Freedom of Navigation Assertions: The United States as the World's Policeman
Armed Forces & Society Vol. 42 Number 3
Posted: 18 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 2016
In line with its "Freedom of Navigation" program, the United States conducts "operational assertions" by sending naval vessels to violate what it considers to be the excessive maritime claims of other states. Efforts have been made to legitimate this program to the public and elected officials on both liberal and realist grounds: Freedom of navigation is an important component of the liberal international order while also central to the exercise of U.S. naval power. However, it does not follow that military assertions, which create a security risk and are inconsistent with liberal principles, should take precedence over diplomatic and multilateral steps. Rather, the program has faced little scrutiny to date due to its relative obscurity.
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