Continued Chinese interference with the resupply of the Sierra Madre contingent could have unintended consequences that destabilize the region and potentially result in an international armed conflict.
Captain Raul (Pete) Pedrozo, U.S. Navy (Ret.), is the Howard S. Levie Chair on the Law of Armed Conflict and Professor of International Law in the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College. He was a Peer Reviewer for the International Committee of the Red Cross Commentary of 2017 on the Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members Of the Armed Forces at Sea (1949) and is currently one of two U.S. representative to the International Group of Experts for the San Remo Manual on the Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, produced by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. Prior to his retirement from the Navy he served as the senior legal advisor to Commander, U.S. Pacific Command and was a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Pedrozo is co-author of the forthcoming, "Emerging Technology and the Law of the Sea" (Oxford University Press).
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Some nuclear disarmament activists believe that the AUKUS agreement is a breach of international law and will intensify the arms race. What these critics neglect is that the alliance is a response to a greater threat to nonproliferation efforts.
Once again, China is showing its disdain for the rules-based international legal order that regulates activities at sea.
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