U.S. can exempt its military activities from dispute resolution tribunals
Myth 3: The Convention would permit an international tribunal to frustrate the operations of the U.S. Sea Services.
Wrong. No international tribunal would have jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. Disputes concerning military activities can be completely excluded from the Convention's resolution provisions, and the United States has the exclusive right to determine what constitutes a U.S. military activity. Since 1982, all Chiefs of Naval Operations have supported ratification, and in May 2007 the Coast Guard Commandant underscored the need for ratification.
Some opponents of UNCLOS have argued that by ratifying UNCLOS, U.S. military forces could be subject to adverse ruling by international tribunals through the dispute resolution mechanisms of the treaty. However, the U.S. defense department has reviewed the relevant law and has found no undue liability risk to U.S. forces. Furthermore, in the Senate's Advice and Consent resolution that would ratify UNCLOS, the U.S. has taken advantage of article 298(1) in UNCLOS to exempt itself from all dispute settlement.