Flying into the Danger Zone: Ukraine and the History of No-Fly Zones

A new Reuters poll shows that 74% of Americans, with strong majorities from both parties, support a NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine as Russia continues to shell civilian areas and populations. The Biden Administration, Chair of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, the head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and politicians from across the political spectrum are opposed to any sort of intervention over the skies of Ukraine. The argument is that it’d lead to a wider war, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin has warned against it.

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No-fly zones are only a recent historical development. Green and Red gets into that recent history starting with the aftermath of the first Gulf War when George H.W. Bush called on the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Shiites in southern Iraq to rise up and depose Saddam Hussein. Their subsequent slaughter by Saddam’s helicopter gunships led to the no-fly zones. We also discuss no-fly zones in the Balkan wars and the 2016 debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over a no-fly zone in Syria.