Four-star Gen. Jack Keane blasts Biden over Chinese balloon: 'Plenty of opportunity to take it down'
Keane said he believes "it's not a complicated operation" for the U.S. military to take down a balloon moving at that speed.
Retired four-star Gen. Jack Keane blasted President Joe Biden for not taking down the Chinese surveillance balloon when it was over the Pacific Ocean before it crossed much of the continental U.S. and flew over sensitive military sites.
"We've had all of our sensors watching this, you know, for some time," Keane told Fox News on Saturday.
He said he believes "it's not a complicated operation" for the U.S. military to take down a balloon moving at that speed.
"Nonetheless, we finally did what we should have done at the beginning. Remember, this was approaching the United States over water," he said.
"It was approaching the Aleutian Islands over water," Keane said, referring to the island chain southwest of Alaska. "We had plenty of opportunity to take it down then, and that's when it should have happened."
Keane suspected that the U.S. military had been tracking the balloon from mainland China and had "plenty of warning" to take down the aircraft. Planes are even stationed in Alaska that could have been capable of popping it, he said.
Regardless, taking down the balloon, even if it's later than ideal, "still sends a message to China that we're not going to let you get away with this nonsense," Keane said.
The retired general made headlines late last month when he warned that the U.S. military is underprepared to go to war against China.