WASHINGTON — A foreign spy craft miles above the earth. A missile fired to bring it down. A flimsy cover story: just a weather plane! A high-stakes diplomatic meeting ruptured and tense superpower relations inflamed. History, like good television, may not repeat, but sometimes it reaches back to earlier seasons for inspiration. To students of the Cold War, the saga of the Chinese balloon crossing American airspace seemed eerily reminiscent of the U-2 spy plane incident that provoked a tense confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was one of the most fraught moments of the four-decade conflict pitting East against West, with enduring consequences. In that case, the nation spying on a rival was the United States, which regularly sent the high-altitude U-2 surveillance planes over Soviet territory confident that they were beyond the reach of Russian surface-to-air missiles — until just such missiles knocked one of its planes out of the sky on May 1, 1960. … [Read more...] about A Foreign Spy Craft. Superpowers on Edge. But It Was 1960, Not 2023.
Air military command
The high-altitude Chinese balloon that captivated America more than two days was shot down by the U.S. military Saturday afternoon as the balloon traversed eastward above the Atlantic Ocean. A U.S. F-22 fighter jet fired a missile into the balloon around 2:40 p.m. ET on Saturday, sending the balloon exploding into the air and eventually landing into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean just six miles away from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The White House had deemed it unsafe to shoot down an object over mainland America while Republicans asked why it took so long. President Joe Biden answered that question Saturday, saying he gave an order to shoot it down on Wednesday after it entered U.S. air space. "I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible," Biden said. "They decided—without doing damage to anyone on the ground—they decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water. Within the 12-mile limit, they successfully took it down, … [Read more...] about China could “take further actions” in response to U.S. downing balloon
The Treasury has signalled there is no new money for defence despite recognising the urgent need to rearm in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine, defence sources have said. At the same time, the sources said a "refresh" of UK defence policy - that was meant to inform the spending plans of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - could be delayed until after the March budget because an initial draft failed to reflect sufficiently the transformed security environment in Europe, where a land war is raging. "It is not very joined up government," according to one source, who was speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. The comments came after Sky News last week revealed that a senior US general had told Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the British Army is no longer regarded as a top level, or "tier one", fighting force following decades of cuts to its size and strength. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video … [Read more...] about Ammunition running out but ‘no new money’ for defence despite war in Ukraine, sources say
close Video China is ‘very deliberate’ in its national security plans: Lt. Gen. Richard Newton Former Minot Air Force base Commander and Retired Lt. Gen. Richard Newton says China flying a balloon over U.S. military bases is a ‘significant’ move as part of their bigger picture. China fired the chief of its national weather service Saturday in a move widely seen as an effort to substantiate its claims that the balloon floating across the U.S. this weekend was an off-course weather craft. Beijing announced Zhuang Guotai's firing Saturday, hours before the U.S. shot down the craft off the coast of South Carolina. The U.S. is working to recover the balloon for inspection, but Beijing has argued that it was innocuous and its presence in U.S. airspace was an accident. "The Chinese side has, after verification, repeatedly informed the U.S. side of the civilian nature of the airship and conveyed that its entry into the U.S. due to force majeure … [Read more...] about China doubles down on its spy balloon story by firing national weather service chief
A US military operation to shoot down a Chinese "spy balloon" that had been hovering in American airspace came at a tense time for the two superpowers, whose relationship has been on rocky ground for years. But how did the US successfully down it with a single missile - and what intelligence are they now hoping to find in the wreckage? A vast underwater search is now taking place to find the remains of the balloon, which the United States is confident will show the Chinese were lying about its purpose above American airspace. China has previously said it was used for meteorological research and veered off course due to high winds, and with limited "self-steering capabilities" it was unable to right itself. Yet the Pentagon says the balloon, which was carrying sensors and surveillance equipment, was manoeuvrable and showed it could change course when it loitered over sensitive areas of Montana where nuclear warheads are siloed. The balloon was then seen … [Read more...] about How did the US successfully shoot down China’s ‘spy balloon’ with a single missile – and what was on it?
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) saw the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese surveillance balloon over the weekend as “another example of showing weakness,” he said during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Saturday . The Montana lawmaker and former longtime Navy SEAL said the balloon, which the U.S. military took down Saturday after it first entered U.S. airspace a week prior, “should have been shot down” as soon as it crossed into U.S. territory. “I’ve been to the Aleutian chain. It’s one of the most isolated, desolate spots on the face of the planet, and then it drifts over Montana and the governor doesn’t know about it. Congress doesn’t know about it,” Zinke said. “Look, this thing should have been shot down the moment it entered the U.S. airspace, period.” LISTEN: The balloon first caught the public’s attention around Thursday after a photographer in Montana caught sight of it floating over Billings, but a senior defense official said during a press … [Read more...] about Exclusive– Zinke: Chinese Balloon Blatant ‘Poke in the Eye,’ Test of Biden’s Weakness
President Joe Biden and his speechwriters will “likely rewrite” the China portion of his State of the Union speech set for Tuesday night, following the Chinese spy balloon being shot down this past week after days of “ violating ” United States airspace. As Biden’s speechwriters try to help the president emphasize a series of accomplishments during the State of the Union speech this week, Axios noted that the president will try to be “nimble” and would have to “likely rewrite” his portion on China, while the administration is also navigating Beijing’s threat of repercussions for downing the spy balloon. China will be an uninvited guest at President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, as he takes credit for a resilient economy, celebrates record-low unemployment, and previews a broader domestic agenda. https://t.co/UX7Jasr66W — Axios (@axios) February 5, 2023 American civilians first discovered the spy balloon floating over their homes on Thursday. … [Read more...] about Biden Administration Scrambles to Rewrite China Portion of SOTU
close Video Mike Pompeo: This was a 'trial balloon' to see how the US would respond Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacts to President Biden's handling of a Chinese surveillance balloon traveling across the United States and Russia's war on Ukraine on 'Sunday Night in America.' NEW You can now listen to Fox News articles! One of President Ronald Reagan’s greatest lessons to the world was that showing clear strength and strong resolve results in peace. In contrast, weakness, appeasement, and ambiguity can lead to war. And yet, America’s foreign policy establishment, embodied by the Biden administration, embraces weakness. This was on full display last week when the Chinese spy balloon flew over our airspace. I fear Biden’s response will only continue to invite Chinese aggression. Yes, we may have finally shot down the balloon, but not before it literally flew coast-to-coast over the entire United States and outrage over … [Read more...] about China spy balloon fiasco exposed Biden’s astonishing weakness and Xi will drive a truck through it
CLEARWATER, Fla. — In a major victory for Republicans in the battle for control of Congress, David Jolly, a former lobbyist, narrowly won a special election for a House seat on Tuesday in a hotly contested swing district, giving the party an expensive triumph in its fight against President Obama’s health care plan. After months of diligent courting by the three candidates and a $9 million barrage of political advertising by outside groups, voters in Pinellas County chose Mr. Jolly over Alex Sink, a Democrat and his main rival. Mr. Jolly won 48.4 percent of the vote and Ms. Sink received 46.5 percent. A third candidate, Lucas Overby, a Libertarian, won 4.8 percent. It was a disappointing defeat for Ms. Sink and the Democratic Party, which had worked arduously to try to claim the longtime Republican seat. Taking the stage to thunderous applause after his victory, a beaming Mr. Jolly, 41, said he would work across party lines to best represent the district. “I did not run … [Read more...] about Victory in Florida Race Bolsters Midterm Hopes for Republicans
A former CIA officer said on Sunday that she is "hopeful" about the information that can now be recovered from the downed Chinese spy balloon. The strange craft was first sighted over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, and despite China's claims about it being a weather balloon, it was ultimately found to be a surveillance device. Following days of debate and calls for the craft to be shot down, the U.S. military finally took out the balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday afternoon roughly six nautical miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Countering criticism over the government's seeming inaction against the balloon earlier in the week, President Joe Biden said that he first ordered the balloon destroyed on Wednesday, but military officials insisted that they wait until it was over the ocean, to prevent debris from harming people on the ground. Following its destruction, the government began the process of recovering parts of the craft to see what … [Read more...] about Former CIA officer explains how Chinese spy balloon may benefit U.S.