This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)



Israeli experts were astonished to hear about a new report that claims the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unmanned air systems (UAS) are a wasteful giveaway to defense contractors and a threat to civil liberties. The report cites CBP own figures, the contribution UAS make to border security is minimal. According to CBP calculations, UAS have played a role in only 0.003 percent in drug seizure and 0.001 percent in illegal border crossing apprehensions.

The Huffington Post reports that the study has caught the attention of lawmakers who are considering, whether to increase funding for drones to be used along the border as part of a immigration reform package. CBP currently has seven Predator UAS and three Guardian UAS in its fleet. Under a $443.1 million contract issued in 2012, the agency could receive fourteen additional drones over the next three years.

Tom Barry, the lead author of the report, said his staff found “an inefficient, costly and absurd approach to border security and homeland security through the purchasing of Predator UAS that were designed for military activity.”

Israel has been using UAS along its borders for many years with great success. The Israeli experts said that the UAS should be adapted to the civil applications but they add that they are “a great tool”.