit there and do nothing, and just wait to see if the platform is hostile or not. Nor, do you wait days in an effort to try to second guess its intent by letting it continue to fly across U.S. continental territory. 

In reality, the U.S. should have detected it before it started its voyage from Chinese airspace flying towards Alaska. Secondly, we should have used all of our intelligence capabilities to determine what China was up to beforehand.  Third, we should have known that China has a large balloon program.

Perhaps the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has that information. Certainly we were aware of the presence of the balloon preparing to fly over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on January 27th, but said nothing.  So, the IC should be tailoring certain aspects of that information for the U.S. public -- in order to explain what China was up to.

At the same time, they should be putting out NOTAMS, warnings to pilots of possible danger to flying aircraft.  Even though it's unlikely for the balloon to be a direct danger at 60,000 feet, a problem or mishap could occur where the balloon potentially descends to 30k feet, where it now is a danger to all.  Tragically, this has been handled extremely poorly. We now have not only have our sovereign southern border wide open, but equally concerning is that of our northern borders, both in Alaska and our northern continental border with Canada.  Those areas are wide-open not only on the ground, but up to and over and above 60,000 feet.  

My take, and certainly this is obvious is that Biden and company are hiding something, either negligently or deliberately.  And the U.S. Air Force, as well as the Pentagon and the Intelligence Community, has as of February 3rd stated they’ve dealt with this before type of situation in the past, implying Chinese military balloons. Obviously, this now raises the question, really?  When, where, and how?  The Pentagon and the Intelligence Community need to provide details.

This was and is an extremely serious national security situation.  It’s not about the sensors and equipment on this spy platform – it's about the U.S. response and our resolve to an egregious and deliberate international violation of U.S airspace and U.S. sovereignty by an adversarial and hostile foreign government.

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There should be a hundred senior officers throwing their ‘Stars and Eagles’ on the table in anger and in protest as we speak.  This is akin to Obama administrations failed response and lack of any action during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and Americans in Benghazi in 2012.  

President Trump was correct on Friday, February 3rd when he slammed Joe Biden for “deliberately allowing” a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon to fly in U.S. airspace. Mr. Trump accused Mr. Biden of being “weak on China” and pledged to crack down on Chinese espionage if he is elected to the White House in 2024. 

President Trump in his letter this week was absolutely correct stating, “Joe Biden has surrendered America’s borders to illegal aliens, and now he has surrendered American airspace to Communist China,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Biden is deliberately allowing a Chinese spy balloon to soar freely over the continental United States.”  President Trump said the decision not to shoot down the balloon was a continuation of Mr. Biden’s soft approach toward Beijing.

Chinese Spy Balloon

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It's a story that reads more like the latest Bond movie than a current headline, but it is true that a 2,000-pound, 200-foot-tall Chinese high-altitude spy balloon drifted across much of the continental U.S. before being shot down by a single Sidewinder missile fired from an Air Force F-22 a full 6 days after first being detected in U.S. airspace. Now that the balloon has been downed, questions are arising about why it wasn't shot down sooner, what its purpose was, what may have been onboard, and what will happen to the debris being recovered off the coast of Myrtle Beach.

The balloon, which was first detected on January 28 when it drifted into U.S. airspace over the Aleutian Islands, was determined not to pose a physical or military threat but did violate U.S. sovereignty. However, the Pentagon had concerns that falling debris from the balloon, which was floating at 60,000 feet could cause harm to civilians on the ground if it were immediately shot down.

At a press briefing on Monday, a senior defense official confirmed that President Biden gave the order to have the balloon shot down on Wednesday, but that no action was taken until Saturday when the balloon floated over open water. According to the official, "President Biden asked the military to present options and on Wednesday President Biden gave his authorization to take down the Chinese surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to us civilians under the balloon's path."

"Military commanders determined that there was undue risk of debris causing harm to civilians while the balloon was overhead," the official added.

With respect as to why the balloon was floating in U.S. airspace, the senior defense official said during Monday's press conference, "The PRC has claimed publicly that the high-altitude balloon operating above the United States is a weather balloon that was blown off course. This is false."

"This was a PRC surveillance balloon. This surveillance balloon purposely traversed the United States and Canada, and we are confident it was seeking to monitor sensitive military sites," the official concluded.

In response to the U.S. destroying the balloon, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement Sunday saying, "China will resolutely uphold the relevant company's legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response." The Chinese government has also criticized the U.S. for having "an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice."

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While Chinese officials react to the downed balloon in Beijing, some members of Congress in Washington have begun blasting the Biden administration over its lack of action in response to a clear violation of U.S. sovereignty. Roger Wicker (R-MS) who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee said, "Allowing a spy balloon from the Communist Party of China to travel across the entire continental United States before contesting its presence is a disastrous projection of weakness by the White House."

Meanwhile, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) tweeted, "Now that this embarrassing episode is over, we need answers from the Biden Administration on the decision-making process. Communist China was allowed to violate American sovereignty unimpeded for days. We mus the better prepared for future provocations and incursions by the CCP."

Now that the balloon has been shot down, the U.S. military is undergoing recovery efforts to collect the debris and reverse engineer as much of the balloon as possible in order to further understand what its purpose was.

Debris from the balloon fell roughly 6 miles after it was shot down and has come to rest in 47 feet of water off the coast of South Carolina. The Navy and Coast Guard have both deployed vessels to the debris field to begin setting up a perimeter.

In order to recover the debris, the Navy has deployed the destroyer USS Oscar Austin, the cruiser USS Philippine Sea, and the USS Carter Hall, which is an amphibious landing ship to assist with the recovery efforts.

Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Northern Command (NORTHCOM) confirmed on Monday that an explosive ordnance disposal team is on site and has been combing through the debris field. According to VanHerck, the explosive ordnance team is searching for, "glass off solar panels, potentially hazardous material, such as material that is required for batteries to operate in such an environment as this, and even the potential for explosives to detonate and destroy the balloon that - that could have been present."

Despite the surveillance balloon floating over nuclear missile silos and other sensitive sites, the senior defense official on Monday suggested that the military was able to gather sensitive information about the Chinese balloon while it attempted to gather sensitive information about the U.S. Military.

"I would also note that while we took all necessary steps to protect against the PRC surveillance balloon's collection of sensitive information, the surveillance balloon's overflight of U.S. territory was of intelligence value to us," the official said.

"I can't go into more detail, but we were able to study and scrutinize the balloon and its equipment, which has been valuable," the official added.

"We don't know exactly all the benefits that will derive, but we have learned technical things about this balloon and its surveillance capabilities. And I suspect if we are successful in recovering aspects of the debris, we will learn even more," the official concluded.

Any debris from the downed balloon that is collected will be sent to an FBI processing lab in Quantico, Virginia for further analysis.

The Pentagon has also acknowledged reports of a second Chinese surveillance balloon that has been detected flying over Latin America. Both the balloon that transversed the U.S. and the second balloon are part of a fleet of Chinese surveillance balloons that have been released to gather sensitive information and they can be maneuvered remotely using small motors and propellers.

While the military works to recover any remains of the balloon, VanHerck has been working to explain why NORAD reportedly did not detect other Chinese spy balloons that entered U.S. airspace under former President Trump's administration. When questioned about the glaring ineptitude, VanHerck answered vaguely saying, "So those balloons, so every day as a NORAD commander it's my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that's a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out. But I don't want to go into further detail."

While the spy balloon saga is sure to continue inching us closer to a potential cold war with China, it's a story of many shortcomings and disappointments. As they pile up, it's difficult to determine which is worse, NORAD's utter inability to do its job, President Biden's complete apathy and ineffectual leadership regarding the situation, or the fact that the PRC can seemingly infiltrate a sovereign nation's airspace with no repercussions.

A GOP Congressman has accused former Secretary of Defense 'Mad Dog' Mattis of withholding Chinese threats from then POTUS and Commander-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL): My office has been briefed by the office of the Secretary of Defense of the current Pentagon that it happened over Florida, it happened over Texas, and that it’s happened before. We have more detailed questions but what is unclear, Stuart, at this point is, did the Pentagon under the Trump Administration brief the Trump White House and give them the option to take action or did they decide not to brief them for whatever reason? And there is some speculation, I talked to Trump administration officials over the weekend, that the Pentagon deliberately did it because they thought Trump would be too provocative and too aggressive. So that’s what we need to get to the bottom of and one person that I’m waiting to hear from that we haven’t heard from that list is former Secretary of Defense, General Mattis who was the secretary during this time period. What did he know and what did he decide to pass on and brief to the president.

Waltz made the comments on Fox Business this morning.

Secretary Mattis has denied the accusation.

America is Sending Our Adversaries Another Bad Message, They Heard It

By now most people know that my home state of Montana was all over the news as Chinese surveillance balloons moved overhead. As a good Montanan my first response, along with many of my fellow Big Sky country friends, was to ask if it could be ranged by high-caliber hunting rifles. If our government was not going to defend our nation, then we would take it upon ourselves. 

Alas, at an estimated 60,000 feet of altitude, we could not reach it. 

As the nation became increasingly aware of this balloon’s existence, more questions were asked, and Americans had the right to answers. Instead, they were told many things, except good answers. First, our nation must thank Larry Mayer, a Billings, Montana based private pilot and sharpshooter with a lens, and no doubt a rifle too. He is the reason why a nation became aware of this balloon. He is the reason why more Americans are now aware of how our federal government refuses to take decisive action when needed.   

Here are some critical concerns our government needs to address concerning this incident. 

There is a bigger message because of this incident though. One is a message of weakness. The second is a message of trust, or the lack thereof.

MESSAGE 1. A nation ruthlessly defends its borders from clear and present dangers. This administration is showing that it will not defend America.  Not only are we invaded from the south on land, but we have also now been invaded from the air as China replicates tactics used by Japan going back to World War II.  Not in eighty years has America dealt with a threat like this. (Rebuilt Japanese World War II era balloon)

Instead, consider Gary Powers getting shot down over the Soviet Union in May of 1960 in his U-2 spy plane, or China’s knocking an American Navy EP-3 plane out of the sky in 2001. Those were times of high tensions, and these nations did what they thought was required to defend their nations. It is not a matter of whether we agree or disagree with their actions, but that they were taken and that we failed to take similar action when we needed to. 

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When a clear and present danger was upon us as a nation, our government watched. The only war that was started was in the meme wars as this incident created days of material on social media. Here are only a few examples. They are humorous but rest assured a nation watched and received a message as clear to them as it was to China. 

America surrendered and ran from Afghanistan.

America allows for a human invasion across its Southern border.

America severely degrades its readiness by sending critical supplies and systems to Ukraine. 

America attacks its own military through woke agendas and vax mandates. 

America is willing to adopt Chinese and global entity social credit scoring systems via other means.

America pursues its patriots with more energy than it does its true enemies. 

MESSAGE 2. The people do not trust the government to tell them the truth, and often wonder when we became so bad at telling a lie. The meme wars and many other comments on the news and social media make it clear that people will not trust this administration or government in general. They assume that if any agency of government is updating the American people, what is shared is likely a lie. Even if the government suddenly started telling Americans the truth, it will take a long time for trust to rebuild, if ever. 

There are plenty of actions the government needs to take that are specific to the “trial balloon” incident. They can start by proving to Americans they care about our borders be they land, sea, or air. They can also start telling us the truth, We the People can handle it. What we cannot stand are bad lies. 

Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or its components.

More evidence the Biden administration is compromised by the Chinese Communist Party

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UPDATE 1/3/22 0855 - Chinese "balloon" in U.S. airspace came from China is of a "civilian nature", China's foreign ministry claims.

A Chinese spy balloon has been detected in the airspace over Montana and is being monitored by the government. The identification of the balloon concerned Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) enough that he wrote of the "concerning event" in a letter to the Department of Defense (DoD). Daines went on to note that Montana airspace includes "Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) and the United States' intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fields."

The senator also expressed that given "the serious nature of the event" he was "requesting a full security briefing from the administration on this situation."

"It is vital to establish the flight path of this balloon, any compromised U.S. national security assets, and all telecom or IT infrastructure on the ground within the U.S. that this spy balloon was utilizing," Dained added.

"As you know, Montana plays a vital national security role by housing nuclear missile silos at Malmstrom AFB," the senator concluded.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters Thursday, "The United States government has detected and is tracking a high-altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now."

"The balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground," Ryder added.

While such high-altitude balloons operate at 15-22 miles above the earth, well above the altitude of commercial air traffic, the military has taken "custody" of the balloon and deployed stealth fighter jets and other aircraft to observe it.

The spy balloon is estimated to be the size of 3 buses and military commanders have advised President Biden against shooting down the balloon for fear of falling debris injuring civilians on the ground.

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Canada's Defense Ministry is also reportedly monitoring a "potential second incident" but did not provide further details.

As for the balloon in Montana, the military intends to continue monitoring it and will continue to take measures to protect any sensitive data from being intercepted by the balloon.

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