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Oceans In A Nuclear Age: Security Concerns Of The United States

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Chapter Summary

The security concerns of the United States regarding the presence of nuclear material and nuclear weapons on the oceans are basically twofold. On the one hand, the United States has a strong, clear and historic interest in ensuring that the activities of its warships are not improperly obstructed by other states, even if these ships are nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed. On the other hand, it has an increasingly strong interest in interdicting shipments of nuclear materials by potential proliferators, which may cause it to seek to intervene in the actions of the ships of other flag states. This chapter addresses each of these aspects in turn, and it considers how these important interests can be reconciled with each other and with the general fabric of international law. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Principles themselves state that the actions to be taken must be consistent with international law, obviously including UNCLOS itself.

Keywords: international law; nuclear weapons; proliferation security initiative (PSI) principles; United States



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