(RepublicanPress.org) – On February 4, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported the US military shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. Less than one week later, another unidentified flying object appeared over Alaska, and America shot that one down as well. Just one day after that, the US used a fighter jet to shoot down yet another object over Canada and another one on the 12th over Lake Huron in Michigan. Although many people were simply wondering what was going on in the sky, there was another factor at play that may have slipped some minds — the cost of knocking the objects out of the air.
On February 22, the WSJ reported the price tag attached to the three missions following the original Chinese object. Defense officials put the figure at a minimum of $1.5 million. Cost may not be so much of a factor if the US is defending the nation, but the government believes the objects outside of the initial balloon were probably just recreational balloons.
The US spent $1.5 million to shoot down 3 weather and hobby balloons, one such balloon was a $12 balloon. Excellent use of fighter jet resources. https://t.co/KA1sWS77Xc
— Christine Duhaime (@cduhaime) February 23, 2023
According to the WSJ, the $1.5 million figure only included the cost of the missiles used to shoot the objects out of the sky; it didn’t take into account the manpower necessary, fuel costs, or recovery of the fallen debris.
On February 16, the New York Post reported the GOP was making fun of President Joe Biden and the military for using a $400,000 missile to take out what could possibly be a balloon worth less than 15 bucks. At the time, however, neither the military nor the administration knew what the objects were. However, Biden confirmed there was no reason to believe the items were a danger to the country.
US Northern Command defended the action, stating the objects were flying at an altitude that could have negatively impacted commercial air traffic, and they had to come down. Biden announced his administration will be developing “sharper rules” for dealing with similar situations in the future.
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