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The USA, The Antarctic Treaty, and Territorial Claims: Is Reassessment in Order

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Master's thesis

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From the foregoing analysis, a reassessment has been made and it is submitted that neither the assertion of a U.S. territorial claim nor the relinquishment of present U.S. authority under the Antarctic Treaty to the United Nations would be in the best interest of the United States. Assertion of a territorial claim by the United States would be lacking a firm foundation under international law, would promote extremely negative international reaction, and would surely result in international conflict as other nations rushed in to claim territorial sections of the continent. It is impossible to recreate the American Wild West in the Antarctica of today. Furthermore, if international law is to be given any recognition, a U.S. territorial claim might relegate the United States to being forced to accept a claim in Antarctica that at present, is relatively useless. Nor would United Nations management of Antarctica put the United States in any better position The United States would be in the clear minority in any U.N. decision-making, given the voting majority of the Group of 77 and the clamor for Antarctic right by the NEO. All U.N. management plans proposed would result in the United States giving up the power it now has under the Treaty in return for virtually nothing, unless one considered the value of unrequited global sharing a reasonable return on a multimillion dollar investment. This reassessment concludes that the only viable option which maximizes the protection of U.S. policy concerns in Antarctica is a continuation of the Antarctic Treaty regime, with modifications as necessary.

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  • Government and Political Science

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