China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has published a report exploring the use of near-space vehicles, including airships, as "omnipotent weapons" in modern warfare. The report, written by a researcher named Qiang Tianlin, outlines the strategic and tactical advantages of these vehicles, which operate at altitudes between 20,000 and 100,000 meters. According to the report, near-space vehicles are stealthy, energy-efficient, and can be deployed easily in all weather conditions. They also have the potential to provide high-quality intelligence and communication, surveil large areas, carry weapons to strike land and space-based targets, and jam enemy communications. While China is not the only country exploring the use of near-space vehicles, the report highlights the country's growing investment in military technology and its desire to compete with other global powers.
In summary, the hypothetical scenario of a foreign spy balloon flying over the United States could have significant political and strategic implications, both domestically and internationally. The U.S. government would likely consider a range of options, including military intervention, diplomatic discussions, and increased surveillance, before taking any action. The foreign government operating the spy balloon could use the situation as a demonstration of their military capabilities or as leverage in international negotiations. The presence of the spy balloon could also raise concerns about national security and trigger other actions by the U.S. government. Ultimately, the response to such a situation would depend on the specific circumstances and the actions taken by the various parties involved.