Today, we live in an intensely competitive world, and only the naïve among us would play blind to what obtains in the underbelly of world politics.
In other words, one can no longer take things at face value.
Let’s take the case of China’s high-altitude balloon that recently breached the U.S. air space.
According to reports out of China, the U.S., by shooting down the balloon, overreacted to a piece of simple weather equipment merely collecting data for meteorological purposes that flew off course because of the wind factor.
Under normal circumstances, this may very well be true, but the trust factor between both countries is, at best minimal.
Many people, of course, would remember the recent COVID-19 crisis that originated in China. To date, the rest of the world has yet to determine with any degree of certainty whether it was engineered in a lab or transferred by nature.
The fact of the matter is China operates and governs its society in many ways under a cloud of secrecy.
Now, we are learning from the press that a spokesperson from the State Department has reportedly said, “We know these balloons are all part of a PRC fleet of balloons developed to conduct surveillance operations.”
The report also noted that the high-resolution imagery captured during flybys by U-2 spy planes revealed that the balloon was capable of signals intelligence operations far beyond the abilities of a weather balloon, boasting “multiple antennas to include an array likely capable of collecting and geolocating communications.”
Furthermore, it stated that China’s balloon spy operations are carried out by the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, using balloons manufactured by a firm that has a direct relationship with China’s military, according to the PLA’s procurement documents.
“The company also advertises balloon products on its website and hosts videos from past flights, which appear to have overflown at least U.S. airspace and airspace of other countries,” said the report.
“These advertised balloon videos seemingly have similar flight patterns as the balloons we have been discussing this week,” it added.
Additionally, the report noted a retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charlie “Tuna” Moore, a former fighter pilot who helped run operations out of NORAD and is familiar with aerial surveillance equipment, made the comment that the technology is “not the type of equipment you’d expect on a balloon conducting a meteorological mission.”
The truth is the weather balloon may have been used as a disguise to collect other sensitive information apart from weather data.
The balloon may very well be like the story of the Trojan Horse — a wooden horse said to have been used by the Greeks during the Trojan War to enter the city of Troy and win the war.
Consequently, the shooting down of the equipment was not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do — the moral of the story is don’t trust a weather balloon!
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Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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