By Rvassar - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

ANALYSIS – I recently wrote about a Florida GOP Congresswoman, and former media colleague, who appeared to have flubbed simple questions about her support for a NATO-enforced ‘no-fly zone’ (NFZ) over Ukraine.  But it’s not just her, too many politicians, armchair strategists and social media military experts are demanding the same thing.

Usually in the name of protecting Ukrainian civilians from Putin’s increasingly brutal attacks. But few actually know what a NFZ entails, or the risks involved. And they should.

And where were they for months when Biden was doing very little as Russia prepared to invade?

As I wrote earlier:

The time to put boots on the ground, or planes in the air, in Ukraine was before the invasion began, to deter Putin, not now. Sadly, President Biden foolishly and very publicly took that option off the table well before Putin invaded.

Still, to be clear, this is not to say the U.S and NATO absolutely should not impose a no-fly zone or any other tough responses to Vlad the Invader’s savage war.

But as I noted, “While war with Russia may come, I prefer to do it with our eyes wide open, rather than sleep walking us into Armageddon.”

So, what’s the best way to evaluate whether an NFZ over Ukraine is a good idea, or even feasible?

Peter W. Singer poses several excellent questions to ask. They are summarized here:

  1. What successful NFZs should be the model for this one?
  2. How will a Ukraine NFZ be better than the failed NFZs (Iraq, Bosnia, Libya), which didn’t help civilians much, didn’t end the fighting, and often led to boots on the ground?
  3. Who will enforce the NFZ? If it’s NATO, what will be done to handle the alliance division that it would create? If it’s the UN, how do you get around the certain Russian and Chinese veto at the Security Council?
  4. Does this NFZ call for shooting down Russian aircraft? If so, will it need to also attack Russian radar, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), electronic warfare, and command-and-control nodes on the ground? If so, how? And what will the Russians do in response?
  5. What are the NFZ’s rules of engagement (ROE) and geographic area? If very restrictive, how restrictive specifically? And will it only cover parts of Ukraine, all of Ukraine, any parts of Russia bordering on Ukraine, Russia- occupied breakaway areas?
  6. Should the NFZ immediately shoot down any Russian aircraft that enter the zone to protect civilians from attack? Or only shoot them down after the fact?
  7.     How will the NFZ handle the gray areas such as deliberate Russian provocations, like illuminating our aircraft with their targeting radar, making them fire first in self-defense?
  8. Most air attacks striking Ukrainian targets are coming from just over the border from neighboring Belorussian or Russian airspace. Will the NFZ require or allow Russian aircraft in Russian airspace to be shot down, or let them fire their missiles from just across the border?

The same applies to suppressing Russian air defenses based in Russia or Belarus, which can easily take down NATO aircraft over Ukraine?

  1. How will the NFZ deal with Russian military actions and gear such as land-based missiles, artillery, and especially MLRS rockets that are killing the vast majority of civilians? It’s hard to fly your NFZ over all that killing with no action?  What will the Russians do if we attack their ground forces?
  2. Unlike all past NFZs with only one air force to contend with, the Ukrainians still have an air force, and its drones are striking Russian forces quite well. Not to mention, Ukrainian civilians flying hundreds of their own drones looking for Russian troops and targets. Will the NFZ also ban these official and unofficial Ukrainian forces?

To all these questions we must always add – and what will the Russian do in response? Not just tit for tat, but how might they escalate? And not just escalate conventionally, but what will be the Russian red line to go nuclear?

Overshadowing all these issues is the fact that Putin’s Russia likely has the world’s largest nuclear force. Not only that, but as explained earlier in ADN, they have a large number of tactical nukes that NATO really doesn’t have.

And finally, don’t forget, Russia nuclear doctrine emphasizes ‘escalate to de-escalate,’ which allows for nuclear first use. And Putin, who has been threatening their use, seems unstable enough to use them.

How many of those with ‘No-fly Zone’ bumper stickers on their cars have thought this idea all the way through?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of


  1. O’biden brought this on us and on our country. Period, end of story!!!!
    Putin is getting closer to Poland to push us.
    All the while our empty suites in government are worried about this, gas prices, inflation, etc., etc., are out of control. Annnnnd, interest rates are going up and up. Look at your next credit card bill.
    Remember back in the day when Elizabeth Warren was going to go after the banks because of high rates?
    Oh, never mind. So long ago…..
    Buckle up folks. Proud you voted for this?????

    1. Yebbut you and I did not vote for this. They told Brandon to return to his basement, to relax from his campaign and take a nap, because ‘we have the greatest system of fraud,’ as Brandon publicly admitted. Was it a Freudian slip? SOMEBODY had great stakes in blocking Trump’s return to the White House, and a VP weenie helped them succeed. I would surmise that this weenie is finished in politics and hope to Heaven that I am right. Perhaps he should apply to Chairman Xi or to Vlad the Invader.

  2. The last time we refused to take any risk at a stage it would have made a difference, millions of people were killed in Europe. At what point do we decide that doing what is right outweighs all the political BS and cowardice being displayed today.

    Hundreds of thousands of GIs risked their lives on a “European” war because it was the morally correct thing to do, not because we had to. It took Pearl Harbor to make every American wake up to the knowledge that we cannot be passive just because we think we are insulated by geography.

    1. But we’re not insulated anymore, that’s why it’s not just a decision of a NFZ. It’s a decision of “do we put our country and others at risk for the sake of one” when it could turn I to a world nuclear war. Kills millions to save a few, and deal with the carnage of the world after. I think this is awful, I remember clearly Zelensky poo pooing the media 3 weeks before his country was attacked. Ukraine didn’t take it near seriously enough.

  3. LISTEN UP…..GOD will NEED to SEND a METEOR to MOSCOW and BEJING. THAT will SOLVE 2 PROBLEMS. WE will SEE what GOD will DO. TIME will TELL. From SamuraiQueen. 😄😄😄😇😇😇

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