US Navy fires on ship in Gulf; LOST Treaty unlikely for passage
An American Navy ship fired on a boat in the Persian Gulf today, killing one person and injuring three others aboard the craft, U.S. naval officials told ABC News.
Lt. Greg Raelson, a spokesperson for the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in nearby Bahrain, said that a security team aboard the oil supply ship U.S.N.S. Rappahannock fired a .50 caliber machine gun at a "small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship" off the coast of Jebel Ali, a city approximately 30 miles from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The Navy has launched a joint investigation with the UAE into the incident as details continue to emerge. A defense official described the offending vessel was a white pleasure craft, but two UAE officials told ABC News it was a fishing boat with four Indians and two Emiratis on board. The UAE's official news agency identified an Indian fisherman as the man who was killed.
Very unfortunate stuff, but Force Protection isn't something you can play around with.
Legally and politically, this is probably going to be problematic. Somewhat interestingly, on the same day as the shooting Senator DeMint announced that he had enough votes to block the "Law of the Sea Treaty" which has been opposed since back in Reagan's days. For those unfamiliar with this treaty, The Washington Times lays it out fairly well:
The Law of the Sea Treaty, which entered into force in 1994 and has been signed and ratified by 162 countries, establishes international laws governing the maritime rights of countries. The treaty has been signed but not ratified by the U.S., which would require two-thirds approval of the Senate.
Critics of the treaty argue that it would subject U.S. sovereignty to an international body, require American businesses to pay royalties for resource exploitation and subject the U.S. to unwieldy environmental regulations as defined...
Proponents of ratification argue that member nations are establishing rules of the sea that the U.S. would have to adhere to without a vote. They also argue that by ratifying the treaty, the U.S. would protect its claims and rights to mine America’s continental sea shelves and offshore waters for natural resources without interference from other countries or other entities.
Without ratification, U.S. energy companies won’t have the security they need to invest in exploring those areas for resources, supporters say.
While the argument on the treaty deals mainly with natural resources, it might also clarify a bit what self-protection measures might be authorized. I doubt the UAE is overly eager to alienate the US, but this certainly won't help matters any.