Extinct US admiral weighs in on China’s suspected glance balloon


Let's bring in the former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Admiral James tavritis he is NBC's Chief International Security and diplomacy analyst Admiral stavridas it's great to see you again this morning so you and I talked about this a couple of days ago about what China said is a weather balloon with the United States was saying as a surveillance balloon.

Floating at the time high above Montana I think most civilians were wondering what is a balloon the size of three buses doing floating over the United States so talk a little bit if you can about what you think played out since we last spoke since President Biden gave that order on Wednesday and what this balloon really is.

Um no question this balloon is surveillance it's Espionage and we know that because we've been collecting on it for days now as it uh performs its Mission so the pentagon's Rock Solid in its analysis tracked it and uh you know in the words of Top Gun I saw the shot it looked good I took it and I'm just wondering what the call sign for the.

Pilot who shot that thing down is I'm gonna go with popper and by the way Willie I'm in South Carolina Charleston for my mom's 93rd birthday a little Fireworks off the coast not so bad it's good to see that thing come down well I had a big happy birthday to your mother and I guess yeah that's one way to celebrate it since this came out.

Since this became public that there was a balloon Secretary of State Anthony blinken canceled his trip to China he was scheduled to be there today we talked earlier in the week about the United States stepping up its presence in the Philippines anticipating perhaps some kind of Confrontation over Taiwan we had a four-star Air Force General.

Saying in a memo that became public he expected some kind of a fight with China in the next couple of years how does this incident over the weekend play into that relationship with China it increases tension obviously and and Willie you're right the main story here is actually not the Spy balloon it's the bases the U.S now has access to in the.

Philippines the brand new U.S Marine Corps Base being stood up in Guam Camp Blaze that'll provide the forces forward um all of this I think played into China's decision to launch that spy satellite excuse me that's five balloon right at the moment secretary blink was about to go so bottom line this puts more tension in an already tense.

Relationship but I want to close with this I don't think we're going to go to war with China in the next couple of years I think these are two big complicated Nations both the United States and China will have a period of tension here but secretary blinken will go we'll walk back from this in the months ahead in my view.

Let's hope you're right about that Admiral will let you go and begin the celebration for your wonderful mother happy birthday to her Admiral James savritis thanks so much as always we appreciate it thanks Willie thanks for watching don't miss the Today show every weekday at 11 A.M Eastern 8 Pacific on our streaming Channel today.

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