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The Chinese Spy Balloon's Route Shows Intent to Exploit U.S. Military Bases and Capabilities
We tend to get lost in the details of most newsworthy items, picking things apart to the point of missing the actual point of what should be gleaned. We have people, armed with knowledge that a Chinese balloon travelled thousands of miles (supposedly “off course” thanks to global wind patterns), who are still trying to figure out if said balloon was deployed for meteorological purposes because a totalitarian Communist government said that was the case.
Never mind the fact that Communist regimes specialize in producing propaganda to either advance their goals domestically or mislead their rivals internationally – in the interest of diversity and inclusion, there are those who believe we must lend credibility to a nation that is dominating the South Pacific, building makeshift islands to make ready-made naval bases anywhere they are needed, exploiting tiny African and Caribbean nations for resources, and not training their military to be woker, kinder, and gentler.
In my final active duty assignment in the Army, I was a Captain assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. I spent nearly a year as the primary S2 (Intelligence Officer) of the brigade’s Cavalry Squadron and spent most of my time in that assignment assessing and training on the threat in the Brigade’s area of responsibility, PACOM (Pacific Command), before moving to another staff position at the Brigade headquarters. This was a decade ago, and the Chinese were on the march then, just as they are today, equally aggressive and determined to dominate the region, and then the world.
All battle plans are built from the work of intelligence professionals and have been for as long as there have been battles. I have written recently about Intelligence in War, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and even the Hebrew reconnaissance of the Promised Land, all articles describing the impact of intelligence gathering upon operations. Militarily, we are always collecting intelligence on our enemies in various forms, most commonly:
· HUMINT (Human Intelligence) – use of spies, collecting information from people, running source operations
· SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) – intercepting electronic (telephonic/satellite) communications
· IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) – use of photographic technology
The flip side of the intelligence coin is counterintelligence. Intelligence operations require gathering of enemy intelligence and protection of allied intelligence. The side that protects their own information while scarfing up the other side’s critical information and intelligence wins the intelligence struggle and stands to gain a substantial operation advantage. These counterintelligence threats range from minor to major, primitive to sophisticated, and covert to cutthroat. When I was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the Army’s intelligence training center, we were briefed regularly on local threats I am allowed to share with you in this article.
Fort Huachuca is close to the U.S.-Mexico border, about 15 miles as the crow flies. Soldiers were once allowed to cross over and often enjoyed down time just over the line in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Several years’ worth of cartel battles with Mexican law enforcement rendered the area unsafe for soldiers to tread, and those privileges were revoked. Amid all the carnage, complete with the use of military-grade weaponry by high-powered cartels, smugglers and traffickers came to dominate the border and overwhelm the ability of U.S. immigration enforcement to counter these incursions. This also led to a heavy inflow of what many familiar with the border crisis have come to refer to as OTMs – other than Mexicans. People from all over the world are exploiting the wide-open Southern border. Islamic prayer rugs are among items found in the wasteland of desert brush, and foreign nationals from many hostile Islamic countries have been apprehended in the Huachuca Mountains surrounding the base, seeking to gather information on our Army intelligence headquarters and its personnel.
So – was this a weather balloon, or a spy balloon? What does Occam’s razor tell you now that another object has been downed off the Arctic coast of Alaska, and the reconnaissance platform of the initial balloon has been recovered in the Atlantic Ocean? Occam’s razor tells me the simplest explanation is the most likely accurate explanation to a given question.
According to the State Department, the infamous Chinese spy balloon shot down off the coast of South Carolina was outfitted with antennas designed to intercept signals communications. These are SIGINT platforms, specifically operated by the People’s Liberation Army, in the same vein the United States Army operates SIGINT platforms such as the Prophet. Given that this is indeed an aerial reconnaissance platform, I would not be surprised if it was outfitted with photographic capabilities to exploit IMINT (imagery intelligence) and transmit all gathered information, data, and images quickly back to Beijing.
What would they possibly be after? A map of the balloon’s route shows Occam’s razor in brilliant clarity.
I believe this balloon was on a reconnaissance mission to exploit key military installations, particularly those with rapid deployment and missile defense or nuclear capabilities.
This “weather balloon” happened to skim over the Aleutian Islands, over the massive expanse of interior Alaska, over Fort Wainwright, housing part of the 96-hour deployable U.S. Army Alaska contingent, on past Fort Greely, the key missile defense center of the entire Arctic region, and then across Canada, to somehow wind up strategically on course to fly perfectly over Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Offutt Air Force Bases in the Great Plains, with a nice window view of Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases in North Dakota and Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
Surely a coincidence, right? From the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center webpage:
Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate is principally located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with operating locations across the nation, including at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and Vandenberg AFB, California. It is responsible for modernizing or replacing Minuteman III flight systems, weapon system command and control, and launch systems, including missile silos, control centers, and other ground infrastructure. The directorate is also responsible for the Mark 21A Reentry Vehicle and Fuze Modernization programs, which will upgrade the weapon’s reentry system. The directorate is accountable for the total life cycle of the GBSD weapon system.
Conveniently, the balloon also passed over perhaps the two most critical Army bases, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home to the 101st Airborne and 82nd Airborne, respectively, before it was downed off the coast of South Carolina. Both divisions are rapidly deployable and relied upon for delivering victory at all costs.
As a second lieutenant, I once had lunch with another Army officer who referred to a friend stationed in North Dakota – a missileer. I asked, “what the hell is a missileer?” And I remember to this day, the reply – “he sits around underground and waits for the world to end.”
It is no secret the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska serve as a shield over the United States. Thanks to deliberate malpractice and sabotage by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and countless other American officials on both sides of the political aisle, the Chinese and other rivals certainly know much more than we thought possible and are now brazenly seeking to exploit our weakness in command.
You’ve been warned. Now is the time to be prepared to provide for yourself, your family, and your loved ones – not once our enemies are fully emboldened by such saboteurs who sit atop the power structure in America.