The Biden administration should provide Americans with some transparency on the suspected Chinese spy balloon drifting across the country because the current response — "to let a Chinese PRC CCP bird fly over our military installations and potentially start to creep closer to our nation's capital" — is making America look weak, says Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt.
"I am astonished as an airman that we have not taken steps to neutralize or take it down and well before it reached the Alaskan land mass," Holt told Newsmax's "Wake Up America" Saturday.
"We think spy satellite; we really don't know what's on that bird. We don't know if it's released anything; we don't know if it's carrying any kind of weaponry. So we're not out of the woods yet as this thing passes over the United States."
China insists the balloon is just an errant civilian airship used mainly for meteorological research that went off course due to winds and has only limited "self-steering" capabilities.
The United States says it is a Chinese spy balloon without a doubt.
The Pentagon says the balloon, which is carrying sensors and surveillance equipment, is maneuverable and has shown it can change course. It has loitered over sensitive areas of Montana where nuclear warheads are siloed, leading the military to take actions to prevent it from collecting intelligence.
According to senior administration officials, Biden initially wanted to shoot down the balloon. Some members of Congress have echoed that sentiment.
But Pentagon leaders strongly advised Biden against doing so because of risks to the safety of people on the ground, and Biden agreed.
Holt said senior officers should be pushing back.
"Northcom has a job to do. This is their job," he said. "The American people spend nearly a trillion dollars in defense every year — a little transparency would help here. ... Now you've got the Chinese press mocking us and saying on Global Times, 'Oh, well, U.S. air defense is now a decoration.' We can't have our adversaries getting that type of attitude. We can't have them with that type of perspective, because it makes everything more dangerous. American weakness translates into things like these wars we don't want, and this ... doesn't lead to a better place."
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