We'll go back here to live now from Fox breaking news here we have uh just some video that we found and obtained on Twitter of this purported Chinese surveillance balloon that was spotted over the United States this is from the Twitter user at Martin in Montana this was spotted in Montana as well just want to put up this Suite from our own Josh.
Breslow here's the AP wire alert of it as well Pentagon says the Chinese spy balloons spotted flying over the United States has decided not to shoot it down due to risks that's uh somewhat comforting so according to the Washington Post a senior U.S defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity underground rules set by the.
Pentagon said that the defense department considered shooting it down over Montana on Wednesday but decided against doing so out of concern for what might happen to the debris we also have this tweet from uh here at live now one of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana which is home to one of the nation's three nuclear missiles silo.
Fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base we're also learning Lloyd Austin the defense secretary who's traveling right now in the Philippines convened a meeting of senior defense officials to discuss the issue just today let's put this video back up we want to bring in right now National Security expert and CEO of global risk intelligence planning Hal.
Kemper with the latest how this is breaking as we speak what do you think the Chinese were doing with this what did they want to obtain information what have you what's going on here Andrew obviously they're collecting intelligence that's what the balloon is for it's a very passive collector obviously very long duration because.
It's a it's a stratospheric balloon so it can fly up there for a very long time and and basically just close like it could have cameras on it various other Optical sensor systems infrared but it also could have some signals intelligence uh collection means where they're picking up on eminent you know emanations and things like that from the.
Ground to include potentially even cell phone uh signals all sorts of stuff so there's a lot of things that it could be used for I don't think the timing is coincidental uh with all the things are going on with the provocations against Taiwan with the just announced uh basing agreements with the Philippines that uh it would seem that they're doing this to.
Kind of you know sort of push the edge a little bit to see what they can do now it's been flying over U.S territory for a few days uh I way back when uh I used to work uh under U.S Northern command and issues of things like this what would happen if for example if they shot that down and it landed uh and it destroyed property.
Or heaven forbid injured somebody or killed someone these were issues that we have to work through all the time so uh it's something that we look at the risk benefit of this they've obviously decided that right now it's best just to leave it up there but it's flying over uh some strategic basis where we have nuclear missile silos it's also an area.
Where we traditionally have our bombers our base our strategic bombers it's also generally flying in an area that could take it over North Dakota and potentially take it over Grand Forks which is that uh base that's been the news where we have our uh Global Hawk high-flying long duration uh more strategic uh unmanned aerial Vehicles.
Where the Chinese want to buy a farm right near that base and of course we've said no we don't want to buy that farm near the base uh to stop potential intelligence collection for the Chinese from that area interestingly this balloon is a stratospheric balloon so it flies in that same altitude spectrum that the.
Global hawks fly and so the question would be is it collecting Intelligence on global Hawks is it potentially out there simply to obstruct our Global Hawk operations there's a lot of different things that they're considering they're looking at with the timing where it's at and of course we're watching it very closely we're collecting Intelligence on.
The intelligence collection balloon yeah we want to know how much control they have can is it directional can they do some things with it and we're also looking very closely to see whatever we can see from from from this distance as far as their collection means so there's a little bit of I'm not going to say cat and mouse per se but there is collection.
On the collection that's going on and so there may be some other reasons why we're not wanting to shoot it down as well yeah I guess my point and my question is uh how escalatory could this have gotten so much so that Lloyd Austin convene his you know staff in the Philippines on this trip to discuss the very option of shooting it down if we.
Did take that measure what would that send to China well I don't know if it'd be a provocation per se they violated our airspace uh you know there's a there's a whole discussion and it's the right thing this is the decision uh within the system we have for dealing with these things particularly in the area of.
Responsibility under U.S Northern command when it's over U.S territory uh it tends to go to the SEC secretary Defense level it goes to the White House level in terms of some of these decisions in terms of what we're doing so he did the right thing uh that's that's what I would normally expect is they would stop and have a discussion.
And they would do a a risk analysis and they would talk about what they think it's doing and it'll be all the latest intelligence they have on it and there's a variety of things that we in the public will never know and that were part of that discussion and part of that decision making Matrix if you will that led them to where they are right now now.
If the balloon does something unexpected uh maybe we'll revisit that and maybe we will find a way to take it out and there could be discussions with the Chinese as far as what's on the balloon and there may be some other reasons why we don't want to bring it down as well there could be something with the balloon that has hazardous materials or something.
Like that and then then we don't want that landing on U.S territory hell I just want to put up we just got a statement in from Pentagon press secretary uh Brigadier General Pat Ryder he says the United States government has detected and is tracking a high altitude surveillance balloon that is over the continental United States right now the.
U.S governments who include NORAD continues to track and monitor it closely the balloon is currently traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic and does not present a military or physical threat to people on the ground instances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past.
Several years once the balloon was detected the U.S government acted immediately to protect against the collection of sensitive information how uh just on that point also we're learning from other news outlets that U.S military officials are taking additional steps to obscure sensitive sites kind of what you were alluding to.
Just so some of this information the Chinese want cannot be obtained or gleaned right well they want we want to protect our information um we seem to be having a little bit of a glitch here uh with this with the signal but uh we want to protect our information we want to protect the uh.
Integrity of our military sites up there on the other hand we don't want to unnecessarily cause harm uh so it's it's again it goes back to a decision made decision Matrix on what they want to do you know there could very well be something in that balloon with that system which could potentially be hazardous if we're to bring it down.
And and and spread something out you know it could be the power source or something like that on the balloon I just don't know I don't know enough about I mean there's just not enough information about this particular um intelligence collection system on a on a you know lighter than air sort of thing that we would know what it brings.
What it what could potentially pretend although we have probably talked to the Chinese directly about this and I have no doubt that we have a pretty good idea of what that balloon is about because I'm sure we've been collecting Intelligence on that I'm sure it's not the first time this balloon's been used uh it's probably used elsewhere around.
The world and for this particular balloon just kind of walking it back a little bit I'm sure it was being tracked by indo-pacific command over the Pacific and then obviously it was tracked by NORAD and U.S Northern command over the continental United States over North America and I would like to mention that that at NORAD and U.S Northern command.
We were side by side with our Canadian counterparts up there and and and I've been up there and I've worked side by side with them as well and so we look at it as all one airspace and we control it and by the way we have a lot of capabilities I mean we're it's designed that we're supposed to intercept aircraft missiles all sorts.
Of stuff so taking out a balloon isn't really tough it's just it's just all the stuff that would fall down and where it would fall down that we're a little concerned about all right uh how we want to move away from this topic we want to get into some of the updates on the war in Ukraine
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