The Defense Department is looking for a little help from its friends overseas as the Pentagon and White House try to break Senate opposition to an international treaty on maritime law. Meeting with the defense chiefs of several Asian powers during the Shangri-La defense talks over the weekend, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took the opportunity to continue his push for Senate ratification of the controversial Law of the Sea treaty.
Iran threatens to mine the Strait of Hormuz, petroleum markets react, world economies take notice, and more U.S. and allied naval forces are sent to the region, upping the ante for Tehran and the U.S. Navy.
The American Sovereignty Campaign was launched during the Forum on the Law of the Sea last month by a diverse group of government and private sector representatives to educate the public on the importance of U.S. accession to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The author argues that it is time for the U.S. to ratify UNCLOS, "The time has come for the United States to have a seat at the table. The time has come for the United States to fully assert its role as a global leader and accede to this important treaty.”
The author argues for giving the Law of the Sea a fair hearing, arguing that "a fresh set of eyes and a new round of witnesses might well identify and be able to address considerations that were overlooked in 2004 and 2007 or that have changed since then."
The Convention of the Law of the Sea is again under consideration by the U.S. Senate. If the U.S. finally becomes party to this treaty, it will be a boon for our national security and economic interests. U.S. accession will codify our maritime rights and give us new tools to advance national interests.
The author defends UNCLOS against claims that it would harm national security, arguing "fear of the future is not a reason to reject all of the immediate benefits we would receive from joining the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Republicans should give it a chance and ratify the treaty."
The author challenges the claim of proponents that UNCLOS would support the "Rule of Law", arguing that "the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas has complicated rather than simplified maritime law and security."
The authors argue that ability of the United States to resolve "one of the world’s most important foreign policy and security challenges" -- the territorial disputes in the South China Seas -- depends on U.S. willingness to ratify the Law of the Sea.
Alongside an armada of paramilitary patrol vessels and fishing boats, China has fired off a barrage of historical records to reinforce its claim over a disputed shoal near the Philippines in the South China Sea.