Navigational freedoms in UNCLOS critical in current global war on terrorism
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The navigation principles contained in UNCLOS would allow United States and allied forces to use the world's oceans to meet challenging national security requirements, including those necessary to fight the Global War on Terrorism and to project military power overseas. Stephen J. Hadley, President Bush's National Security Advisor, wrote the Senate in February 2007 to request that it take positive action on UNCLOS as soon as possible, arguing, among other things, that "the Convention protects navigational rights critical to military operations and essential to the formulation and implementation of the President's National Security Strategy, as well as the National Strategy for Maritime Security."'17 The Convention provides the most effective means to exercise U.S. leadership in the management and development of the law of the sea. UNCLOS facilitates combined operations with our coalition partners-all the rest of whom are parties to the Convention-through a commitment to a common set of rules, such as those governing the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)."
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.