UAV recon missions over Afghanistan quadruple

The U.S. military and NATO are sending four times the unmanned aerial vehicles out on intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions into Afghanistan as were sent in 2009, but Noah Shachtman of Wired’s Danger Room blog is questioning what the payoff is.

So far in 2011, there have been about 23,000 spy missions in the country, and at any given time as many as 54 Predator and Reaper drones are flying over head in Afghanistan -- not to mention numerous manned patrol planes, aerostats, blimps and military combat planes.

Yet, despite the spy surge, coalition air attacks are down, and insurgent attacks have risen by as much as 50 percent when compared to 2009, writes Shachtman, proving that “just because you can see an enemy does not mean you can stop him, it would seem.”

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