Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implied last week that the United States might back the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria. But this is a bad option that would achieve little, Heritage Foundation experts Luke Coffey and James Phillips argue.
In a new analysis, they explain that American involvement in a no-fly zone would be foolish:
Under the current conditions, an establishment of an NFZ would be a costly and risky action that would do little to stop the killing on the ground while entangling the U.S. in an intensifying civil war. While the U.S. and its partners have the military capability to establish and enforce an NFZ above Syria if they wanted to, an NFZ is the wrong policy at the wrong time. The U.S. should concentrate on determining which elements inside the opposition want a stable and secure Syria, marginalizing elements inside the opposition movement that promote an extremist agenda, and drumming up regional support against the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The biggest threat from imposing a NFZ is that Syria’s significant air defense system could endanger NATO aircraft. This risk alone should deter the United States from becoming involved in an all-out war. And considering Syria’s alliance with Russia, establishing a NFZ could turn out to be a disaster for both NATO and the U.S. military.
“The U.S. Air Force is not for hire every time there is a popular uprising somewhere in the world,” Coffey and Phillips conclude.
Do you believe a no-fly zone should be implemented over Syria?