Increasing number and diversity of excessive claims is overwhelming Freedom of Navigation program with costs and increased level of risk
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These excessive claims are cause for particular concern because they cover the full spectrum of maritime possibilities and because they are being made by the full spectrum of the community of nations. For example:
- Argentina, Italy, Panama, and Russia have historic bay claims that do not comply with international norms.
- Canada, China, Costa Rica, North Korea, Portugal, Vietnam, and others have sig- nificant excessive baseline claims.
- Cape Verde, Indonesia, and the Philippines have sought to impose restrictions on archipelagic sea lanes passage not contemplated by the 1982 Convention.
- China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, North Korea, Pakistan, and the Philippines have articulated various nonconforming restrictions on innocent passage.
- Argentina, Canada, Italy, Spain, and others have sought to impose restrictions on straits used for international navigation.
- Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru have restrictions on aircraft overflight in their exclusive economic zones inconsistent with the convention.
- Cape Verde, Finland, Iran, Sweden, and others have declared warships to be sub- ject to special coastal state regulation.34
This is just a sampling of excessive maritime claims, but the diversity of types of claims and the character and numbers of nations involved suggest that continuous U.S. challenges to these will require substantial effort. The financial and diplomatic costs, as well as the overall risks associated with the use of such forces, are likely to be substan- tially higher in the absence of a specific, binding treaty, and the long-term effectiveness of challenge programs remains doubtful in the view of some commentators.35 Many of the nations making claims that the United States considers excessive assert that the convention is a legal contract, the rights and benefits of which are not necessarily available to non-parties. The continual counter-assertion by the United States that these rights and benefits are embodied in customary international law may be difficult to sustain. The situation may well have been summed up best by Rear Admiral Schachte: "The political costs and military risks of the Freedom of Navigation Program may well increase in the changing world order."36