US military considered shooting down Chinese spy balloon
The Chinese surveillance balloon is still over the center of the United States flying at 60,000 feet and moving east. It was first spotted over Montana, home of Malmstrom Air Force Base which has a nuclear missile silo field. The Pentagon says the balloon does not pose a physical or military threat to people on the ground, and it’s flying well above commercial aircraft. But it is causing a diplomatic headache. Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a weekend trip to China as the US considers its response.
Gen. Ryder: “It’s violated US airspace, it’s violated international law. We’ve communicated that back to the government of China.”
The Chinese Government says it’s a weather research airship that veered off course. But the Defense Department says they are absolutely certain it’s a surveillance balloon used for intelligence gathering. The military even considered shooting it down.
Ryder: “That was an option. And so that was something that was taken into consideration. It is big enough that, again, in reviewing our approach we do recognize that any potential debris field would be significant and potentially cause civilian injuries or deaths, or significant property damage.”
The Pentagon assesses it will likely remain over the United States for a few days. The balloon is maneuverable and has changed course but the military won’t say who is steering it. The DOD is being tight lipped, even though the balloon can be seen by the public.
Ryder: “That information is classified, I’m not able to provide it other than I can confirm that there have been other incidents where balloons did come close to or cross into US territory.”
Canada says it’s tracking a second high altitude surveillance balloon over their airspace. The defense department says they are only tracking one balloon. Straight Arrow News will cover this story and more military news, so stick with us for unbiased, straight facts.