TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world; Russia-, Ukraine-, and Iran-wise.

Keeping it short and sweet for now, as things keep updating on the long-running Phase II of the “IT in Russiagate” topic.  The first subject in today’s Ready Room grab-bag is the no-fly zone proposal for Ukraine.

It’s a bad idea.  All I will do here is copy in an email sent earlier with my reflections on the matter.  They were forwarded in response to a piece by former Senator Joe Lieberman in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for the paywall).

The email text: Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 10 March 2022: NFZs, convoys, and Iran follies, oh my”


So, why DID we have to hear about a no-fly zone over Syria from Rick Perry?

Can’t we talk about this?

The weird thing about Governor Perry’s “Syrian no-fly-zone” moment was not that he talked about a no-fly zone (NFZ) with the Fox news pundits, and then reiterated his comments in the GOP foreign policy debate on Tuesday.

The weird thing is that there seems, in fact, to be a proposal for a Syrian NFZ – one in which the US would reportedly provide logistic support – and it took a GOP candidate to tell us about it.

Perry took a lot of heat for “bringing up” the idea of an NFZ for Syria.  But foreign news agencies have been furiously reporting for nearly a week that negotiations are underway for such a measure.  The plan, as sketched out to date, would involve Arab and Turkish air forces enforcing the NFZ, with the US providing logistic support.

Calm down, Continue reading “So, why DID we have to hear about a no-fly zone over Syria from Rick Perry?”

‘Warning’ Versus ‘Actual No-Fly Zone’

What a real warning looks like.

As Max Boot implies at Commentary’s “contentions,” we have a fresh data point on what it takes to influence a thug like Qaddafi. It’s worth recalling what did not work. On March 1, the Obama administration communicated the following, as captured by the New York Times:

“Qaddafi has lost the legitimacy to govern, and it is time for him to go without further violence or delay,” Mrs. Clinton told reporters after a special meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. “No option is off the table,” she said, adding “that of course includes a no-fly zone.”

But officials in Washington and elsewhere said that direct military action remained unlikely, and that the moves were designed as much as anything as a warning to Colonel Qaddafi and a show of support to the protesters seeking to overthrow his government.

It was observed at the time that the caveat about military action being unlikely served only to cancel out Hillary Clinton’s message. There is no set of rules by which miscreant dictators are bound to take warnings seriously, or ignore the extenuating and mitigating remarks made about them for the benefit of other audiences. Qaddafi didn’t take any of the earlier warnings seriously. But he adjusted promptly to the imminent threat of a no-fly zone.

J.E. Dyer blogs at Hot Air’s Green Room and Commentary’s “contentions.”  She writes a weekly column for Patheos.

Why No-Fly is Flawed Strategy

To no-fly or not to no-fly.

John Kerry’s opinion piece in the March 11 Washington Post, which analyzes the no-fly zone option for Libya, throws into useful relief the reasons why the U.S. Defense Department would approach a no-fly zone (NFZ) with reluctance. Kerry’s editorial is quite reasonable; and with the Obama administration so silent on the policy argument, it’s good to have someone in public office lay out a careful case for an NFZ. But Kerry’s case is pretty much what we would expect it to be. The narrow purpose of an NFZ would be preventing Qaddafi from mounting air attacks on his people.

The important military concern about framing an NFZ this way is that it ignores what Qaddafi’s ultimate objective is. Continue reading “Why No-Fly is Flawed Strategy”