I’ve been pretty quiet on the Law of the Sea front these past few months, but now that’s over. The clock is ticking. The “quiet strategy” has achieved as much as it is going to. It’s time for an all out push — there’s simply too much at stake to let it go. Look for this site to become Law of the Sea central over the next few weeks.
The quiet strategy did achieve something over the past few months: I can confirm that there are more than enough senators in favor of U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea convention to get it through. Now it’s up to Senators Reid and Biden to finish the job.
One or two of these pro-LOS votes could flip as a result of right-wing pressure, but there’s easily enough cushion to pass anyway. Besides, once the treaty comes to the floor, President Bush, who is strongly supportive, is likely to bring a few more senators on board. He’s been unwilling to get out in front to advocate for the treaty, but once its moving the White House will work to see it pass. The WH will be faced with a choice: secure a win and incorporate the treaty into the Bush legacy or add one more failure to its extensive list of blunders. They will choose the former and ensure that it passes.
This is a great opportunity for Senator Reid, who has faced accusations of excessive partisanship from the other side. In one fell swoop, Reid can collaborate with senior, well-respected Republican senators and President Bush as he helps the United States take a huge step towards greater security, prosperity and sustainability.
On the flip side, there is no excuse for leaving this clear victory on the table. The days of letting flat-earthers dictate U.S. foreign policy needs to come to an end and ratifying the Law of the Sea Convention is the first step.
— Scott Paul