Biden’s Response to Spy Balloon Scrutinized


Chinese spy balloon | Image by Chase Doak via Storyful

Political barbs are flying as the U.S. Navy moves to recover what remains of a suspected “spy balloon” dispatched by China.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, the balloon was shot down by U.S. fighter jets over the Atlantic Ocean, just east of South Carolina on Saturday.

However, President Joe Biden is catching flak for waiting so long to order the balloon to be taken down, despite the administration’s acknowledgment that the vessel first entered U.S. airspace one week before, according to a timeline of events posted by ABC News.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement on Sunday:

“As usual when it comes to national defense and foreign policy, the Biden Administration reacted at first too indecisively and then too late … This was a reminder of [China’s] brazenness and President Biden missed the opportunity to defend our sovereignty, send a message of strength, and bolster deterrence.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) echoed the same sentiment in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

“The message [the Chinese government was] trying to send is what they believe internally, and that is that the United States is a once great superpower that’s hollowed out, that’s in decline.”

Biden previously claimed that he waited until Saturday to give the order because he was consulting with U.S. military advisors, who ultimately decided the safest option was to shoot the balloon down over open waters, according to AP News.

Other news outlets are reporting on possible “spy balloon” sightings during former President Donald Trump’s administration, per The Hill. However, it is currently unclear if any of those incidents resulted in a Chinese breach of U.S. airspace as it allegedly did in this instance.

“Each side spies on the other, and the balloon does not appear to have given China any extra advantage compared to what it has been trying to do over the years,” said Alan Yu, senior vice president for National Security and International Policy at The Center for American Progress, speaking with The Dallas Express.

“The response was proportionate to the incursion by China and the risk to national security,” he said.

Still, House Republicans are reportedly planning on investigating the Biden administration’s allegedly delayed response, according to Axios.

The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), tweeted Saturday:

“The admin should have taken care of this before it became a national security threat. I hope we will be able to recover the wreckage to help determine what intelligence the CCP collected while its spy balloon was over our country for days.”

The balloon incident and subsequent debate of its handling come just before Biden’s State of the Union speech, scheduled for Tuesday.

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1 month ago

They probably had to wait for a day when Biden was somewhat cognizant.