(JustPatriots.com)- After three weeks of high-stakes drama spurred by the discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon crossing much of the nation, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the United States is establishing “sharper rules” to detect, monitor, and even fire down unknown aerial objects.
After the United States shot down the Chinese balloon and three other objects that Biden said the United States now thinks are harmless objects launched by private companies or research institutions, Biden ordered National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to lead an “interagency team” to review U.S. procedures.
Biden did not express any remorse for shooting down the three unidentified objects, but he did say that the new guidelines should assist in discerning between those that are likely to pose safety and security dangers that demand action and those that do not.
The objects flew at altitudes between 20,000 and 40,000 feet, so they only posed a slight threat to civilian planes.
For the first time in history, a peacetime shootdown of an unwelcome object in U.S. airspace destroyed a Chinese surveillance craft; the feat was repeated three times in the following week.
The balloon launched by the Chinese has only served to heighten tensions between the United States and China. There is talk that Blinken may meet with senior Chinese foreign policy official Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference, which he will attend on Thursday.
Biden has been relatively quiet about the objects shot down on Friday off the coast of Alaska, Saturday over Canada, and Sunday over Lake Huron. There has been no “aliens or extraterrestrial activity,” the White House said solemnly on Monday. U.S. authorities said on Wednesday that they were still trying to track down the items’ remnants but anticipated all three to be unconnected to spying.
Several mysteries surrounding the original balloon remain unanswered, including whether or not it was broadcasting signals as it sailed over strategic military facilities in the United States or whether or not it was equipped for espionage. A U.S. official said that early information indicated the object was headed toward the U.S. island of Guam.
Witnesses have reported seeing balloons and other strange objects over Guam, a significant base for the United States Navy and Air Force in the western Pacific.
As the balloon deviated from its planned path, how much control China maintained was unclear. A second U.S. official speculated that Chinese troops may have instructed the balloon to linger over a target by manipulating it from the outside.
When the balloon was shot down, it was revealed by the White House that similar balloons have flown over the United States on at least three separate occasions under President Donald Trump’s administration, while others had flown over dozens of countries on five continents. On Monday, Kirby reiterated that the Biden administration was the only one to discover them.