Ratification of UNCLOS key to supporting U.S. efforts in current counterterrorism efforts
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[MYTH]: The Convention was drafted before—and without regard to—the war on terror and what the United States must do to wage it successfully.16 This is an irrelevant canard. It is true that the Convention was drafted before the war on terror. However, it enhances rather than undermines our ability to wage the war on terror. The robust maritime naval and air mobility assured by the Convention is essential for our military forces to operate effectively. The Convention provides the necessary stability and framework for U.S. forces, weapons, and materiel to get to the fight without hindrance—and ensures that they will not be hindered in the future.
Thus, the Convention supports the war on terror by providing important stability for navigational freedoms and overflight. It preserves the right of the U.S. military to use the world’s oceans to meet national security requirements. It is essential that key sea and air lanes remain open as an international legal right and not as a matter of approval from nations along the routes. A stable legal regime for the world’s oceans will support global mobility for our armed forces.
U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would bolster homeland security efforts in two significant ways. First, it would provide a stable legal basis for U.S. freedom of navigation rights, preserving the right of the U.S. military to use the world’s oceans to meet national security requirements. Secondly, it would provide stronger legal basis for the U.S. to conduct necessary counter-terrorism interdiction operations and challenge excessive claims.