Open Skies

U2 Incident

In1960, during the Eisenhower Administration, a US U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. American authorities first claimed the plane was a civilian weather research aircraft operated by NASA, but were forced to admit to the lie when the Soviet Government displayed damning evidence. The U2 incident shattered the “Spirit of Camp David,” prompting cancellation of a planned summit meeting in Paris, and causing great embarrassment to President Eisenhower and the U.S.

Treaty on Open Skies

The Treaty on Open Skies allows aerial surveillance flights over the territory of participants. It was initially proposed by President Eisenhower in 1955. The treaty was signed by President G.H.W. Bush in 1989 and came into force in 2002. The idea of allowing countries to openly surveil each other is thought to enhance national security and limit the escalation of tensions. In November 2020, at the end of the Trump Administration, the US withdrew from the treaty; Russia withdrew in December 2021. China never participated.

Condemning the Chinese Communist Party

Today, Feb. 8, 2023, the House considered H. Res. 104 — “Condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s use of a high-altitude surveillance balloon over United States territory as a brazen violation of United States sovereignty.” What I find brazen is the hypocrisy.

If high altitude balloons are a brazen violation of national sovereignty, then why not low altitude satellites which the US and other countries routinely employ? The resolution passed 419-0 with 15 not voting; evidently members of both parties felt the political cost of opposition wasn’t worthwhile.


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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1 Response to Open Skies

  1. josephurban says:

    A meaningless vote on a meaningless issue. That’s about all we can expect over the next 2 years. MAGA.

    Liked by 1 person

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