Thu, Mar 17, 2011
Obama Administration Deploys Unmanned Aircraft Deep Into
In an effort to collect intelligence in the killing of a U.S.
Immigration and Customs agent, the Obama administration has begun
to deploy high-altitude Global Hawk UAVs in Mexican airspace. U.S.
military officials say information gathered by the Homeland
Security aircraft will be handed over to Mexican authorities
investigating the case.
The New York Times reports that Mexican President Felipe
Calderon agreed to the flights in a meeting March 3rd with
President Obama. The pact had been kept under wraps due to Mexican
political concerns about sovereignty, but officials on both sides
speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the overflights,
saying it pointed to increased cooperation between the two
governments in fighting illegal drugs.
The agreement came after President Calderon expressed concern to
President Obama that his country was being targeted by American
drug and weapons consumption, and urged the U.S. leader to do more
to help. Mr. Obama reportedly said he was "eager" to take a more
central role in combating illegal drugs, as well as guns. The two
said there was a "shared responsibility" in fighting the criminal
entities on both sides of the U.S./Mexican border.
Officials of both countries have said that Mexico requested U.S.
assistance in the form of the UAVs. The number of overflights by
the Global Hawks is classified, but they can fly as high as FL600
and cover some 40,000 square miles in a day.
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