UNCLOS supports all six core competencies of the U.S. Navy
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Why are the provisions and protections of the convention vital to implementing U.S. national defense and maritime strategies? Why now? All six core capabilities of U.S. maritime forces are predicated upon legally certain freedom of navigation and overflight, as defined by the United States and codified in the convention. Joining the convention supports the strategic and operational mobility of American air, surface, and submarine forces. It provides legal guarantees for those forces to transit the high seas, exclusive economic zones, international straits, and archipelagic sea routes during times of crisis. It supports the freedom of those forces to legally conduct military survey, reconnaissance, and intelligence gathering under the terms and conditions the United States prefers. It allows the high-seas interdiction of stateless vessels and illegal activities under frameworks such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, using the protocols the United States carefully crafted to conform to the convention. Most recently, this year articles 100 and 105 of the convention have been applied as the basis of an agreement with Kenya to prosecute Somali pirates apprehended in the Indian Ocean.
Ratification of UNCLOS would bolster U.S. national security in numerous ways, including: protecting all six core freedom of navigation rights, protect maritime interdiction rights, and supporting efforts to combat piracy.