Dangerous Ground: The Spratly Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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Renewed interest in the Asia-Pacific region entails greater U.S. responsibilities and involvement in the areas problems. Of all the issues the United States will face in the region, none may involve as many players legal, economic, and security interests intricate considerations historic implications or persistent, if low key, conflict as the intractable disputes around the Spratly Islands. And none of the issues are probably as poorly understood by U.S. policymakers as the South China Sea disputes. For these reasons, the Strategic Studies Institute SSI is pleased to publish this timely analysis of the Spratly Islands dispute. It examines the economic and security importance of the region to the surrounding claiming states the Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines, and the violent acts and potential for instability in the region that has resulted. To better understand the positions of these parties, this monograph then delves into the customary international law claims for sovereignty through historic and occupation doctrines, and the subsequent maritime jurisdiction claims made through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. U.S. interests and resulting involvement are also explained to better understand these positions and inform U.S. policymakers on actions the United States may take to promote peace and economic development in an important region consisting of allies and crucial trading and security partners. This monograph then makes practical suggestions to directly improve U.S. security and economic interests in the region. SSI will publish a second monograph on the South China Sea disputes around the Paracel Islands to complement this analysis. In the end, the conflict in the Spratly Islands is not one for the United States to solve, but its ability to contribute, facilitate, balance, or to support is necessary toward a solution from which all may benefit in the long term.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science