"High-altitude balloons, such as the one China has floated over mountain state military bases this week, are considered a key 'delivery platform' for secret nuclear strikes on America’s electric grid, according to intelligence officials," the Washington Examiner reported. "Spy balloons, used by Japan to drop bombs during World War II, are now far more sophisticated, can fly at up to 200,000 feet, evade detection, and can carry a small nuclear bomb that, if exploded in the atmosphere, would shut down the grid and wipe out electronics in a many-state-wide area."
The outlet reported further that a balloon-launched EMP attack threat was initially mentioned by a congressional commission and within the U.S. military a number of years ago. The American Leadership & Policy Foundation noted in a 2015 report written by Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, a top EMP expert, that such balloons are a major national security threat because of what they are capable of carrying.
The report, titled "Novel High-altitude Delivery Platforms for Weapons of Mass Destruction/Weapons of Mass Effect," notes:
Can a state, pseudo-state or non-state actor(s) deliver Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/Weapons of Mass Effect (WME) to strategically impact America’s infrastructure absent employment of Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), SubmarineLaunched Ballistic Missiles (SBLM), or other conventional means? The answer is “yes.” Thus, the feasibility of using novel delivery platforms to achieve offensive capabilities against the United States should be examined and understood by the emergency management and national security communities.
"While legacy and derivative systems such as Russia’s (oceanic multi-purpose Status-6 system) nuclear torpedo continue to present strategic threats to the U.S., their proliferation has proven somewhat predictable over time," the report continued. "However, the rise of global terrorism has created a new dimension of risk to the U.S. in particular – one that presents itself in a chaotic, innovative and ill-defined manner.
"Consequently, planners should begin addressing novel strategic threats by understanding what can be done rather than what has been done. Such an approach is critically important to protecting America’s society and critical infrastructure," it added.
“Using a balloon as a WMD/WME platform could provide adversaries with a pallet of altitudes and payload options with which to maximize offensive effects against the U.S.,” Stuckenberg wrote. “A high altitude balloon could be designed, created, and launched in a matter of months. There is nothing to prevent several hundred pounds of weapons material from being delivered to altitude."
In a short Friday interview with the Examiner, Stuckenberg said: "China’s recent balloon flyover of the United States is clearly a provocative and aggressive act. It was most likely a type of dry run meant to send a strategic message to the USA. We must not take this for granted.”
Democratic and Republican lawmakers are both demanding that the Biden regime explain why the balloon was allowed to enter U.S. airspace in the first place, let alone survive after it was reported by media outlets.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, where the balloon was first reported to be on Thursday, said he's planning on holding a hearing of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee he chairs to get answers about the balloon incident.
“Montanans value their freedom and privacy and I’ll always fight to defend both,” Tester said Friday. “China’s actions are a clear threat to those values and to America’s national security, and I’m demanding answers from the Biden Administration. I will be pulling people before my committee to get real answers on how this happened, and how we can prevent it from ever happening again.”
Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) is also looking for answers after the balloon traversed his state on Friday.
“I’m calling for an investigation and demanding answers from the Biden Admin. on why a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to hover over critical military infrastructure in Missouri and across the interior of the U.S. without any intervention,” he tweeted.
?BREAKING: I’m calling for an investigation and demanding answers from the Biden Admin. on why a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to hover over critical military infrastructure in Missouri and across the interior of the U.S. without any intervention. pic.twitter.com/c25ZEGKpWC
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 3, 2023