Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones

Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones

Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones

Denying Flight: Strategic Options for Employing No-Fly Zones

Excerpt

In recent years, discussions about external military intervention in local conflicts have often included consideration of “no-fly zones” (NFZs) as a policy option. In the past two decades, the U.S. Air Force has participated in three contingencies involving NFZs over Bosnia, Iraq, and Libya, and NFZ proposals have been proffered for some time as an option for intervention in the Syrian civil war that would avoid placing Western troops on the ground. This paper is intended as a preliminary look at NFZs as a strategic approach in such situations, with an emphasis on the forms they might take, their potential utility, and their probable limitations. It should be of interest to readers participating or interested in decisionmaking about military intervention, as well as Air Force and other defense personnel who bear the responsibility of planning for and executing such operations.

The research reported here was made possible by RAND concept formulation funds and was conducted within the Strategy and Doctrine Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

RAND Project AIR FORCE

RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF), a division of the RAND Corporation, is the U.S. Air Force’s federally funded research and development center for studies and analyses. PAF provides the Air Force with independent analyses of policy alternatives affecting the development, employment, combat readiness, and support of current and future air, space, and cyber forces. Research is conducted in four programs: Force Modernization and Employment; Manpower, Personnel, and Training; Resource Management; and Strategy and Doctrine.

Additional information about PAF is available on our website:

http://www.rand.org/paf/

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