Do Americans Really Want a ‘No-Fly Zone’ in Ukraine? 

Should the US military establish a “no-fly” zone in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called on the US to enact one, with some of the direst pleas imaginable.

“How many deaths and losses are still needed to secure the sky over Ukraine?” Zelenskyy asked.

Hawkish political figures like GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger and some conservative media personalities have also backed the idea. So, too, there’s some support for it in the foreign policy establishment, with 27 prominent “experts” signing a public letter calling on the Biden administration to put a “no-fly zone” in place.

Let’s be clear about what a “no-fly zone” is, exactly. When the US military declares a no-fly zone, it is saying no aircraft may travel through a set space. It enforces this by shooting down any plane that does so.

With that in mind, let’s consider one argument advanced by advocates of a “no-fly zone”: that the American public supports the move.

A Reuters poll found that 74% of Americans, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, support the US “working with NATO to set up ‘no-fly zones’ to protect Ukraine from Russian air strikes.”

But I’m deeply, deeply skeptical of this polling result. Why? I find it almost impossible to believe that most of these poll respondents know what a “no-fly zone” actually is.

After all, only 1 in 4 Americans can correctly name all three branches of the federal government: legislative, executive, and judiciary. Yet we’re supposed to believe they know what an advanced military procedure entails?

If you called a no-fly zone what it actually is, or at least explained it involves shooting down Russian planes, far, far fewer Americans would support it in the polls.

Even Reuters, who did the poll, seems to admit this, noting, “It was not clear if respondents who supported a no-fly zone were fully aware of the risk of conflict, and majorities opposed the idea of sending American troops to Ukraine or conducting air strikes to support the Ukrainian army.”

Thankfully, the Biden administration is so far rejecting the calls for a no-fly zone.

It’s a rare day indeed that I praise this cast of characters, but Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki both gave smart, rational answers shutting down the proposal when asked about it:

Here’s hoping the Biden administration maintains its sensible opposition to shooting down Russian planes and starting a hot war with a nuclear power.

The White House shouldn’t fall for misleading spin about Americans wanting a “no-fly zone” or be tricked into thinking political demand exists for this dangerous escalation when, in reality, it almost certainly does not.

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Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo is a libertarian-conservative journalist and co-founder of Based Politics. His work has been cited by top lawmakers such as Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Pat Toomey, Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Congressman Thomas Massie, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, as well as by prominent media personalities such as Jordan Peterson, Sean Hannity, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, and Mark Levin. Brad has also testified before the US Senate, appeared on Fox News and Fox Business, and written for publications such as USA Today, National Review, Newsweek, and the Daily Beast. He hosts the Breaking Boundaries podcast and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.