U.S. military failed to detect prior Chinese incursions, general says

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from The Washington Post,

The Pentagon’s disclosure that previous balloon flights over the U.S. occurred during Trump’s time in office was met with surprise by the former president and his advisers.

The top U.S. general responsible for protecting North American skies said Monday that past incursions by Chinese balloons went undetected by the Pentagon, exposing what he characterized as a worrisome deficiency that must be addressed.
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The Defense Department has acknowledged that the craft shot down Saturday off the South Carolina coast after a days-long journey across the U.S. mainland marked at least the fifth time in recent years that Beijing has breached the nation’s airspace using such technology. Officials informed lawmakers over the weekend that, dating to Donald Trump’s presidency, there had been similar breaches near Texas, Florida, Hawaii and Guam.

“As NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America,” Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, who oversees the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told reporters during a news briefing. “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats. And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out.”

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