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By Peter Kilduff

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

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Agreement on laws to regulate such activity has often been difficult to achieve. For example, the 1909 London Declaration was not ratified by the British House of Lords, largely because they feared the impact of its provisions on the ability of the Royal Navy to impose an effective blockade. Even where agreement has been possible, it has often proven worthless in Nature of the maritime operating environment 23 wartime. The 1936 Submarine Protocol offers a good example of this. This treaty, which outlawed the unrestricted sinking of merchant ships, was signed by all of the major powers and ignored by them once war began.

Uk/government/publications/jdp-0-10-british-maritime-doctrine. 9 US Navy, Naval Doctrine Publication 1, Naval Warfare (March 2010), 14. aspx (accessed 25 June 2012). 11 Moineville, Naval Warfare, 34. htm (accessed 1 February 2013). 13 See Ard Bernaerts, Guide to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Including the Text of the 1982 UN Convention and Agreement Concerning Part IX of 1994 (Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2006). 14 See Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 1-14N, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations (Department of the Navy, July 2007).

They can appear ostentatiously in a trouble spot, or hover quietly over the horizon, tailoring their visibility to suit a given situation. They may poise in a region ready for action, but are able to withdraw quietly and without fanfare if trouble does not materialise. The routine deployment of ships, task groups and even entire fleets into particular regions is commonplace and is likely to excite far less comment than the deployment of even a handful of land-based aircraft or ground forces, both of which require a footprint ashore which may be not be readily available or which may come at some political cost.

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