The Pentagon, military, intelligence agencies and military contractors are longtime proponents of UAVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Following President Bush’s declaration of a “global war on terrorism,” the White House became directly involved in expanding drone deployment in foreign wars – especially in directing drone strikes.
The most unabashed advocates of drone proliferation, however, are in Congress. They claim drones can solve many of America’s most pressing problems – from eliminating terrorists to keeping the homeland safe from unwanted immigrants. However, there has been little congressional oversight of drone deployments, both at home and abroad. Since the post-9/11 congressional interest in drone issues – budgets, role in national airspace, overseas sales, border deployment and UAVs by law enforcement agencies – drone boosterism in Congress has prevailed of any incipient oversight or governance role. Drones made an appearance in the Senate in the first foray to implement immigration reform, when on January 28, 2013 a bipartisan group of senators argued their proposal legislation would “increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles and surveillance equipment….”