Air Force Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, head of U.S. Northern Command, has spoken publicly on the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party to the United States of America.
During a conference call with reporters, VanHerck said that the ‘weather’ balloon, which had been suspected of being a spying device, really carried explosives to self-destruct, giving a disturbing new dimension of urgency to the narrative.
He described the sinister size of the device as being “200 feet tall, weighing thousands of pounds, and its payload was the size of a jetliner”.
“Because the president decided they wouldn’t shoot it down until he could do so safely, and that meant over water, that afforded us a terrific opportunity to gain a better understanding, to study the capabilities of this balloon,” he told reporters on a call.
“His description followed a briefing by National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who defended President Joe Biden’s decision to wait and shoot down the Chinese craft until it was over South Carolina’s coastline on Saturday,” the Daily Mail reported. “Biden ordered the balloon shot down Wednesday, but the U.S. military held off until Saturday, with the Air Force sending an F-22 fighter jet armed with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile to do the job.”
“Chinese spy balloon carried EXPLOSIVES to destroy itself,” Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) posted on Twitter on February 6, 2023.
Chinese spy balloon carried EXPLOSIVES to destroy itself https://t.co/KVTjD3vlws pic.twitter.com/z17RSt5Duk
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 6, 2023
Martin Walsh reported for Conservative Brief on other payload-related developments.
A former top U.S. Army general criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the matter involving a Chinese spy balloon captured last week while touring the upper and central United States.
Former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army and retired four-star General Jack Keane criticized Biden for not acting sooner, allowing the balloon to float across the country until having it shot down Saturday off the coast of South Carolina.
After the balloon splashed into the Atlantic Ocean, Keane made his statements during an appearance with Fox News.
“Remember, this was approaching the United States over water,” he said. “It was approaching the Aleutian Islands over water. And we had plenty of opportunity to take it down then. And that’s when it should have happened. We had to be tracking it from mainland China across the Pacific Ocean, and we had plenty of warning to put together an operation that we are conducting now on the east coast that should have been done there.”
The following is a partial transcript of the segment’s events:
ARTHEL NEVILLE, FOX NEWS HOST: Yeah, I heard your last point there. And I want to say, as we’re watching this exclusive coverage of this Chinese spy balloon going down there over Surfside Beach, South Carolina, if you could talk to us about what happened in terms of coordinating this to get to this point now, General Keane.
GENERAL JACK KEANE: Well, we’ve had all of our sensors watching this, you know, for some time. And certainly our military capability that was going to be involved got alerted. People have been planning it likely for a couple of days. I’m assuming the president, you know, made a decision within the last 24 hours to take this out. They probably presented him with a number of options of where the best place to do it, certainly heading to the East Coast, which is considerably more populated than Montana was. It was probably ruled out that they would do anything over land. If they weren’t willing to do it over Montana, they’re certainly not going to do it on the East coast of the United States or in transit to the East Coast. And they’re taking advantage of obviously doing this safely in terms of civilians.
And it’s not a complicated operation, I don’t believe, for the United States military to take a balloon moving at the speed it’s moving at and bring it down. So the coordination to do that and the intelligence to bring all of that together is not a major problem for us at all. Now, can we recover the sensor package? That’s going to be iffy, given the size of this thing and how much it weighs. But nonetheless, we finally did what we should have done at the beginning. Remember, this was approaching the United States over water. It was approaching the Aleutian Islands over water.
And we had plenty of opportunity to take it down then. And that’s when it should have happened. We had to be tracking it from mainland China across the Pacific Ocean, and we had plenty of warning to put together an operation that we are conducting now on the east coast that should have been done there.
Meanwhile, China reacted angrily to the downing of the balloon, claiming in a diplomatic statement following the shoot-down that Beijing could “respond further.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
By Tuesday morning America also found out that the Chinese balloons are somewhat commonplace and that our intel agencies and Pentagon know about them.CONTINUE READING…