Recently, the state of Montana was the site of an unexpected and potentially dangerous incursion. A Chinese surveillance balloon flew into the airspace of Big Sky Country, and made it hundreds of miles into the state before it was detected. It flew very close to Malmstrom Air Force Base, which houses some of the most powerful weapons of mass destruction in the world.

In an interview with Fox News, Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte revealed that he was not briefed on the situation until the balloon had reached the state’s largest city, Billings. He expressed his frustration that the federal government had initially contemplated taking the balloon out of the sky but decided not to.

By later Friday evening, the balloon had made it all the way to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Gianforte said that Montanans would have taken the balloon out of the sky the moment it entered their sovereign airspace. He also noted that the balloon had traveled over Alaska and Canada before reaching the Lower 48, with neither government taking any action.

Gianforte argued that the Americans should have taken action, as the same would not have been tolerated if the situation was reversed. He suggested that Eastern Montana would have been an ideal place to take the balloon down, as it could have been contained and the mission of the balloon could have been found out.

Unfortunately, the federal government’s inaction has emboldened our enemies and put Americans in danger. It is alarming that such a situation could occur, and it is important that the issue be addressed and action taken to ensure that it does not happen again.