The story of the Chinese aerostatic balloons discovered over the American skies is causing a sensation, but there is a certain incomprehension of the thing, if we compare the European media with the American ones. And there is a profound reason for this, a reason which often does not seem clear to us Europeans. Why is this balloon so important to the US after all?
So, before hypothesizing improbable balloons with atomic bombs on them, or non-existent breaches in military security, we should perhaps dwell on the political significance of these balloons.
The psychology of American military security, and I mean the American masses, is that of a people who believe they are intangible. The (wrong) reasoning that is presented to the masses is the following: “ the USA is isolated from the rest of the world because there are two oceans around it (Pacific and Atlantic) and in both oceans we have the most powerful naval fleets in the world . To the south is Mexico, which isn't a problem if you just flush your history books down the toilet. To the north is Canada, which isn't a problem, because you flushed the history books earlier. The sky remains, where we Americans have the coolest and most impenetrable air defenses, and space where we are the top of the top. Consequently, America is invulnerable and unassailable .”
How much does this certainty weigh on the masses? Well, you can compare the reaction of Ukrainians to ferocious bombing, and that of Americans to 9/11. For Ukrainians, 9/11 is called “a Wednesday”, for one thing.
American mass psychology, which allows them to do explosive shit all over the world without worrying about the consequences, is precisely that of those who feel untouchable.
Without this false sense of security, US foreign policy would be very different.
In general, the American citizen is neither resilient nor courageous. If these characteristics are brought to light, the Americans will demand that US soldiers line up shoulder to shoulder along the border, that the US Navy form a cordon of ships around the coast, and that planes stay in the air 24/7 to watch the skies.
So what is the military and strategic value of these balloons?
Some say they could also carry nuclear weapons. In terms of weight, that's true. The problem is, if someone shoots one down and recovers the bomb, they get your military technology. Not wise. Furthermore, the accuracy is very low and the ball is slow. A nuclear attack with these methods is unthinkable.
Am I there to spy? Neither. It wouldn't make sense, the trajectory is too random, artificial satellites already exist, etc. etc.
But there's one thing those balloons have:
They are visible to the population.
And they bring into play the psychology of the population, to the extent that the first pillar of the false sense of security of the USA is questioned: we are not invulnerable. We are not untouchable. We are not safe.
The real feasibility of a military attack using high-altitude balloons does not matter. It matters that anyone can see the enemy walking in their skies.
This, that is, that you see in the video, is what the Chinese wanted to do:
That is, they wanted the American citizen to realize that he had a large, non-American, and possibly hostile object on his head. Surprise, bewilderment, and everything. The sense of security that is shattered is impalpable.
And the USA at that point had to FORCED react like this:
That is, they had to
- make sure that their citizens could SEE the balloon being shot down.
- use the latest invention (an F-22, which in the USA is a myth) of the aeronautics to blow it up, despite the fact that at that height (just over 18,000 metres) other cheaper and safer means would have been possible.
- forcing the pilot to fly in such a way as to produce a conspicuous contrail to be seen by the population. (the plane is considered “invisible”).
- using a missile to detonate it, when it would probably have collapsed slowly using normal machine guns, and collapsing slowly the risk to the population would have been low.
this, which appears to be an overreaction, is not: it is a misguided attempt to restore the unshakable confidence that the US masses have in their air defenses.
What will the USA find when they recover the ball? Probably, a real weather probe. Because the purpose of the balloon was not military or espionage, but simply political and psychological.
Any doubts about the effectiveness of US defenses would make the American population so McCarthy and isolationist that they would lose any ally in a few years. And politics would follow.
The US reaction; therefore, it is the one that “if someone tries to violate our skies, an F-22 arrives and shoots them down, as if they were your SUV. (any reference to the length of the pea is strictly coincidental)”.
As a condiment, I would like to point out that in the description an aerostatic balloon (second video) has become "GIANT", to enlarge the destruction operation. Not just a simple Chinese balloon was destroyed, a HUGE Chinese balloon was destroyed.
If that were the case, what is the purpose of that balloon, and those that will follow? The aim is to spread distrust in the armed forces and in the current president, or in the authorities in general, among the population. If now another balloon were discovered, perhaps without insignia and not attributable to any country, and then another, shooting them down when citizens have already sighted them would no longer have the effect of restoring public confidence.
And it is for this reason that, faced with the laughable threat of a balloon, the USA had to postpone its undersecretary's visit to China.
- With a frightened populace behind you, you have little chance of banging your fists on the table.
- The political reaction must be proportional to the political effect.
And the political effect of a foreign balloon visible to the naked eye by citizens is certainly, yes, HUGE.