U.S. freedom of navigation operations in 2013 targeted China, Iran

marinelink.com
Thursday, March 06, 2014

The U.S. military carried out freedom of navigation operations challenging the maritime claims of China, Iran and 10 other countries last year, asserting its transit rights in defiance of efforts to restrict passage, a Pentagon report said on Thursday.

The Defense Department's annual Freedom of Navigation Report to Congress for the 2013 fiscal year showed the U.S. military targeted not only countries such as Iran, with whom it has no formal relations, but treaty allies such as the Philippines, too.

The U.S. military conducted multiple operations targeting China over what Washington believes are "excessive" claims about its maritime boundaries and its effort to force foreign warships to obtain permission before peacefully transiting its territorial seas.

U.S. operations challenging Iran were aimed at rejecting Tehran's effort to restrict the Strait of Hormuz to ships from nations that have signed the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, an accord the United States has not formally adopted.

The report covers activity in the 2013 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, before the latest tensions over a near mishap between U.S. and Chinese warships in the South China Sea and Beijing's declaration of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, which Washington rejected.

The United States carries out freedom of navigation operations by sending Navy ships into disputed areas in an effort to show that the international community has not accepted claims made by one or more countries.

The operations, which began in 1979, are coordinated by the State and Defense departments and are meant to be consistent with the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention, even though Washington has not formally adopted the agreement.

"The United States will not ... acquiesce in unilateral acts of other states designed to restrict the rights and freedoms of the international community in navigation and overflight," the Pentagon said in a 1992 Freedom of Navigation report by then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.

U.S. operations in the 2013 fiscal year also challenged claims by Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Taiwan and Vietnam. All countries but Cambodia were targeted more than once.

Since 1991, the United States has conducted more than 300 freedom of navigation operations challenging maritime claims by 53 different countries worldwide, from Albania, Ecuador and Denmark to Pakistan and Yemen.

Iran and the Philippines have been challenged most frequently. Iran has appeared on 19 of the 21 lists submitted to Congress since 1991, while the Philippines has appeared on 18. Cambodia, the Maldives, India and Oman also frequently appear.

China has been on the list 11 times, the same as Indonesia and one less than Burma.

The most frequent U.S. complaint is with countries that measure the start of their territorial waters by drawing a straight line between two points on the coast or along offshore islands, thereby enclosing a vast expanse of sea.

Washington disagrees with the Philippines' designation of the seas bounded by the island chain as internal waters and therefore off limits to foreign ships or overflight by foreign aircraft.

The United States targets about a dozen countries per year for challenge, with the high ranging to 27 countries in 1998 and dropping into the low single digits at the height of the U.S. war in Iraq.

 

By David Alexander, Reuters

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navy

Zentech to Perform ZAIMS Work on Brazilian Aircraft Carrier

Zentech’s President Ramesh Maini announced that the company has been awarded a contract to perform an inspection and evaluation of the hull steel for the Naval Aircraft Carrier São Paulo,

6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate

One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including

Indian Navy To Limit Ship Buys to Domestic Yards

The Indian Ministry of Defence has directed future warship and submarine building orders be given only to domestic shipyards. The Navy has potential orders worth

Energy

Bergen Group Cancels Rig Facilities Sale

The Bergen Group has decided to terminate a sales agreement that would see Semco Maritime acquire its rig service yard facilities at Hanøytangen. The real estate

IMCA Publishes Guidelines for DP OSV Safe Operations

Reliable and robust methods of positioning are required for safe vessel operations in close proximity to offshore installations. Dynamic positioning (DP) is well-established

LNG Tanker Due in UK Around May 6

Britain's Isle of Grain liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is set to receive the GDF Suez Point Fortin tanker on around May 6, live ship-tracking data on Reuters Eikon shows.

Maritime Security

Willard to Present at High Speed Boat Operations Forum

Willard Marine, a manufacturer of aluminum and fiberglass commercial and military boats, will present at the High Speed Boat Operations (HSBO) Forum in Lisbon, Portugal from May 4-6.

Zentech to Perform ZAIMS Work on Brazilian Aircraft Carrier

Zentech’s President Ramesh Maini announced that the company has been awarded a contract to perform an inspection and evaluation of the hull steel for the Naval Aircraft Carrier São Paulo,

6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate

One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including

Eye on the Navy

Zentech to Perform ZAIMS Work on Brazilian Aircraft Carrier

Zentech’s President Ramesh Maini announced that the company has been awarded a contract to perform an inspection and evaluation of the hull steel for the Naval Aircraft Carrier São Paulo,

6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate

One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including

Indian Navy To Limit Ship Buys to Domestic Yards

The Indian Ministry of Defence has directed future warship and submarine building orders be given only to domestic shipyards. The Navy has potential orders worth

Government Update

Maersk Meets Iranian Officials over Seized Vessel

Maersk Line said on Monday it had met again with the Ports & Maritime Organization (PMO) in Iran regarding the seizure of the vessel Maersk Tigris but has yet to

6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate

One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including

Tender for second Egypt LNG Terminal Issued

Egypt has issued a five-year tender to lease a second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, the head of the state gas board told Reuters on Monday, seeking to tackle an energy crisis.

Logistics

LNG Tanker Due in UK Around May 6

Britain's Isle of Grain liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is set to receive the GDF Suez Point Fortin tanker on around May 6, live ship-tracking data on Reuters Eikon shows.

6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate

One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including

Tender for second Egypt LNG Terminal Issued

Egypt has issued a five-year tender to lease a second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, the head of the state gas board told Reuters on Monday, seeking to tackle an energy crisis.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1711 sec (6 req/sec)