The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General may not have the sad, exactly, but his end-of-2014 report on border-patrolling drones was not very happy.
Tio Sam, the Inspector General recommended, should spend his Migra-Industrial Complex money somewhere else. More drones are not on fleek, the report concluded.
The LexisNexis newsroom pulled this quote from the report:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations
Although CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft System program contributes to border security, after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures.
The program has also not achieved the expected results. Specifically, the unmanned aircraft are not meeting flight hour goals, and we found little or no evidence CBP has met its program expectations. We estimate it costs $12,255 per flight hour to operate the program; CBP’s calculation of $2,468 per flight hour does not include all operating costs. By not recognizing all operating costs, CBP cannot accurately assess the program’s cost effectiveness or make informed decisions about program expansion.
In addition, Congress and the public may be unaware of all the resources committed to the program.
As a result, CBP has invested significant funds in a program that has not achieved the expected results, and it cannot demonstrate how much the program has improved border security. The $443 million CBP plans to spend on program expansion could be put to better use by investing in alternatives.
What could be the problem?
Let’s review. Here’s what POCHO reported in November of 2013:
Nearly half the US-Mexican border is now patrolled by Border Patrol Predator B2 drones, according to the Associated Press, and the government plans to expand the strategy to the Canadian border.
Surely nothing could go wrong! Not so fast, Mr. and/or Ms. MIGRA:
In August of 2014, our Emeritus Editor, Elise Roedenbeck (@buttronica on Twitter), revealed just how easy it is to avoid drone surveillance in this massively-viral video.
No wonder drones are not doing the job. Doh!