Nov 13, 2011

US Employs More Drones To Watch Border

This article focuses on the technology and ostensible benefits of using Predator drones on the border. It also points out, indirectly, some of the politics around their use. U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar wants more of them. The Borde Patrol agents union wants the money spent instead on (surprise!) "more boots on the ground."  For a critical analysis of the politics, read Predators on Border, Hawks in Mexico. For more on Congressman Cuellar, see our editorial, What's Behind the Merida Initiative's Move to Texas?

AP/Fox News Latino: "The Predator program ... is playing a larger role in the nation's border security as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection adds to its force of unmanned aircraft. The agency received its second Predator B aircraft in Texas last month and will add its sixth overall on the Southwest border when another is based in Arizona by the end of the year.

... A Predator system — the plane, sensors, control consoles and antennas — costs $18.5 million. ... U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who pushed to add the second unmanned aircraft in Texas and eventually hopes to have six based here, called them an "extremely important" part of the border enforcement mix of agents and technology." read more

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