Opponents of U.S. ratification of UNCLOS have argued that U.S. intelligence operations will be complicated by UNCLOS because it will prevent U.S. submarines from gathering intelligence in territorial waters. However, these operations are already regulated by the existing 1958 convention which the U.S. ratified and expects other nations to abide by. Furthermore, the intelligence community has reviewed the treaty and concluded that it was still in U.S. interests to ratify the treaty.
- Nothing in UNCLOS will change the conduct of naval intelligence operations
- Closed hearings before the Senate Armed Services and Classified Intelligence committees confirmed that UNCLOS will not jeopardize intelligence gathering
- U.S. defense and intelligence community played role in drafting articles 19 & 20 to protect U.S. rights
- Nothing in the convention will impact intelligence operations or the proliferation security Initative
- ... and 12 more quote(s)
Under the convention, the United States assumes a number of obligations at odds with its military practices and national security interests, including a commitment not to collect intelligence. The U.S. would sign away its ability to collect intelligence vital for American security within the “territorial waters” of any other country (Article 19). Further- more, U.S. submarines would be required to travel on the surface and show their flags while sailing within territorial waters (Article 20).
- UNCLOS would complicate intelligence operations by facilitating seizure of U.S. assets
- Impossible for proponents of UNCLOS to have high confidence that UNCLOS won't restrict US intelligence operations
- U.S. participation in UNCLOS would undermine military and intelligence operations
- Article 19 or the "Pueblo clause" would devastate U.S. intelligence operations
- Article 20 provisions will negative impact ability of military to use underwater drones