UNCLOS ratification is the only way U.S. can preserve sovereignty in Arctic
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Opponents to ratification argue that ratifying the treaty undermines U.S. sovereignty.64 In essence, in the event of a dispute, the ISA would have the ability to rule against the interests of the United States. Not only is this position outdated, it is incorrect. It assumes that the United States has the naval power to assure its interests at sea. However, U.S. naval power in the Arctic is limited, at best. Moreover, the continental shelf extensions in the Arctic are a perfect example of how ratifying the treaty would actually enhance U.S. sovereignty, rather than limit it. Additionally, ratifying a multilateral treaty would signal to the world that the United States will operate on the same set of rules agreed to by everyone. At a minimum, ratification would buy some badly needed international goodwill.
Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada are staking their claims to Arctic resources but the United States, which has conducted research on how far the continental shelf extends from Alaska toward the North Pole, cannot submit any of its evidence because it is not a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).