U.S. reluctance to join UNCLOS directly harms efficacy of Proliferation Security Initiative
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Implementing the maritime and national security strategies in the current geopolitical environment requires that U.S. armed forces be provided not only with the convention’s rights, freedoms, and protections necessary to facilitate military operations but also with the legal legitimacy necessary to build partnerships, trust, and confidence with nations around the globe. Currently, American armed forces are ham- strung when the United States publicly solicits other nations to join it in enforcing the rule of law, while at the same time refuses to join the international legal frameworks necessary to establish such rule. The U.S. failure to join the convention has directly prevented expansion of the PSI with some critically important Pacific countries. Although these countries are supportive of U.S. counterproliferation efforts, they indicate that U.S. refusal to join the convention has eroded their confidence that the United States will abide by international law when conducting PSI interdiction activities. Remaining outside the convention risks further damaging American efforts to develop cooperative maritime partnerships, such as PSI, and undermining implementation of U.S. security strategies that require the confidence and trust of other nations.