No-fly zone in the Sudan?

I didn’t watch the debate, but apparently the Big O said this about Darfur when asked about humanitarian military missions:

We could be providing logistical support, setting up a no-fly zone at relatively little cost to us, but we can only do it if we can help mobilize the international community and lead. And that’s what I intend to do when I’m president.

What good would a no-fly zone do in Darfur? Are the genociders using aircraft?

It’s really tough to take Obama seriously when he talks about foreign policy.

No-fly zones in Iraq in the early 1990s made sense because the Iraqi government was using aircraft to attack the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south.

Jay Tea suggests also banning spaceships, mining vehicles, and death rays for all the good it will do.

FWIW, I still say send in Blackwater.


  1. I caught that one too. Pretty funny, up there with Joe Biden jumping in to stop the genocide going on in Bosnia.

  2. Yep, they are using aircraft. The Sudanese airforce have been supporting the genociders with Hinds. Mi-24s I think.

    I thought there was already a no fly zone. Regardless there should be one.

  3. I posted this over at wizbang, but since I’m so late over there, and probably no one will ever read it, I figured I’d post it here too. Plus more people will probably get it here….

    Obama has an honest out on this. When he called for a “no fly zone” in Somalia, maybe he was actually talking about the INSECT. As in a “no dipteran” zone.

    No more pictures of flies buzzing around rotting corpses. No more flies in the eyes of little starving kids with bloated tummies.

    A little DDT is all it would take.

    And then you have it: A no fly zone!

  4. Sudan is about a quarter the size of the US. The last time I checked I don’t there any near by countries that would get all warm and fuzzy about letting us use their airbases.

    In any event, a no fly zone would be an exercise in feel good futility. It would tie up air units in a worthless effort and make people think that we are doing some good. All the while, people continue to get slaughtered.

    A complete ban on air flights into or out of Sudan might get some attention, as would a ban on investment, loans, and commercial transactions but there is no way China would support it.

  5. The last time I checked Uncle Sam was in a bit of a financial pinch. So if there is no clear cut threat to American interests in that area, I would just as soon pass. We can’t afford stuff like this anymore.

  6. I figure that sending Special Forces trainers, along with weapons (to include some MANPAD-type missiles if there’s HINDs around) would do a hell of a lot more to stop the genocide than a no fly zone. Be cheaper, too.

    But I’m reasonably sure that The Chosen One doesn’t believe that self defense is a human right.

    And No Fly Zones aren’t cheap, and not diplomatically simple, either. First you need an airbase, in a country on a continent that’s already uneasy about the fact that we created AFRICOM (which is based in Germany.) Unless that base is in a country that borders Darfur, you need overflight rights.

    I’m not sure how many fighter planes you’d need, but I figure at least a squadron (12 aircraft), plus AWACS, probably tankers, and helos for CSAR in case a plane goes down. And a ground security force to keep the airbase (or at least, our part of a base in a friendly country) secure.

    Not sure what that all adds up to, but in terms of personnel and equipment, you’ll need to have triple that available – one set deployed, one getting ready to deploy, and one recovering from being deployed.

    Mr O, if we’re going to crack down on the killing in places where the instability is actually, you know, a threat to our country, how about we start in places like, I don’t know, Detroit, DC, LA, Baltimore, and Philly? Aside from the fact that too many of your voters would end up in jail. Not that that would stop them from voting, at least in Chicago and Washington state.

  7. Realistically the African Union would need to be doing the grunt work.

    The Sudanese airforce from what I have read is pitiful. Wikipedia has a list of what they have:

    Like the rest of Africa, I wonder how many they can actually keep in the air at once. I don’t think it would be necessary to ensure that anything taking off would be shot down instantly. The threat that any military aircraft in Dafur could be shot down may keep them grounded.

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