Biden’s Mishandling Of Spy Balloon Not A Good Optic

Make no mistake, world leaders around the globe watched carefully as President Joe Biden allowed the Chinese spy balloon to proceed unimpeded for days across American airspace.

And it was not a good look for the world’s most powerful nation.

The arrogance of Beijing’s provocation is surely not lost in the government halls of Moscow or Tehran or scores of other capitals where U.S. influence is bound to suffer. As blatant provocations go, it will be hard to top this action by China’s communists.

The Biden administration knew about the supposed civilian weather balloon back on Jan. 28 but did nothing but watch. The excuse of civilian safety rings hollow when the route of the craft was charted from the Aleutian Islands through remote stretches of the north.

By the time civilians caught wind of the high-flying Chinese spycraft, the federal government had followed its path over sensitive sites for days.

As Bloomberg reported, many in the administration were initially concerned that Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s diplomatic mission to Beijing would be derailed. Officials apparently place a higher priority on keeping the incursion into U.S. airspace secret than on the nation’s security.

The White House response to the threat posed by the high-altitude spy balloon was meager as well as too long in coming. And as the National Review noted, it took pressure from within the country — not the threat from abroad — to force a public response.

The craft floated over the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which is the home to a large segment of the nation’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles. Yet still the administration waited.

The Pentagon said it “acted immediately” to counteract the spy balloon’s gathering of information. However, foreign policy analysts told Fox News that it was likely able to transmit sensitive data back to the Chinese Communist Party during its journey across the continent.

There is also controversy over the reported length of time between the military’s discovery of the balloon and Biden being briefed.

The ability for China to fly a spy balloon across the U.S. harkens back to the embarrassment experienced by the USSR when German teenager Mathias Rust landed a small plane near Red Square in 1987. Both exposed grave security concerns that begged to be addressed.