Virtual Fence will Cost a lot of Actual Money
Thursday, May 18, 2006
(SNN Washington) In order to build the virtual fence touted by the administration, defense contractors are going to have to make unprecedented sales. The administration wants to leverage the success of the high cost technologies that have completely shut down the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The last time the government tried to build a virtual fence along the border was a great success. Contractors made $425 million, and only had to install half of the cameras.
One of the devices the Border Patrol may receive is the unmanned drones which are being used in Iraq. The department received one of the $6.8 million drones last year to patrol the Arizona border. It crashed.
There is at least one low cost alternative being considered to be part of the virtual fence. The Tethered Aerostat Radar, or balloon on a rope, costs only $1.5 million a piece and can be operated in all weather conditions, with the exception of wind. The hope is that Immigrants trying to illegally cross the border will laugh so hard at these gay little balloons that they will pass out. The devices could track people for several miles through the desert, unless someone cuts the rope, then they will float away.
In addition to the virtual fence, congress has been pushing for an actual fence, which immigrants will float over clutching to the rope of the Tethered Aerostat Radar.