The article discusses several vital economic and political reasons for opposing United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as an unprecedented redistribution of wealth to oligarchies. However, I want to stress the lethal potential for our naval forces.
Treaties provide protective illusions from unreasonable maritime challenges; illusions quickly dispelled by lack of forthright action. Concerning the showdown between U.S. (UNCLOS signed) and P.R.C. (UNCLOS ratified) over the Navy EP-3E, China saw no problem in provoking, and we had no strategy for preventing or responding to the incident, notwithstanding UNCLOS and prior treaties defining freedom of the seas.
Further antidotal evidence emerges from taking of British (UNCLOS ratified) hostages by Iran (UNCLOS signed). In this day of instantaneous communication, the fact the British captain did not fight his command means senior commanders and politicians, including some masquerading in military uniforms, failed miserably when exerting authority to protect the freedom of the seas they had confiscated from operators on site. The treaty provisions codify flaccid senior military/political responses by allowing rhetorical shelter within prospective rulings from an international tribunal. They thereby surrendering sovereignty and avoiding authorization for immediate, direct action needed to confront challenges.
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 should signal future sophisticated, extravagantly violent innovations demanding we repudiate a treaty easily interpreted against us. Examples would be Articles 19 and 20 defining innocent passage, while within territorial seas, and Article 39 covering duties of ships while transiting straits used for international navigation. Acts prejudicial to peace of a coastal state include launching and landing aircraft, and using undersea craft for mine detection. Also a hostile reading of Articles 19 and 20, says using any electronic device other than navigational radar and Fathometer would be considered an act of propaganda or act aimed at collecting information.
In regard to transiting straits used for international navigation, the same devices we need to protect our ships and insure freedom of the seas would be considered threats of force against the sovereignty by feral states seeking legal shelter for the piracy and terrorism they need to dominate nearby international waters. The State Department may assure friendly government relations (remember the U.S.S. Cole), but how many nations can and/or would provide practical sea, air and undersea supremacy guarantees that allow our warships to forgo defensive measures provided by aircraft, boats, sonar, and tactical radars and communication nets?
Supposedly, a military activities exemption would allow us to maintain adequate defenses in territorial waters, and straits used for international navigation, and not allow an international tribunal to frustrate Navy operations. Advocates such as Rear Admiral (Retired) W. L. Schachte and Dr. Scott C. Truver provide these assurances U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings comments. However, these undefined protocols are not treaty articles. Substantive, unambiguous protection for our naval operations does not reside within the nuanced interpretations of passages or appendices subject to endless legal banter. If meaningful legal protection existed, the treaty would contain priority articles with such statements as, notwithstanding subsequent provisions, military activities that naval ships deem necessary to ensure freedom of the seas, and to deter or repel attacks are authorized.
A new, hostile Council (not the Security Council) should have no problem defining terms to place our ships at risk of lethal attack. For every Great Britain and Poland, which might hold one of 36 Council seats, I can name a Mozambique, Syria, Iran or Burma struggling through a new Dark Age where we are described as an economic predator and/or regime threat. We should not rely upon supposed friends either, when Donald Rumsfeld, Tommy Franks, and George Tenet are considered war criminals in Germany, Canada, and Belgium. The Security Council is cut out of the loop, so the veto we needed during the Cold War is not available for issues found within the treaty.
In reading this treaty, I believe you will find latitude in article language allowing this Council to write a massive body of implementing regulations directed against our ships and planes. These articles and regulations will bind our Sailors as they go into a harms way largely undefined in this era of violent peace. When something goes wrong, operators on 285 commissioned ships will pay the price, while 290 plus flag officers, Pentagon lawyers, and politicians in Washington D.C. express profound sorrow and outrage, as all bullet proof their resumes.
False Flag Operation on LOST
U.N. Law of the Sea Convention
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