The Biden administration has been trying to plug a gigantic hole in their story about Chinese spy balloons flying over U.S. territory during the Trump administration with no one in the government aware of it.
Initially, the Biden administration sought to deflect attention from their failure to shoot down the balloon by noting that Chinese spy balloons transited U.S. territory three times during the Trump years. But when several Trump administration officials hotly denied that charge, Biden administration officials changed their story. They claimed that the balloons were only over U.S. territory briefly — skirting Hawaii and flying over part of Florida — unlike this latest spy balloon, which traversed the entire width of the country. They also claimed that the balloons weren’t detected.
But how do we know this if the balloons weren’t detected and national leaders weren’t informed of their presence?
The American military had a “domain awareness gap,” according to Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
“Every day as a NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America. I will tell you that we did not detect those threats,” VanHerck said. “And that’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out, but I don’t want to go into further detail.”
What’s a “domain awareness gap”? General VanHerck didn’t define the term, but Breaking Defense offered a partial explanation.
When VanHerck speaks of a “domain gap,” he’s referring to the U.S. Northern Command not having “the correct mix of sensor capabilities.”