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The United States Should Sign and Ratify LOST

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,189 times Debate No: 45171
Debate Rounds (5)
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The argument over whether or not the US should ratify the UN's Law of the Sea Treaty has gone on long enough. Let it be decided here.

First round acceptance.

Two constructive, the rest rebuttals.


I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Lets begin with a definitions so we can make sure everyone is on the same page.

Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST or UNCLOS): The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place between 1973 and 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources. (1)

In short, LOST puts forth a simplified code of international maritime laws and standards with the means to enforce and adjudicate them.

Up until this point, the LOST has not been adopted by the United States. However, there are several reasons why adopting it is the best course of action.

Contention 1: Military Capacity

Look over this list of names and titles.

Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr. is Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert is Chief of Naval Operations:
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. is Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard:

General William M. Fraser III is Commander of U.S. Transportation Command:
General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. is the Commander of U.S. Northern Command:
Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III is Commander of U.S. Pacific Command: (2)

All these men (and more) testified in support of LOST. The simple fact is that these men recognize that LOST will benefit our military abroad.

According to Admiral Winnefeld, "Joining this treaty will strengthen our posture and operations across the maritime domain, including in the Arctic, the Asia-Pacific region, the Strait of Hormuz, and the global shipping lanes at the heart of our military sealift capabilities." (2)

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear says that, "After careful reflection, I am fully confident that our accession to this Convention would advance U.S. national security interests in the PACOM area of responsibility (AOR). Specifically, the Convention sets forth and locks-in a rules-based order that protects military activities which are vital to our operations in defense of the nation, as well as our allies and partners. (2)

In short, LOST will be a huge benefit to our military capacity abroad.

Contention 2: Seabed Mining

Without the international waters regulation provided by LOST, the US has no basis for deep seabed mining.

The Institute for Liberty says that "Trillions of dollars, global property rights for U.S. interests, critical navigation rights, and veto power over an international fund that could end up in adversarial hands is what is at stake. Ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty will grow the U.S. economy while protecting our military and strategic interests around the world.
Russia and China, two of America"s most powerful strategic foes, are actively exploring the Arctic and Pacific for oil, gas and seabed mineral riches. The U.S. is not. Why? Because, Russia and China have ratified the Law of the Sea Treaty and the U.S. hasn"t. Without ratifying LOST, the U.S. has no standing to apply for mining and drilling permits under international law." (3)

Contention 3: Competition

Tying onto the last contention, without LOST the US has no way of competing with our two main rivals: Russia and China. LOST will allow us not only to compete economically in the areas of Arctic oil and Seabed minerals, but also to counter China's bullying tactics.

Capt. (Ret.) Gail Harris (former intelligence planner for Commander U.S. Forces Central Command argues that "By joining the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the U.S. would have the legal authority to enforce the treaty - preventing China, which has already ratified UNCLOS, from illegally stripping its neighbors' natural resources. As it stands now, we lack the legal ability to prevent China from gaming the system. If we ratify the treaty, we gain a seat at the negotiating table and leverage against China's bullying tactics." (4)

In short, LOST is essential for competing and countering our rivals, military capacity, and seabed mining.



STALIN forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Extend all arguments...too bad.


I'm really sorry for forfeiting. Could we agree on a tie and redo this debate? I couldn't respond because I was banned. Sorry. Would you like to agree on a tie and restart?
Debate Round No. 3


I appreciate your understanding Pro. Don't vote on this debate, we have agreed on a tie.
Debate Round No. 4


And furthermore, marshmallows are the best type of candy.
Debate Round No. 5
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