U.S. Forces Challenged 15 'Excessive' Maritime Claims in Fiscal 2022

  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 07:53 AM, April 22, 2023
  • 706
U.S. Forces Challenged 15 'Excessive' Maritime Claims in Fiscal 2022
Conflicts in the South and East China Seas

United States' forces operationally challenged 22 different excessive maritime claims made by 15 different claimants throughout the world, according to the Department of Defense (DoD) annual Freedom of Navigation (FON) Report for Fiscal Year 2022.
While not naming the country or countries making the 'excessive' maritime claims in the report, the U.S. has publicly acknowledged FON sailing by its Navy or overflights by its Airforce against maritime claims made by China, Russia and Iran.
Enforcing FON has oftentimes brought U.S. naval or air assets in close confrontational contact with those of China, Russia or Iran with one side accusing the other of 'unprofessional conduct.'
"Excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. They include a variety of restrictions on the exercise of navigation and overflight rights and other freedoms. Unlawful maritime claims – or incoherent theories of maritime entitlements – pose a threat to the legal foundation of the rules-based international order. If left unchallenged, excessive maritime claims could limit the rights and freedoms enjoyed by every nation," the report stated.

U.S. Forces Challenged 15 'Excessive' Maritime Claims in Fiscal 2022
Chinese fighter intercepting U.S. P8 MPA over South China Sea: simulated image

Upholding freedom of navigation as a principle supports unimpeded lawful commerce and the global mobility of U.S. forces. DoD's freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.
DoD's regular and routine operational challenges complements diplomatic engagements by the U.S. State Department and supports the longstanding U.S. national interest in freedom of the seas worldwide.
Each year, DoD releases an unclassified summarized FON Report identifying the broad range of excessive maritime claims that are challenged by U.S. forces. It also includes general geographic information to describe the location of FON assertions while still maintaining operational security of U.S. military forces
This report demonstrates U.S. non-acquiescence to excessive maritime claims —wherever they may be.

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