Our Fearless Leaders

[Update a few minutes later]

Some amusing takes.

[Update a while later]

9 thoughts on “Our Fearless Leaders”

  1. Antiballoon missiles (ABMs) are destabilizing. The only hope for survival is mutally assured dirigibles (MAD).

    Siri, how do I say “99 Red Balloons” in Mandarin?

  2. Reportedly the Air Force spent $10 million to bring it down, firing a $400K missile. Balloon envelopes are so thin than any common laser engraver could slice one open on a close pass.

    But based on the experts who were trotted out to opine on the threat these balloons pose, the episode has convinced me that our elites slept through all their junior high and high school science classes.

      1. You could have just poked a few 20mm holes in it for that matter.

        Takes forever to deflate from that. And you can easily spend more than $400k trying to get those few 20mm holes on multiple attempts. I was quite impressed that they were able to take this down with a Sidewinder. I didn’t think a high altitude balloon would have a good enough heat signature to do it even with afternoon solar heating.

        And as a result, they had control over where it fell.

        1. I presumed it was a boresight shot without guidance. Is not obvious to me from the video whether the warhead detonated. I wouldn’t have supposed it could be triggered by contact with the balloon’s envelope.

    1. WWI balloons were dangerous targets, they were often protected by substantial AAA assets and enemy fighter patrols.

      1. Plus they were buoyed by hydrogen. So if you were too close when you set it ablaze, you might get cooked, too.

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