Arlington, VA | August 2, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, The Nuances of Air Control in Great Power Competition: What the No-Fly Zone Debate is Missing by Lt Col Dave Cochran, USAF.
Ukraine’s request for a “no-fly-zone” in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion sparked a debate in the United States over the use of this policy instrument against a nuclear-armed opponent. It is useful instead to consider air control as a spectrum. The United States needs flexible options with targeted effects and varying degrees of escalation risk. Focusing exclusively on all-or-nothing “no-fly zones” as implemented in the 1990s leaves the DOD and the U.S. Air Force poorly prepared to provide usable airpower policy options. We would benefit by discarding the weighted term “no-fly zone” in favor of presenting a more nuanced understanding of air control.
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