Trump has called for a suspected Chinese spy balloon flying over Montana to be shot down. He made the statement through his Truth Social website, saying “SHOOT DOWN THE BALLOON!”.
The Pentagon announced that they are tracking a “high-altitude surveillance balloon” that entered Montana airspace after flying over Canada and Alaska. They are confident that it belongs to China.
President Biden was reportedly advised against military options regarding the balloon by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commander of the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM). A senior defense official stated at a briefing that President Biden was “briefed and asked for military options” but it was the “strong recommendation” of the Joint Chiefs and NORTHCOM commander “not to take kinetic action due to the risk to safety and security of people on the ground from the possible debris field.”
NORTHCOM, which was formed in 2002, is responsible for homeland defense and has the mission to “plan, organize, and execute homeland defense” as stated on its website.