Even though the saga surrounding one Chinese spy balloon ended with its downing near South Carolina, it appears that the consequences of this rogue aircraft are just beginning.
The Chinese spy balloon that floated over Alaska and Canada before being discovered in the mainland United States is no more. An F-22 shot it out of the sky Friday after it floated over the Atlantic Ocean.
The shooting down of the Chinese probe ends a week of clamor and serious national security questions. There are still plenty of topics for the White House to answer even with the balloon down.
Some of the questions that Republicans in Congress and others across the country are asking include why it took the Biden Administration so long to finally shoot down the spy aircraft? There are questions about whether or not other balloons found sensitive data over the country.
The Biden White House claims that it jammed the balloon’s instruments to prevent it from gathering data. That would be a good start, but did the balloon capture any important information prior to this?
The Office of the Secretary of Defense has informed my office that several Chinese balloon incidents have happened in the past few years – including over FLorida.
Why weren’t they shot down?
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) February 5, 2023
The violation of American airspace by an enemy nation is a serious issue. It’s also one that President Biden found himself unable to handle effectively. While it’s good that the balloon was shot down, this likely came several thousand miles too late.
Some members of Congress recognize the weakness in Biden’s actions, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R).
Cruz said, in part, that the Biden Administration “allowed a full week for the Chinese to conduct spying operations over the United States, over sensitive military installations, exposing not just photographs but the potential of intercepted communications.”
This balloon also shows the extent of how far China is willing to go to spy on the United States and its allies. Our spy agencies have already detected other balloons, including over Latin America and Canada.
China now knows a little bit of our playbook. Let’s hope that our poor response in 2023 doesn’t lead to something even worse down the line.