US shaping operations in Asia Pacific region would be greatly enhanced by US accession to UNCLOS
In order to be prepared to counter specific threats as they arise across the globe, operational commanders continuously conduct shaping activities in order to give U.S. forces the most favorable operating conditions across the spectrum of conflict. As defined by Joint Publication 3-0, shaping operations are intended to dissuade or deter adversaries, assure or solidify relationships, enhance international legitimacy, and gain multinational cooperation.51 Therefore, collectively, shaping operations are arguably the most important activity undertaken within an area of responsibility (AOR).
In the PACOM AOR, this note rings especially true. With no major combat operations currently underway, the majority of operations conducted directly support shaping operations. Furthermore, strategic guidance put forth by ADM Robert F. Willard, Commander U.S. Pacific Forces, seeks to protect and defend U.S. interests in the region while promoting regional security and deterrence of aggression; all functions within or underpinned by the effectiveness of shaping operations.52 Specifically, for the South China Sea this means maintaining forward presence, providing for extended deterrence, and concentrating on the focus areas of allies and partners, China, and transnational threats.53 In every instance, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea and the 1994 Implementation Agreement support those objectives. In fact, for the South China Sea, Freedom of Navigation assertions and the Proliferation Security Initiative would benefit immediately.
Related argument(s) where this quote is used.
By ratifying the Convention, the U.S. will have the support of the international community to exert pressure on China—either for peaceful dispute resolution or to adhere to the provisions of the Convention that it too has ratified.Related Quotes:
- Convention offers diplomatic mechanism to resolve maritime disputes with China
- China's aggressive maritime posture is a consequence of U.S. failure of leadership on UNCLOS
- China using U.S. non-party status to UNCLOS to bludgeon it for hypocrisy when U.S. challenges China's excessive claims
- US shaping operations in Asia Pacific region would be greatly enhanced by US accession to UNCLOS
- Ratification of UNCLOS gives U.S. more ground to challenge China on freedom of navigation rights in South China Sea
- U.S. unable to resolve dispute with China over military ships operating in foreign EEZs as a non-party to UNCLOS
- U.S. stance on FONOPs in China's territorial waters undercut by its non-party status to UNCLOS