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5 Nat'l Sec. L.J. 59 (2016-2017)
Legal Imperative? Deconstructing Acquiescence in Freedom of Navigation Operations

handle is hein.journals/nseclj5 and id is 67 raw text is: 

59                                                          [Vol. 5:1

                      LEGAL IMPERATIVE?

                    NAVIGATION OPERATIONS

                           Ryan  Santicola*

        For over 30 years, the United States has conducted freedom of
    navigation operations (FONOPs) in protest of excessive maritime
    claims by states around the globe.  As tensions surrounding the
    maritime disputes in the South China Sea have escalated, so too has
    attention on these previously subtle military operations. Yet, despite
    that attention, the legal rationale posited by the United States as to
    why  FONOPs   are necessary as a matter of international law has
    largely escaped critical examination. In exploring the international
    law of protest and the principle of acquiescence, this paper concludes
    that the argument  in favor of FONOPs   as a legal imperative is
    unpersuasive and  that the United States would be well-served to
    uncouple  these military operations from the international law of

    INTRODUCTION   .................................................................................  60
    I.  THE  U.S. FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION   PROGRAM..................... 64

 The author is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate
 General's Corps. He holds a J.D. from Albany Law School and LL.M. degrees from
both Columbia Law School and The George Washington University Law School.
His current assignment is as the Staff Judge Advocate for Carrier Strike Group 15
and previous assignments include multiple operational and overseas postings,
including in Japan, Cuba, Greece, and Iraq. The views expressed in this paper are
the author's own and do not reflect the official positions of the U.S. government. The
analysis presented here is based on academic research of publicly available sources.

[Vol. 5:1


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