Confused Eagle

US Air Force: No Plans for No Fly Zone over Darfur Yet..........
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March 31,2009
The Situation in Darfur is still in a Stte of Flux. The Indictment of Sudanese President Al-Bashir has been handed down by the International Criminal Court. In response several Aid Agencies have been told to leave the region.
Also in Recent Days the Arab League has voiced its support for the Sudanese President.
Meanwhile in the Blogosphere David Axe in his excellent blog War Is Boring has an item where the US Air Force not only hasn't drawn up any plans for a NFZ in Darfur but is not keen on the idea...
What does this mean?

First of all Which US Air Force Command would be responsible for such an endeavor if it is undertaken? That responsiblity will fall under the auspicies of the Seventeenth Air Force.
This command does not have any actual units on its records. So this means ANY Squadrons will have to be deployed from either the United States or Europe.
Currently there is a USAF Presence in Kigali,Rwanda assisting with the Current Peacekeeping Operations in Darfur.
So why is there no great enthusiasm for this effort? After All the New Presidential Envoy for Sudan has stated that this mission could be accomplished.


Darfur: A Flashpoint which according to the US Air Force is not of a vital National Interest.

So what is the Air Force Saying? Let us turn to the Commander of the 17th Air Force: " I don't think that the Idea is well enough developed for us to start counting heads as to who might and who might not (participate)."
It is believed that this would interject Western Forces into a situation where they have no clear cut mandate. The Rules of Engagement will tie their hands to the point where at best the Air Effort will be ineffective. Will they be limited to conduct Recon Missions? Will they be able to engage when there is a Sudanese Airstrike? Will they have the Green Light to launch a Counter Attack even if it means launching a Strike against Khartoum itself?
From a Logistical Standpoint Resupply most likely will have to Come From US Stockpiles in Europe or Stateside as well. This could also mean that the US Base in Kigali, Rwanda may become the busiest Airport in Africa in the near future if certain people in the State Department and the Pentagon have their way.
With Every Military Operation there is a Risk/Reward situation. In this case it appears that there are plenty of risks getting involved in a situation that on the surface not to have anyone on a Government Level anywhere come up with a resolution anytime in the near future.

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