Putting Your Head in the Tiger's Mouth: Submarine Espionage in the Territorial Sea
80 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 4, 2015
Clandestine submarine operations are the most secretive and dangerous activities at sea. Admiral Kinnaird McKee, a former Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion, described them as “Putting your head in the tiger’s mouth.” This article recounts those incidents going back seventy-five years that are available in open sources, and it charts a course for navigation through the legal issues. Where does submarine espionage fit within the panoply of state rights and duties in international law, and especially under the international law of the sea, and in particular, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? What remedies may the coastal state employ to eject an unknown foreign submarine from maritime areas under its sovereignty?
Keywords: submarine, espionage, law of the sea, UNCLOS
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