Neither Cuellar nor DHS offer any evidence to support these claims. Yet, even if the drones did function as a force multiplier and did provide “precise, real-time surveillance” that decreased illegal border crossings, the high cost of this high-tech solution for border security raises questions about the advisability and viability of the drone border security program.
The close ties that Congressional proponents of UAV deployment enjoy with the UAV industry raise other questions about the credibility and integrity of the leading UAV advocates. Congressman Cuellar is co-chairman of the 50-member Unmanned Systems Caucus, whose co-chairman is Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-California), who represents the San Diego district that is the home of General Atomics.
Yet, drone proliferation isn’t confined to security – national, homeland, border – missions. The drone industry, together with the Congressional drone lobby, are also successfully promoting drones as must-have instruments for law enforcement – not only for federal agencies, but also for thousands of police and sheriffs departments throughout the nation. DHS and the Department of Justice have special promotional and funding programs to facilitate drone acquisition by law enforcement.
The following articles are part of a series of an ongoing series of articles on drone proliferation.