The Washington Post reports that a federal audit by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector-General had found “little or no evidence” that the fleet of drones deployed for surveillance along the nation’s borders was effective in that surveillance.
The Post reported the audit had revealed that for fiscal year 2013, it cost $12,255 per flight hour to operate the drones, five times more than the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates the drones, had estimated. The report said the drones, launched from bases in Texas, Arizona, Florida and North Dakota, were “not meeting flight-hour goals,” and the CBP could not “demonstrate how much the program has improved border security.”
The report said that in Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, in 2013, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of those stopped at the border, were because of drone detection in any way. The CBP has disputed the inspector-general’s findings and said the report had been “cherry-picking statistics.”