Southeast Asian Chokepoints. Keeping Sea Lines of Communication Open
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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The Sea Lines of Communication SLOCs in the Indonesian Archipelago and the South China Sea remain critical chokepoints for U.S. national interests. Half of the worlds shipping passes through the SE Asian SLOCs. Closure of any of the SLOCs would raise shipping freight rates throughout the world. U.S. imports and exports would be directly affected. A serious blockage could cause a world-wide shipping shortage, and, at least in the short term, place severe pressure on the economies of region. The U.S. has direct and immediate man-time economic interests to protect in the region, namely, orderly shipping markets, commercial freedom of navigation, and stability on the South China Sea.
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