U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations Challenged 22 Nations in 2016
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — During fiscal 2016, U.S. naval and air units navigated the international waters and airspace claimed by 22 nations, the Defense Department said.
In a report — “U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Freedom of Navigation (FON) Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016” — released March 6, the department listed the 22 nations and the nature of their claims over the adjacent international waters and airspace.
The report did not list the number or dates of the transits for each country nor the number overall.
The FON operations included transits through areas claimed by nations that have tense relations with the United States, including China, Iran and Venezuela, but also many nations that have friendly relations with the United States.
In addition to the three nations noted above, the U.S. FON operations were conducted on or over the waters of Albania, Brazil, Cambodia, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia and Vietnam.
The types of claims vary. Some require prior notification or permission for foreign warships; others include limits on passage through archipelagos or have excessive baselines for territorial seas or exclusive economic zones.