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about : no-fly zone

« Patrouille de France » 
These aircraft were in use before No-fly Zone entered the lexicon of modern conflict, systems primarily produced for, but never used in an actual 'hot war' in Europe, a nuclear war of mutually assured destruction — MAD. Nato and The Warsaw Pact spent billions of dollars in producing and maintaining weapons and systems to fight a war that on many occasions seemed imminent, but was never likely to occur unless caused by human error or miscalculation. In the 20th century, it was clearer who the enemy was or could be than it is in the 21st.

The « Nimrod » series features obsolete fighter aircraft from a collection at the Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune, Burgundy. The title is taken from Victor Hugo's epic poem of good versus evil, La Fin de Satan (The End of Satan) in which King Nimrod, the Biblical warrior and architect of The Tower of Babel, having conquered and laid waste the Earth (6th century Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq) attempts to conquer the Heavens. Transported to the sky in a cage drawn by four eagles or vultures, he only found an infinity of blue and after letting loose an arrow, he was thrown back to Earth.
          In a tragic twist of fate, in 1969 the Royal Air Force named its main maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft Nimrod. On 2 September 2006, Nimrod XV230 with a crew of fourteen was on a routine patrol over Helmand province, Afghanistan, when it was destroyed in a mid-air explosion caused by a faulty fuel line. The Nimrod, a very capable aircraft, had remained in service long after it was scheduled to be replaced by the Nimrod MR4. However the MR4 was years behind schedule, technically flawed and the victim of the many cuts in the UK defence budget. It was subsequently written off at a cost to the British taxpayer of at least £4bn, leaving Britain's maritime air defences without a suitable replacement and vulnerable to Russian submarines patrolling the coast of the British Isles. 
          Those responsible for naming the aircraft Nimrod must have had no knowledge or understanding of the original Nimrod or, had an extremely dark, cruel sense of irony. In addition to 'mighty warrior', other attributes of King Nimrod are ruthlessness and lust for power, not characteristics one associates with the role of an aircraft primarily designed for defence. 

Who and what do we need to protect ourselves from, in what manner, for how long and at what cost? In The Future of War, Lawrence Friedman states: 'history is made by people who do not know what is going to happen next'. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a perfect example of this. Battlefields of the 21st century include wars against UN recognised states, rogue states and terrorists, propaganda and disinformation via social media, cyber warfare, probably war in space (unlikely between humans and aliens) hybrid and economic warfare, and actions not yet anticipated. (There is an old Russian proverb: 'Perpetual peace lasts until the next war'.)

In the novel Night Soldiers, Alan Furst wrote: 'You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you', paraphrased from a quote by Leon Trotsky: 'You may not be interested in dialectic, but dialectic is interested in you'. Trotsky was born at Berslavka, Ukraine in 1897 and assassinated on the orders of Josef Stalin in Mexico City, 1940.