After the first BETA landing unit arrived at Kashgar, on 19th April, 1973, military forces from the People's Republic of China moved to engage the BETA in open combat. The subsequent reversal of the strategic situation with the introduction of the Laser-class BETA resulted in the total rout of Chinese forces against the BETA advance.
Therefore, when a second Hive landing unit made impact in Athabasca, US forces, learning from the hard lesson received by the Chinese, spared no quarter in preventing a repeat of the ongoing situation in Eurasia. With permission given by the Canadian government, the Athabasca landing unit was destroyed through concentrated use of strategic nuclear weapons; while this neutralized the threat, it also had the side-effect of turning half of Canada into an irradiated, uninhabitable wasteland.
The destruction of the Athabasca landing unit would be the first major victory against the BETA in the conflicts to come. The prevention of a BETA invasion on the American continent would shape political and strategic events well into the future, allowing the USA to cement its position as a global superpower untouched by the scars of the BETA invasion, while its potential rivals were slowly worn away over decades of war.
The remains of the Hive landing unit were also taken into US custody at the Ros Alamos National Laboratory, allowing them to extensively study BETA technology for the first time. Knowledge on the G-Elements was first compiled from here.