Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII

Mar 8, 2022, 5:25 PM
A U.S. plan takes off. An adjunct philosophy professor says a no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WW...
A no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WWIII, says an adjunct philosophy professor. Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Jacob Albers/U.S. Air Force via AP.

SALT LAKE CITY — What can the U.S. and its allies do to stop or at least slow the slaughter of Ukrainians at the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military? Perhaps, a no-fly zone? A magazine columnist argues for smarter countermeasures, saying a no-fly zone could light the fuse of World War III.

Ben Burgis is an adjunct philosophy professor at Morehouse College and the host of the YouTube show and podcast “Give Them An Argument.” He joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about his article in Jacobin magazine:

A No-Fly Zone in Ukraine Would Start World War III

“What we’re actually talking about when we talk about a no-fly zone is the American military shooting down Russian planes over Ukraine,” Burgis said.

He added the US military didn’t send troops to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Army. The USSR didn’t send troops to fight American soldiers in Vietnam.

“People have always thought that nuclear powers go to war with each other just carry that unacceptable risks that it wouldn’t stay conventional,” Burgis said.

‘Take this guy [Putin] out’

“I know one of the other natural things — I’m sure you hear this a lot as well — and that is: Can’t we just take out Vladimir Putin. Can’t we just can’t get rid of him and will that solve all the problems. [But] like most things, it’s slightly more complicated,” Boyd said.


“Yeah. Lindsey Graham, tweeted that. . . . which is pretty shocking, actually, a prominent United States senator openly calling to assassinate a foreign leader. That’s probably not a precedent that we really want to set,” Burgis said.

If Putin were assassinated, who would replace him? he asked.

“Somebody who would be high up in the military and political hierarchy of Putin’s Russia. In other words, probably not a very nice person, either,” Burgis said.

Peace is the only acceptable option to end the war

“What do you think is something that we’re just missing in all of this that you wish we were having a different or better conversation about?” Boyd asked.

“What the actual solution is. In other words, how all this ends,” Burgis said.

He said he sees three possible outcomes:

  1. The United States is involved militarily, “which could be literally the end of human civilization” or
  2. Putin “wins” and Ukraine becomes a bloody insurgency for a long time or
  3. There is a negotiated settlement to end the war — peace.

“I don’t know what the path to three looks like right now. But that sounds like the least horrible option,” Burgis said.

“I’m glad you said that Ben, because I think one of the things we have to do — all of us as citizens — is we have to make sure we create enough space for that peace option to emerge,” Boyd said in closing.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII