Critics of President Biden point to the recent incident involving a Chinese surveillance balloon, which was shot out of the sky near the coast of South Carolina after it floated across the continental United States, as the latest embarrassment to the administration’s foreign policy.
Officials in China stated the balloon was a lost civilian craft. After being permitted to float for days across the continental United States, officials finally shot down what they say was a surveillance craft on Saturday afternoon.
Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State, postponed a trip to Beijing in light of the event, and Republicans blasted Biden for his initial failure to shoot down the balloon. The F-22 pilot deflated the balloon on Saturday afternoon as it tracked over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
According to the White House, Biden heeded the counsel of the Pentagon and senior military officers by deciding against shooting the craft down over the United States for fear that it could result in civilian casualties and other damages.
On Saturday, a high-ranking defense official explained the decision was made with great caution, and Americans’ safety on the ground was the first consideration.
However, Republican critics continued to portray the multi-day fiasco as the latest knock to U.S. credibility under Biden even after the balloon had been shot down.
Mike Rogers, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, warned that the Biden Administration’s decision to let the balloon traverse over the United States is yet another sign of weakness.
Rogers said the White House must answer for allowing the CCP spy balloon to reach the United States and what damage has been caused to national security due to the decision.
Mark Green, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman, expressed relief that the balloon had been brought down but said it was indefensible that the threat was only eliminated after widespread public outcry and extensive damage to U.S. national security and sovereignty had already occurred.
Green said this incident is the latest in several failures by the administration.
Green further stated that the President’s lack of concern for protecting American interests has been on full display from the Southern Border to Afghanistan and now, with Chinese monitoring directly above the homes of Americans and vital military locations. When presented the opportunity to protect the homeland from adversaries, Biden once again displayed weakness on a global stage.
Green said the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe amid a scramble to evacuate the country’s allies as the Taliban closed in on U.S. posts. During these frantic final days, a suicide bomber killed 13 American troops and dozens of Afghan civilians waiting in line at Kabul Airport to leave the country.
The United States left $7 billion worth of military supplies behind with its hasty withdrawal. At the same time, it sparked worries that the hurried retreat had emboldened China in the months after the evacuation, as seen by additional incursions into Taiwan and the Pentagon’s conclusion that the withdrawal was a propaganda advantage to the Chinese dictatorship. The exit also strained relations with NATO members caught off guard by the news.
Relations were already tense due to other foreign policy incidents, though. After the French and Australian militaries had already reached an agreement over nuclear submarines, the French erupted in anger when the Biden administration abruptly announced a deal with Australia.
While this was happening, the Biden administration came under fire for handling the migrant issue at the Southern Border. In the 2022 fiscal year, over 2.3 million people from all over the world crossed the Border, including over 251,000 in December alone.
Critics have stated that the prolonged situation proves the inadequacy of the Biden administration’s policies. However, the administration has framed the issue as a catastrophe affecting the entire hemisphere, calling for cooperation with ally countries to address core issues.
Republicans repeatedly link the balloon saga border crisis.
Conservative Virginia lawmaker Ben Cline tweeted that Joe Biden’s delay in shooting down the Chinese spy balloon shows weakness. He compared it to sealing the Southern Border after more than 1.2 million people had entered the country illegally, saying it’s too late to do anything about it now.
Before the balloon was shot down, Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines said it was yet another example of an action by Biden that has made the United States look weaker on the world stage. More evidence of the international ineffectiveness of the Biden administration. Enemies will be encouraged by America’s inability to respond and, as a result, weakened further.