The Veterans Today Editor: The scare factor is being hyped here, for the usual reasons. The ballons are no major step forward for more intrusion as satellites have been doing exactly this for a long time now with none of the current hysteria.
With the pressure on budget cuts now the balloons are just a much much cheaper way to do it, more flexible, and easier to keep updated.
Believe me, the big defense folks would much prefer to use the hugely more expensive systems, but frankly the balloon people have been going after their business. One might even ask if the big satellite defense contractors would be behind much of the anti-balloon hype. Gosh..imagine that!