This morning’s Politico contains a story suggesting Texas Governor Rick Perry believes Predator drones should be used for border surveillance purposes on the U.S.’s southwest border. While the headline may have been more suggestive than the now-presidential candidate actually said, the idea of using Predators is one Governor Perry ought to revisit, and quickly.

There are better, cheaper and significantly more effective alternative technologies for border surveillance purposes than the Predator. If candidate Perry’s staff (or any other candidate, for that matter) were to look at the Analysis of Alternatives DHS prepared earlier in the year, I believe they would find an area where federal government spending could be reduced and security effectiveness increased.

Whether they make the time to understand that Predators should be grounded rather than flown for border surveillance will tell me a lot on whether this is, as former Senator Rick Santorum said in Iowa last weekend when referring to another candidate’s comments, “leadership and not showmanship.”

David Olive focuses his blogging primarily on the “business of homeland security” — the interaction of the private sector with the Department of Homeland Security and other national security agencies. Read More