New National Strategy Addresses Pacific Rebalance, Navigation, Law of Sea


ARLINGTON, Va. — President Barack Obama’s new National Security Strategy, released Feb. 6, is an all-encompassing document but one that specifically addresses some maritime issues such as the Asia-Pacific rebalance, air and maritime freedom-of-navigation tensions that have arisen in recent years, the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea, counterpiracy and Arctic access.

“The United States has been, and will remain, a Pacific power,” the document said. “Over the next five years, nearly half of all growth outside the United States is expected to come from Asia. That said, the security dynamics of the region — including contested maritime territorial claims and a provocative North Korea — risk escalation and conflict. American leadership will remain essential to shaping the region’s long-term trajectory to enhance stability and security, facilitate trade and commerce through an open and transparent system, and ensure respect for universal rights and freedoms.

“To realize this vision, we are diversifying our security relationships in Asia as well as our defense posture and presence,” it said. “We are modernizing our alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines, and enhancing the interactions among them to ensure they are fully capable of responding to regional and global challenges.


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