In conclusion, the United States is currently in a situation where we operate outside of a treaty that we were largely responsible for negotiating through which we obtained all our stated objectives, and that has been joined over 160 other nations, including virtually all of our allies and key partners. We conduct our actions consistent with many of its terms, which we regard as customary international law, but we do not obtain the benefits of the Convention available only to parties. Now more than ever, the United States must be a leader in preserving the rights, freedoms, and uses of the oceans that enable us to protect our vital security interests in the maritime domain around the globe. The diminishing group of countries outside the Convention includes land-locked nations such as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Bhutan, as well as rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran. To best protect our vital national security interests in the years to come, now is the time for the United States to lock-in a stable legal framework for the maritime domain, and send a clear message to other nations in the PACOM AOR that the maritime freedoms codified in the Convention are worth preserving and the Convention’s rule of law is worth upholding.