The US’ Latest Shootdown Of Another Unmanned Aerial Object Was Likely Just A Publicity Stunt
By carrying out this latest stunt, the Pentagon and the White House would generate positive publicity for both of them, with the first being praised for immediately detecting a much smaller object and second applauded for shooting it down right away instead of waiting days like last time.
Biden ordered the military to shoot down an unmanned aerial object on Friday that was flying over Alaskan airspace, which represents the US’ second such shootdown in less than a week’s time. Unlike the first incident, it’s presently unclear who operated the second object, and an unnamed US official said that it appeared to lack the surveillance equipment that the Chinese balloon allegedly had. In any case, it was still a dramatic event, albeit one that prompts plenty of questions about what happened.
To explain, it’s highly unlikely that this second aerial object was manned by China, whose political leadership was embarrassed by the first incident that a hardline anti-US faction in the military was likely responsible for provoking with the intent to sabotage the Sino-American New Détente. The reported lack of surveillance equipment also extends credence to the conjecture that it wasn’t operated by a state actor of any sort.
Pentagon press secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that this much smaller and less sophisticated aerial object was shot down because it supposedly posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flights due to it flying at around 40,000 feet, unlike the average 60,000 of the Chinese balloon. This is a plausible explanation even if it can’t be independently verified, but nevertheless, the timing of this incident and totally different reaction to it by the US makes one wonder whether it wasn’t a stunt.
After all, it doesn’t make sense that the US would let an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon freely float across the mainland over military sites and then only blast it out of the sky after it finished its journey while immediately shooting down a much smaller object that isn’t suspected of surveillance. The calculations that contributed to the first-mentioned incident were likely to manipulate the public’s perceptions in order to turn them against the New Détente, but that backfired somewhat in hindsight.
A recent poll proved that 63.4% of Americans disapproved of how Biden handled that incident while 59.2% believed that it made their country look weak and put it in a vulnerable position. That predictable outcome might have been the self-inflicted price that the Pentagon’s hardline anti-Chinese faction was willing to pay in order to achieve their desired grand strategic outcome, but it still obviously went against the ruling Democrats’ political and soft power interests.
It was perhaps with the intent of distracting the public from the first incident and partially recalibrating their resultant perceptions that the second one might have been orchestrated in partnership between the Pentagon and the White House. By carrying out this latest stunt, they’d generate positive publicity for both of them, with the Pentagon being praised for immediately detecting a much smaller object and Biden applauded for shooting it down right away instead of waiting days like last time.
Even if this wasn’t the sequence of events that preceded the latest incident, it’s nevertheless an accurate description of the soft power outcome for each in the eyes of the average American. That alone should make folks think twice before accepting whatever “official narrative” is ultimately put forth for explaining what just happened, not to mention making them reconsider the “official narrative” about the first-mentioned incident in light of this second one.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.
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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs
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