UNCLOS supports U.S. national security objectives by ensuring freedom of navigation rights and supporting maritime interdiction operations
From a security perspective, the LOS Convention provides a balance of interests that protect freedom of navigation and overflight in support of United States’ national security objectives. The provisions were carefully crafted during negotiations of the LOS Convention, and reflect the substantial input that the United States had in their development. In particular, the Convention provides core navigational rights through foreign territorial seas, international straits and archipelagic waters, and preserves critical high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight seaward of the territorial sea, including in the EEZ. The navigational freedoms guaranteed by the Convention allow timely movement by sea of U.S. forces throughout the world, and provide recognized navigational routes which can be used to expeditiously transport U.S. military cargo – 95 percent of which moves by ship. The Convention’s law enforcement provisions establish a regime that has proven to be effective in furthering international efforts to combat the flow of illegal drugs and aliens by vessel – efforts which directly impact our nation’s security. The Convention establishes the rights and obligations of flag states, port states, and coastal states with respect to oversight of vessel activities, and provides an enforcement framework to expeditiously address emerging maritime security threats.
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.