Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP)

  • Conflicts - Tensions

    CCP weaponizes law to gain strategic advantage

    FORUM Staff Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping’s slant on international conventions favors the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) objectives, often to other states’ detriment. These unilateral “lawfare” tactics are among the CCP’s gray-zone techniques in seeking global hegemony, analysts say. The CCP increasingly employs lawfare to gain leverage in Indo-Pacific waters, including the Taiwan Strait, and the…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Chinese trade hurt by Houthi attacks on ships attempting Red Sea passage

    FORUM Staff Though not targets of Houthi rebels, Chinese traders are significantly affected by the militants’ attacks on cargo vessels traversing the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and fear the crisis on one of the world’s busiest shipping routes could have lasting effects. One Chinese businessman said the cost of shipping a container to Europe spiked from about $3,000 in December 2023…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    U.S., Allies, Partners ensure safe, secure passage of global commerce

    FORUM Staff In late November 2023, the United States Navy’s USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf, demonstrating how regularly scheduled transits enable the U.S., Allies and Partners to assure economic prosperity via safe and secure sea passageways. “Our passage through this important strait and continued presence in the area plays…

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  • Features

    Modern Movement

    Gusty Da Costa Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Muhammad Herindra has served as Indonesian deputy defense minister under President Joko Widodo since December 2020. As a senior Army officer, he served as chief of the General Staff of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, as well as commander of the Army Special Forces Kopassus in 2015 and commander of the Regional Military Command…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Aging ships deliver sanctioned oil on shadowy missions

    FORUM Staff A deadly explosion aboard the tanker ship Pablo has illuminated the growing “dark fleet” of older vessels that transports sanctioned crude oil and refined products such as diesel and jet fuel. The first of what has swelled to more than 600 such ships, many of them years past their prime, began ferrying the cargo when Western nations banned…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Indo-Pacific allies, partners protect freedom of navigation

    FORUM Staff To preserve the global maritime commons, the United States and its allies and partners are prepared to defend international waters in this era of long-term strategic competition. In collaboration with allies and partners, U.S. forces will protect national freedoms and impose costs on adversaries by lawfully denying the transport of war-supporting shipments through key global sea lines of…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIPUnited States Navy Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

    USINDOPACOM Commander: U.S. will defend Indo-Pacific freedoms

    The Associated Press United States Navy Adm. John Aquilino, pictured, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said in March 2023 that Washington does not seek to contain the People’s Republic of China (PRC), nor seek conflicts in the region, but it would take action to support the region against coercion and bullying by authoritarian regimes. Speaking at a lecture in Singapore,…

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  • Features

    Preserving the Rules-Based International order

    U.S. Navy Capt. (Ret.) Raul Pedrozo All nations benefit from a Free and Open Indo-Pacific region governed by the rules-based maritime order that sets out an acceptable legal framework for all uses of the world’s oceans. Despite the vital role this order plays in promoting peace and security and advancing economic prosperity in the region, the international order is under…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Singapore’s Police Coast Guard deploys multilayered tactics to defend coastline

    Tom Abke Tasked with protecting a coastline within 500 meters of international boundaries at the confluence of some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) has outsized responsibilities. They include operations to counter smuggling, piracy, illegal immigration, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and terrorism, along with search and rescue missions. The PCG deploys a…

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