Ackerman explains the mechanics:
All the debate over a no-fly zone hasn’t resolved just what the goal of the mission would be. Buying time for the rebels on the ground? Eventually taking out Gadhafi’s ground forces which, after all, do the majority of the fighting? Staying until Gadhafi is overthrown? Also, what would the rules of engagement be? Anything that flies during the day dies? Just fighter aircraft, or would Libyan troop transport copters be fair game? And remember, as Irving reminds, “anything you use for this, you are choosing not to use them for something else.”
[Retired Gen. Pete Piotrowski] says the no-fly zone should only be imposed if NATO is planning to do other things to tip the military balance to Gadhafi’s enemies.