Tension between Russia and other Arctic nations will remain high as they continue to compete for Arctic territory. Maintaining UNCLOS as a viable legal framework for settling Arctic territorial claims should help avert potential confrontations between Russia and other UNCLOS members.
- U.S. participation in UNCLOS necessary to resolve Arctic dispute between Russia and Norway
- USNWC war game found U.S. non-ratification of UNCLOS risks U.S. being replaced by Russia as the leader in Arctic
- Russia's use of CLCS to validate its claim over Lomonsov ridge is an example of their use of lawfare to the disadvantage of the US
- Abandoning UNCLOS framework in Arctic could lead to military confrontation with Russia, working within framework best way to resolve disputes
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China views its excessive regulatory claims over the EEZ as an important component of its ability to conduct asymmetric maritime warfare and deny U.S. access to the Asia-Pacific region.
- China executing a lawfare campaign against U.S. navy with excessive EEZ claims
- U.S. freedom of operations under continual and increasing challenge by a more aggressive China
- Multiple examples of Chinese excessive naval claims that run afoul of UNCLOS
- China's excessive claims run counter to its global economic ambitions and its own territorial defense strategy
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The area of resource jurisdiction the U.S. would gain legal status to by ratifying the treaty is approximately equal to that of the continental United States and exceeds the area of the Louisiana Purchase, the purchase of Alaska or any other addition to U.S. sovereignty in history.
- U.S. can extend sovereignty by 200,000 square miles by ratifying UNCLOS
- U.S. gain in sovereignty over territory is greatest among all parties due to its extensive coastlines
- US accession to UNCLOS would greatly increase territory under its sovereign control
- UNCLOS is not a transfer of either wealth or technology but a gain of resource jurisdiction the size of the Louisiana Purchase
- UNCLOS expands U.S. sovereignty by 4.1 million miles
UNCLOS specifically guarantees the right to conduct transits through international straits in "normal modes", which may include submerged transit in the case of submarines. UNCLOS does not explicitly prohibit submerged transit in territorial seas altogether, especially in international straits.
- UNCLOS will not impact U.S. submarine operations
- UNCLOS convention would have no unique effect on ability of submarines to collect intelligence beyond restrictions already agreed to in 1958 convention
- Concerns about submarine passage (article 20) ignore more restrictive requirements of 1958 convention U.S. is already party to
The terms of the Convention do not require Parties to comply with other international environmental treaties.
- Convention will not act as a backdoor for other environmental agreements Senate has not ratified
- Ratifying UNCLOS would not subject U.S. to increased environmental liability or act as a back door for the Kyoto agreement
- UNCLOS will not impose Kyoto obligations on parties that have not ratified it
- Language in implementing advice and consent resolution limits self executability of UNCLOS tribunal decisions
- UNCLOS does not create a new forum for challenging U.S. climate change policies
- UNCLOS can in no way be interpreted or utilized as a climate change treaty
The convention promotes the freedom of navigation and overflight by which international shipping and transportation fuel and supply the global economy. By guaranteeing merchant vessels and aircraft the right to navigate on, over, and through international straights, archipelagic waters, and coastal zones, the provisions of UNCLOS promote dynamic international trade.
- Ratification of UNCLOS would help protect American shipping industry from excessive coastal state regulations
- Commercial shipping industry dependent on the uniforms rule of law that UNCLOS provides
- U.S. ratification of UNCLOS key to making U.S. manufactures more competitive by increasing reliability of shipping lanes
- U.S. commercial shipping industry has a lot at stake in ensuring that UNCLOS is ratified
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UNCLOS has a number of provisions requiring state parties to do all they can to protect the environment that could be used by environmental groups to force regulations and treaties on to the U.S.
Buoyed by ideological opposition to the United Nations, a small minority of conservative opponents in the Senate have stopped it from coming to a vote, even though it will advance U.S. interests in the Arctic and around the world.
- U.S. ratification of UNCLOS has bipartisan support with exception of a small minority of Tea Party aligned senators
- Conservatives are letting opposition to international cooperation trump strong economic and strategic gains U.S. would receive from ratifying UNCLOS
- Only a small conservative minority holds up ratification of UNCLOS
Although there may have been a time when the U.S. could simply declare its will and rely on the persuasive power of its global presence and naval gross tonnage to ensure cooperation, the guarantors of success in the modern maritime domain are more likely successfully coordinated coalitions and bilateral relationships. UNCLOS membership would provide a strong foundation for both.
- U.S. failure to ratify UNCLOS complicates U.S. efforts to get other nations to cooperate on anti-piracy initiatives
- Global naval leadership in current era requires emphasis on cooperative security
- Coast Guard relies on international cooperation with allies under UNCLOS framework and would be Bette served if US were also a party to the convention
- Protection of global commons will require cooperative efforts to develop and strengthen international governance regimes
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U.S. based oceanographers and others conducting marine research are at a significant disadvantage due to U.S. non-party status to UNCLOS as they have to seek slow slow and complicated approval from foreign governments from access to their exclusive economic zones or continental shelves to conduct scientific research. Ratification of UNCLOS would resolve this because they could take advantage of the more favorable "implied consent" provisions under UNCLOS to further marine research.
- UNCLOS protects the rights of marine researchers to conduct operations in foreign EEZs
- U.S. oceanographic research would benefit from accession to UNCLOS
- U.S. lead in marine research imperiled by its inability to use UNCLOS to secure marine researchers access
- UNCLOS protections necessary to preserve U.S. research rights in Arctic waters
- U.S. ability to conduct environmental and oceanographic research constrained by its non-party status to UNCLOS