Balloon-mounted cameras serve as eyes in the Afghan sky

The United States is stepping up its game in Afghanistan with $1 billion worth of gear to help with the rising threats this spring.

In an effort to head off a spring Taliban offensive, about $1 billion worth of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gear, is being added to the Afghanistan surge, writes Spencer Ackerman of Wired's Danger Room.

The new gear includes balloon-mounted cameras that can be tethered to base towers to assist troops in detecting homemade bombs--a rising threat in the region.

The Army also is looking into dummy camera-balloon systems as a way to deter insurgents, the article states.