The Insanity of a “No-Fly Zone” in Syria
Hillary Clinton has endorsed a deranged idea for Syria:
In an apparent break with the Obama White House, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for the creation of a no-fly zone inside Syria Thursday, the day after Russian warplanes started bombing rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Wall Street Journal and some Republican candidates and members of Congress have called for the same thing, so the hawkish panic over Syria is now a bipartisan affair. A “no-fly zone” in Syria has always been a bad idea because it commits the U.S. directly to the fighting in Syria’s civil war. Now that Russian planes are in the air and carrying out strikes against anti-regime targets in that country, it is an insane idea. If the U.S. was unwilling to go to war with the Syrian government on its own by attacking its air defenses (a necessary part of establishing any “no-fly zone”), it makes even less sense to try to impose this now that Russia is involved. The U.S. would have to be willing to shoot down Russian jets to enforce this, and there is no telling how far the conflict would go from there. The great danger of Russia’s intervention in Syria is that it could lead to a clash with U.S. forces, and establishing a “no-fly zone” would make that clash much more likely to happen. Indeed, it practically guarantees that a clash would occur. Hawks are proposing that the U.S. risk the possibility of armed conflict with the Russians over Syria for no reason, and Clinton has just thrown in her lot with them. This is just the latest example of Clinton’s poor foreign policy judgment and reflexive hawkish instincts.
The WSJ typically describes this dangerous proposal as a way to demonstrate “revived American leadership,” but it would actually be a perfect example of how recklessly and irresponsibly the U.S. can behave overseas.