Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has stated the United States needs to issue a "clear and unequivocable" message against objects flying into its airspace without permission on Friday.
Murkowski's statement comes after a "high-altitude object" was shot down over Alaska on Friday, the second flying object to have flown over the United States in the last two weeks. The U.S. shot down the Chinese spy balloon that traveled across the country for several days on Feb. 3.
"The first line of defense, again, is Alaska," Murkowski said in an interview with NBC News. "If it comes into Alaska airspace, if it comes over Alaska waters, we need to act. We need to send the message, and we need to be clear and unequivocable that we don't tolerate this, period."
Murkowski is one of several Republicans who have been critical of President Joe Biden's handling of the Chinese Spy Balloon the military shot down over the Atlantic last weekend. When asked what she thought of how the second flying object was handled, she stated that there was a "level of precision and identification" needed to take the object down.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated during a briefing on Friday that Biden was first made aware of the object's location overnight, and the president ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down as soon as it passed over U.S. territorial waters. The waters are presently frozen, and Kirby said military personnel are conducting a salvage operation.
Kirby could not say for sure if the flying object belonged to China.
"I have no idea," he stated. "We don't know what entity owns this object. We just don't know."