"There's no hard-and-fast rule in the establishment of a no-fly zone that you have to go in and take out all of your opponents air defenses," Barrie is quoted as saying by the Guardian. "You say 'this is a no-fly zone and we don't want you to fly, and if you adhere to that everything is going to be fine, but if you fire at us then we will take retaliatory action'."
This seems to be a an attempt to lie us into war. No one in his right mind thinks Gaddafi is likely to just listen to an order from the United Nations or the United States. As a rule, no-fly zones get tested. What this seems to be is an attempt to lure international opinion into supporting a no-fly zone on the promise that it can be done without bombing, when in fact it will almost certainly result in bombing Libya.
It’s also extremely cavalier with the lives of our airmen. Sending planes to patrol a no-fly zone while Libya’s air defenses are intact would put them in extreme danger. It’s no wonder Gates is struggling to resist this.
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