Watched Or Tested? - What is the test of a nation?
Are we being watched or tested? How should intrusions on our sovereignty be handled? Are others flexing their muscles? What about global bullies? How should these occurrences be handled? However, the most important question is, what is the test of a nation? Greetings to all. With these recent turn of events, this week is a topic I wanted to talk about since they have a significant interest to me. As a nation, it is imperative that we ALWAYS evaluate potential threats and NEVER assume they are not a potential threat to our nation and its citizens.
HISTORY - Before and after:
Spying is nothing new. Every country has been doing it for decades. However, decades ago, it was not as easy as it has become today. THE BALLON. What are your thoughts about the Chinese ballon? Part of the logic is true. There is nothing that ballon could have gotten that spy satellites already orbiting this planet can get or have gotten, and get it better. In this writer's opinion, that balloon was NOT for the sole purpose of spying. I believe the purpose of that balloon was to test our nation. Its purpose was to see how we would react, how long it would take, and our response. Frankly, we failed miserably. I ask the following question:
Why would we not immediately address this unidentified object by contacting China to determine its intent as it came close to our airspace, far off the Alaskan coast and out at sea?
What message did we send the rest of the world?
Did we even realize it was there?
Why does our radar need to be adjusted to catch these objects sooner?
If someone did not see this object and report it, would we have even found it?
These are only a few of the questions I have. It is clear that the potential exists that we do NOT have a strong administration as compared to some in the past. John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and yes, President Trump. Trump kept China, Russia, and North Korea guessing. They have no fear of this administration. No concerns about its strength and resolve. NO ONE in this country wants a war. However, war is avoided through two methods. The first method is the balance of power. The second method is achieved by making clear boundaries, meaning what is acceptable and not acceptable. An integral part of leadership is displaying strength. Something this administration lacks. You will understand this more as you read on.
From the basics of football, boxing, or race car driving to more complex issues such as corporate competitiveness, any entity learns about its adversary by watching them. What moves will they make, how far can they be pushed, and how do they deploy their strategies? Of course, there are many others.
It is clear that China is watching the situation and the role the United States is taking with Ukraine. Putting money aside for a moment, regardless of which news network you watch, most agree that Ukraine should keep its freedom, which is critical for that part of the world. They also agree that China is watching. China needs to know what measures and steps the United States will take or how far the United States will go to protect Taiwan.
It is common knowledge that China wants to take over Taiwan. It's a known fact. However, the United States can also be a sleeping giant. As Isoroku Yamamoto stated, when we were at war with Japan and Pearl Harbor was attacked;
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Although that quote came from the classic movie Tora Tora Tora, there was some controversy as to whether or not those words were actually spoken until the film's producer Elmo Williams found the line written in Yamamoto's diary. (1)
China must watch closely to know how the United States will respond in the event that attempt occurs, and one day it probably will. Maybe sooner than most think.
Why is this critical? Whether you know it or not, Taiwan makes 65% of the world's semiconductors and almost 90% of the advanced chips. (2) It is estimated that the United States would take over two years to gear up to produce that amount domestically. Therefore, imagine the technology mess the world would be in if China took over Taiwan. The bargaining power China would have. We must understand there is something good to say about foreign trade. It's economically healthy, but not at the cost of putting all your eggs in one basket. Therefore, is it safe to assume that China is and will continue to test the waters? Count on it.
Russia is a complete mess regarding winning the war in Ukraine. Putin never expected it to go on this long, and he needs China. China also knows to take Taiwan; it will need the resources of Russia. Hence, the Rusian/China alliance. This plot will probably continue to thicken as time goes on. The Western world is NOT providing all the necessary tools to Ukraine that would allow them to win this war more quicker.
Therefore, what are we up against? Is it politics, fear of escalation, or are people lining their pockets at the expense of so many deaths on both sides? A country is being devasted, and for what? A madman's dream? Being a communist country, Russia's politics and accountability are different than what we are used to in the United States. Courtesy of Wikipedia,
"According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President with the parliament's approval." Therefore, I wonder why Russia's parliament allows this to continue. A system that Putin is clearly trying to change. But let's get back to spying.
I said earlier that spying is not new and has been going on for decades. What is different now is that the world can do it better and more efficiently. Certainly more efficient than a balloon.
Just a couple of weeks ago, more satellites were launched to add to the nearly 5000 already orbiting the earth. Many of these are for internet and digital communications, some are for positioning such as GPS technology. There are many types of satellites, which is a topic in itself. GEO (geostationary earth orbit), LEO, (low earth orbit, and MEO, (medium earth orbit). While some satellites circle the globe in as little as 90 minutes, others do not appear to move at all. These are satellite are considered geostationary and appear to hover above the equator and are used primarily for weather and TV. Some satellites can be repositioned. MAny satellites have been in service for over 60 years. Russia luached the first satellite, The Sputnik, in Oct. 1957. The U.S. launched its first satellite The Explorer, in Feb, 1958.
Satelitles can keep its orbit for hundreds of years depending on magnetic pull its launch velocity. However, they do malfunction, and at times will fall to earth, burning up in the atmosphere. We must also consider the older the satellite, the older the technology. Many ask can or will a satellite fall back to earth. The short answer is, courtesy of google, Gravity—combined with the satellite's momentum from its launch into space—cause the satellite to go into orbit above Earth, instead of falling back down to the ground. We must keep in mind, for a variety of different reasons, it's amazing the amount of space junk that is in space over the years. The average useful lifespan of a satellite is typically only fifteen years before they may have to be replaced. A fascinating topic to read up on. Why? BEcuase we take them for granted, and the average person rarely, if ever, thinks abut them being there. Without them, we would not enjoy the technology we have today. Here is the link to a great article that explains satellites in laymens terms. (6)
Maybe knowing a bit more about satellites then you did before you read this post, ask yourself this question. Did China really need a balloon to spy on our military installations? I think not. As I stated, I believe they were testing how we would handle this object in our airspace, our response, and actions taken. But what if there were weapons of mass destruction inside that balloon? Chemical weapons, or anything else that could hurt our country.
Most have heard of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). It's been around for years. (4) This type of device can produce an electromagnetic pulse that depending on its altitude and magnitude, can disrupt power over a certain geographical area. The higher the altitude, the greater the area affected. Is this something that can be placed inside a balloon?
That balloon crossed our entire country before it was taken down. The reasoning was, "It caused no physical threat, and any information it obtained could be obtained by spy satellites." In this writer's opinion, it is very basic.
ANY OBJECT ENTERING OUR AIRSPACE WE ARE NOT AWARE OF NEEDS TO BE IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIED, AND ITS ORIGIN CONFIRMED. If we cannot achieve these answers or have an open dialogue with its owner, it is now a threat to our sovereignty and national security and should be destroyed. If this was a simple case of a ballon that went off course due to winds, why were we not notified by the Chinese government in advance of this? A proper response always sends the proper and correct message. The Biden administration came under great scrutiny over this incident by not reacting to it promptly and properly.
Subsequently, probably due to the pressure over the Chinese balloon, we quickly shot down three more additional targets that could not be identified. Do we have an FAA? Aren't we supposed to know what is supposed to be or not supposed to be in our airspace at any given time? However, this is nothing new and has been going on for years. This incident just brought it out in the open, probably due to the size of the balloon. High-altitude drones are another method used for spying, and most countries also use them. SPying on one another is not a new act in the spy game rodeo.
Most countries would never allow what the United States allows other countries to do within it's borders. How much farm land, or land in general, do we own in Russia or China? Especially land that closely borders military facilities. The single most important thing that any country must control, is its own resources. When a country lets to much of it go to others, they now have some degree of control. Of course, any country can take over land in their country that is owned by another country. The question is, why sell it to them in the first place? As of February 2023, it is estimated that China controls approximately 383,00 acres of U.S. Farmland.. Fox Business, Lydia Hu reported that Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland jumped more than 20-fold ina decade from $81 million in 2010 to nearly $1.9 billion in 2021. Some states are now placing bans preventing China to purchase more land. Florida and North Dakota are just two starting this process. Will others join in?
It's believed that there are more than 1 billion cameras installed worldwide. It's nearly impossible to escape them. In fact, Americans are caught on camera an average of 238 times every week. That's 34 times per day. (3) So always be smiling.
Very few things are secrets any longer, and most things can be found out. Security is the name of the game. Sometimes you have to wonder if private security is more secure than our nation's security. However, I believe that depends on who is running the country. Many past leaders took a stand, when necessary, against this invasion of our national security. Others, not so much.
The Trojan horse was just a replica of a horse. A gift. However, it held a great surprise. We do not need another Trojan Horse. The world is full of global bullies. Bullies that will push and test the limits of others. It is one thing to be reasonable and a nice guy. It's another to be ignorant and stupid. Cameras will continue to go up. Satellites will continue to be launched. Spying on others will continue. All of those things are to be expected. Keep in mind that no one side is fooling the other. It's a game of military and technological tug of war. Look how far North Korea has come in its rocket testing. Former President Trump had them under control. That control no longer exists.
The world is a global ticking time clock. No one knows when or if it will go off. The trick is to make it, so it never does. However, that takes unity and desire from all sides. We can only control what we do; we cannot control what others will do, but we must be prepared for it. That is called survival. Are we surviving? Are we sending the right message to our adversaries? Are we sending the right message to those crossing our southern border and those sending them? Does Russia get it? Does China get it? For most of this, only time will tell. Meanwhile, when you walk down the street, smile. You never know who is watching.
The average citizen in any country does not really know what is up in the sky, the atmosphere, or space and its true capabilities. This information is and certainly should be top secret. Especially in the interest of national security. However, we would be ignorant to think that our capabilities are not well past our imagination. For example, take facial recognition. Satellites can see that closely and identify targets and people on the ground. We are NOT the only ones with this type of technology.
Rule #1 - Never underestimate your opponent. I am NOT going to suggest the United States is weak. It is not. However, I do question the resolve of its leadership. Exercising caution is always a wise choice. However, to exercise caution and have it misinterpreted as weakness becomes dangerous and a slippery slope that can lead to conflicts that might have otherwise been avoided.
With all this being said, in the game of politics, we never will know what happens behind closed doors or what dialogue is in progress. We are limited by what we hear that is reported by the news networks, and that information is also controlled. Should we trust our leaders to do what is right for the nation? Are they making the correct choices? It is very difficult to answer that question when we as citizens see for ourselves some of the speeches and stupidity of things that are said to the public by our leaders.
At present, trust in our government is probably at a historic low. Opinions are many, and answers are few. Is it a safe bet to see if time will tell? Is it ever safe to toy with our national security? Our sovereignty? Our Freedom? Many of you may be too old to remember the Cuban missile crisis. The world sat on the edge for thirteen days in October 1962 and waited, and we seemingly sat on the brink of nuclear war. Why? Because John F. Kennedy took a stand. The right stand. Ultimately, a behind-closed-doors deal was made, so all sides saved face. (5) Maybe the same thing must happen with Ukraine and Russia to avoid this highly costly war and avoid what could go on for years. Remember, it is not only the financial cost; the loss of human life matters more.
There are many times in life when no one knows the answers. Primarily because both sides want different things. However, in the end, when things have become completely out of control, does it actually matter? There are no winners in war. There are only losers. In one aspect or another, everyone loses.
(2) Computer Chips
(5) Missile Crisis
Remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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