Dobbs v. The Ocean

By Claude Berube

The Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization at first glance may not appear to have any relevance to the sea; however, it is indicative of how even domestic issues may have an impact on maritime operations. The ruling reinforces the reality that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can use the high seas to conduct activity or bring attention to their cause. For example, one physician has proposed “a floating abortion clinic in the Gulf of Mexico as a way to maintain access for people in southern states where abortion bans have been enacted.” It is not clear at this point what kind of ship would be used, but the concept is not a new one.

Women on Waves is proof of this concept. Founded by Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, Women on Waves used ships to provide abortions off the coasts of countries which had restrictive laws. Some of the operations included Ireland (2001) using the Dutch fishing vessel Aurora; Poland (2004) on the Langenort; Portugal on the Borndiep which also saw a response by the Portuguese Navy; and Spain (2008) on a sailboat as well as a later Trojan Horse operation in Smir, Morocco (2012), and Mexico in 2017.

On January 29, 2010, this author had the opportunity to interview Dr. Gomperts regarding Women on Waves for a set of profiles about how NGOs use the maritime environment. The following is a transcript of that interview that reveals some important points about changes in technology and the visual impact of maritime operations. Although conducted over ten years ago, the interview is relevant now more than ever. When applied to a post-Dobbs world, the following interview positions Women on Waves as a case study for how abortion services might be operationalized in maritime environments.

Claude Berube: When did you first think about using ships?

Rebecca Gomperts: I first thought of using the sea to provide services when I was a physician on a Greenpeace ship. 

CB: What was the advantage of providing services on the sea rather than going to the border of a country to provide those services?

RG: Because it’s the Dutch law that applies in international waters, you can help women legally and safely. 

CB: Was it also cheaper to do it, logistics-wise, to provide the ship rather than another country?

RG: Women do that all the time. Women travel. That’s why it’s one of the main social injustices because women who do not have the money cannot travel to other countries. The ship is a visual; it makes the problem visual. Women travelling to other countries, it’s often under the radar, they do it secretly, they suffer tremendously but it’s not public. With the ship we are making the problem that exists visible. 

CB: Have you found that the countries visited, do they prevent you from going into the harbor or do they prevent women coming out to you?

RG: We have done four campaigns with the ships so far. It was only Portugal that sent warships to prevent our ship from entering. That was the only time a government tried to stop the ship from coming in.

CB: How did that happen? Did they contact you on bridge to bridge?

RG: The Minister of Defence contacted the captain of the ship through a fax. They said Women on Waves was a threat to national security and health and they were preventing the ship from entering national waters. We filed a court case against the Portuguese government because they did this and we won this through the European Court for Human Rights. 

CB: How did you decide to use the types of ships you used for your campaigns? Is your decision on what types of ships centered around the A-Portable [an 8×20 foot container that serves as a mobile clinic aboard the ship] or are there other things in the decision-making process?

RG: We used the Mobile Treatment Room three times and the ships had to be proper to carry that – it’s basically a container and so the ships had to be outfitted for the Mobile Treatment Room. That was the size of the ship that was determined by the Mobile Treatment Room; however there have been a lot of developments recently especially concerning medical abortions – abortion with pills – it has been proven very safe to take outside the surgical theater. The last campaign we did which was in Spain we actually had a yacht and we worked with the local organization because the miscarriage happens back on shore so follow-up care was provided by us. So we used a yacht without the mobile treatment room. For us, that is a much better solution.

CB: Is that because it’s cheaper?

RG:  It’s much easier for us because you don’t need big harbors so you’re more flexible.

CB: You lease the boats on a short-term basis?

RG: Yes.

CB: How did you identify the crew? Were they volunteers? Were they paid?  Did you have to vet them for qualifications for seamanship, for example?

RG: It depended what ship we used. Two times we had a ship registered under the Dutch shipping certificate and all the crew had to have their certificates in order. Most of the crew volunteered. Some were reimbursed. The captain was reimbursed. They had to do extra training sometimes to update their certifications. On the other side, the yacht for example, there were just two crew and they had sailing experience – they had been sailing for thirty years. But that’s different than having a ship under a Dutch shipping inspection.

CB: Did you decide to use the Dutch flag because of the flexibility that offered? 

RG: I’m Dutch so we knew the situation here. I think there might have been other countries where we could have registered the ship but it was much more complicated.  

CB: When you’re ready to go into a country’s waters do you know ahead of time what you will do in the case of their navy or coast guard approaching you?

RG: It was a European ship so we have European protection, but we have lawyers always that work very closely with us but we never expected to have what happened in Portugal. That’s why we have a group of lawyers standing by in case of such a situation.

CB: You’ve done four voyages in the past ten years; do you have any plans for the future?

RG: Yes. It’s a complicated thing to prepare. We only go to countries where we are invited by local women’s organizations and it’s like a year-long preparation with mobilizing on the ground because they’re the ones who know we’re there to support them in the legalization of abortion in their country. 

CB: So your organization is more grassroots and you will wait to be invited.

RG: Sometimes we will meet to decide when the ship will come. 

CB: What have you found to be the greatest logistical challenges to these voyages – that might be fuel, or food or water?

RG: Portugal was the most difficult but they can’t do that anymore because they lost the court case. The government fell and abortion was legalized. It was also the most effective campaign. 

CB: Why was it the most effective, because it was the response of the Portuguese government that generated the most interest?

RG: Of course, that is absolutely the case. It was worldwide front page news. It was widely discussed in the European Parliament and basically it was considered a big scandal. 

CB: You saw a lot of political changes immediately?

RG: Yes. It was one of the main issues in the campaign. So it brought a lot of interest especially because of the Minister of Defence. 

CB: If the Portuguese government and the Minister of Defence had not done that, do you think it would have been as successful? 

RG: No. But we were there to help women and a lot of women in distress who were calling.

What did that interview and subsequent research suggest? First, NGOs evolve based on changing technology. While Women on Waves originally used a larger vessel to transport the mobile clinic, abortion pills later allowed them to use sailing vessels which could enter more ports as well as smaller ones, therefore reaching a larger target audience. In 2015, the organization started using drones to deliver abortion pills in Poland and the following year in Ireland.

Second, the use of yachts instead of the larger vessels meant that the NGO did not require licensed ship captains and had more flexibility as well as reduced costs to the maritime operation. Third, and perhaps most important, was the term Dr. Gomperts used: “the ship is the visual.” This characterization is similar to how other NGOs use ships to garner media attention to their cause in a way that is not conveyed via a land-based operation. While the post-Dobbs concept of using vessels to provide abortion services in the Gulf of Mexico is still early in how it will be applied, the case of Women on Waves may be one way of understanding how it might occur and evolve.

Area of operation for a proposed abortion-providing vessel. (Credit: Google Earth)

Finally, there is the perennial challenge of logistics. Assuming the organization does not use a sufficiently-sized sailing vessel, fuel consumption for a ship like an offshore supply vessel on which the organization could mount an A-portable would be problematic. Where, for example, would it refuel in the Gulf of Mexico? Assuming abortion services would be intended for states that would likely have more restrictive environments, the Gulf of Mexico – Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida – might find ways to impede a vessel from entering or exiting a port.  The distance from the Texas-Mexico border to the west coast of Florida is approximately 850 nautical miles (nm). This suggests the vessel would require support from nearby countries like Mexico, Cuba, Belize, or Cuba depending on the fuel consumption and range of the vessel.

While the latter two would encounter various restrictions, Mexico legalized abortion in 2021, but Mexican states can provide their own levels of legislation. The Mexican state of Tamaulipas is the most geographically proximate state to American Gulf states but abortion there is illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, and/or if abortion were accidental. The Mexican state of Yucatan is approximately 450nm from the coast of Florida. Abortion is also illegal there with exceptions for rape, maternal life, fetal defects, economic factors, or if abortion were accidental.

As Dr. Gomperts said, the ship is the visual. Now, over a decade later, her words in a post-Dobbs world carry a different weight, one that Women on Waves has known for some time. The question now is how that visual might take shape and play out when the arena is Dobbs v. the ocean.

Claude Berube, PhD has taught at the US Naval Academy since 2005 and worked on Capitol Hill for two Senators and a House member. He is a Commander in the US Navy Reserve. He was the co-editor of Maritime Private Security: Market Responses to Piracy, Terrorism and Waterborne Security Risks in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2012). His next novel, The Philippine Pact, will be released in early 2023. The views expressed are his own and not of any organization with which he is affiliated.

Featured image: A Women on Waves ship near Morocco (Credit: Paul Schemm). 

How Defense Department Planning Horizons Can Better Avoid Strategic Surprise

By Travis Reese

“One of the greatest contributions of net assessment is that it calls for consciously thinking about the time span of the competition you are in.” –Dr. Paul Braken

“Short term thinking drives out long term strategy, every time.”–Herbert Simon, Nobel Prize-winning economist

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The oft-repeated phrase from renowned author Peter Drucker continues to echo throughout defense circles and think tanks to catalyze change. Defense of the nation is a never-ending task achieved by balancing readiness for today’s threats and tomorrow’s challenges as part of a connected continuum. Yet, when it comes to addressing either current or future challenges, there is excessive lag between identifying needs and delivering relevant solutions. Senior leader dialogue often stipulates that the best assessments of needed capabilities come from operational commanders facing current problems. This is done while unironically pointing out the struggle to deliver capabilities in a relevant timeframe, often due to complex discovery relying on large human and capital investments. This dialogue is usually accompanied by a declaration that somewhere in industry exists a magic fix to the solutions delivery problem.

In response, industry and government research centers point to all the ways that the Department of Defense (DoD) is ineffective at discussing these problems earlier, while potential solutions wither away due to a lack of funds, institutional initiative, consistency of effort, or all three. To the DoD’s credit, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu have spearheaded initiatives for the DoD to improve future vision and analytic synchronization. Despite these initiatives, however, the culture around force design planning still eats strategy for breakfast, hindering if not outright stopping the delivery of timely capabilities. It is time to change the accepted practices of solutions discovery with a better method. A better method requires the DoD to establish multiple planning horizons with interactive comparisons between near-term and far-term designs stretched over 30 years.

The Problem

The DoD’s current planning horizons are ineffective at anticipating future needs and avoiding emergent gaps. This condition upsets the timely delivery of resources and capabilities because it keeps drawing the focus back to the “here and now” instead of the “there and later.” This leads to the constant refrain to “ask the warfighters” as the place where capability developers and program managers seek to find solutions to “here and now” problems as opposed to developing solutions for increasingly more capable “there and later” adversaries. This reactive response has the institution perpetually lagging. It also results in an abrogation of the Office of Secretary of Defense and the Service Chiefs’ responsibility to use their institutional mandates to forecast the “train, man, equip, and deploy” demands of the future. Instead, they often retrograde future force design issues onto current force employment problems.

This abrogation runs the risk of the entire defense enterprise doing what the late Colonel Art Corbett, designer of the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Advance Base Operations and Stand-in Forces concepts, used to characterize as solving today’s problems with yesterday’s logic and being constantly surprised by the future. Relying on “warfighter” discovery followed by pressurizing the research, engineering, and acquisition communities to satisfy those demands should be a rare exception and not the norm. Warfighter discovery should exist for only the most unanticipated and untested concerns when the experience of conflict and day-to-day competition reveals unknown capacity of the adversary.

DoD must avoid strategic surprise by delivering well-considered solutions based on long-term forecasts coupled with risk-managed and informed investment. Implementing a process that preempts this persistent short fusing of acquisition effort and priorities can be done by conducting force development and force design based on three distinct time horizons paced over 30 years for the major security scenarios the DoD expects to face. With a long-term forecast model, the DoD can achieve a proactive strategy long before the majority of future challenges manifest as emergent gaps as is so often the case with today’s compressed institutional planning horizons of 10 years or less.

Static Logic Challenge

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford stated in 2015 that “… adaptation is the things we’re doing right now with the wherewithal that we have, and to me innovation is…when you’re looking really for a fundamentally different way to do things in the future – disruptive, if you will. And so we’ve got to be able to do both of those things.”

General Dunford’s statement indicates that adaptation and innovation are unique ways to address solutions for emergent concerns and future challenges. The ability to identify the full range of innovative or adaptive solutions is often frustrated by the fact that future force planning frequently falls into two habits that create static logic: 1) fixation on the current security challenge which becomes an anchor to perceptions of the future which results in using the current state as the model for all future conditions (sometimes for 10 to 20 years) or 2) establishing a single point in the future and then using that point alone to design a future force with a constant interpretation of the threat regardless of new information or changes. This case frequently occurs due to the institutional inertia that builds up around a model as agencies work to align their programs and efforts to an accepted framework. Each change in the model often generates a halting effect on force development or design as organizations take years or better to adjust to a new conception of the future or threat.

A fix to the static logic problem to maintain innovation and adaptation would be to sustain a constant flow of future projections that mature in detail the closer to the period under question. For example, analysis in the 20-year timeframe may only be able to inform decisions to investigate options in basic or applied research and operating concepts whereas analysis in a 10-year timeframe, informed by years of prior learning, would focus on prototypes and tactical experimentation.

The logic of static time periods also generates a fixed appreciation of the adversary and does not account for their reaction to a U.S. action. The moment the U.S. introduces a capability it should expect an adversary to develop countermeasures. The cost imposing strategy of responding to a well-developed measure with a cheap countermeasure should change the timeframe the U.S. could expect usefulness from initial capabilities for a given timeframe and consider their replacements. For this reason, force developers should construct planning horizons that reflect adversary transitions vice working from a single model for 10 years. However, almost every major acquisition undertaken by the DoD requires 10, 15, or 30 years to develop and, in many instances, is used for 30 to 40 years. In 2016, then-Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley described the purpose of exploring new operational concepts as simply to “get this less wrong than whoever opposes us.” It is the task of future force planning to avoid strategic surprise and orient the institutions into “less wrong” outcomes. This is especially true when force design and the capabilities development process requires 10 years just to move through the initial stages of identification, explanation, buy-in, and approval.

A problem of fixing the DoD on a single assigned year for force design is that potential solutions outside the window of consideration often get set aside in a conceptual limbo. The irony is that somehow these solutions are expected to emerge when the enterprise decides they are ready for the next 10-year horizon. The inability to hold multiple time horizons in consideration becomes a technology and solutions decelerator. Planning in more than one timeframe can overcome the “cold start” gap of discovery, convincing the institution of viability, and accepting it as a suitable option. When discovery and analysis take place on a consistent basis long before a solution is needed, the speed of execution and delivery will meet the judgment of relevance. Potential solutions will require less modification since they will be refined with increasing levels of detail or discarded earlier if determined to be unachievable. That which is not explicitly covered under the near-term approach could be considered and placed into a less committing but equally informing future case. It will give context to any range of research and experimentation rather than merely evaluating an option based on its technical interest or amorphous potential.

Developing 30-year horizons will facilitate continuity of institutional thought, long-term vision, and iterative tests of ideas before requesting or committing scarce resources for what becomes a strategy-defining requirement, that if unrealized, compromises the potential for future success. It is not about hedging bets but maximizing the exploration of options under managed timeframes to identify the greatest range of acceptable solutions, refined through iterative institutional learning and shared understanding.

What does the solution look like? The model for a new process.

The Horizons of Innovation model provides a framework for three interactive but distinct institutional design horizons spanning from 10 to 30 years. The Y-axis, labeled “solutions” spans the spectrum from unsuitable to perfect. The X-axis, labeled “time” spans from the present into the future. Solutions are constrained by the positively sloped “innovation” line and negatively sloped “adaptation.” All solutions constrained in the angle formed between adaptation and innovation are acceptable where the bisecting dashed line represents the best performance. Solutions that exist below the adaptation line are unacceptable while solutions that exist above the innovation line are unattainable. DoD force planners should look at the limiting lines of innovation and adaptation across the three different horizons of 10, 20, and 30 years to develop the framework to address future challenges.

The Horizons of Innovation Model is adapted from the Three Horizons model introduced to business strategists around the turn of this millennia. Critics argue that horizons are too sequential and do not account for rates of change brought on by modern access to information. The combination of process and human factors in DoD force design, however, can still benefit from sequential framing because the Horizons of Innovation account for likely rates of change regardless of the potential spontaneity of innovation. The horizons model distinguishes between short and near-term achievability and distant long-term possibilities. The model shows the difference in thinking that simply makes sequential improvements, usually by only achieving competitive parity, along with paradigm shifting conditions, colloquially known as “game changers,” which create exponential changes in understanding that result in distinct advantages.

Horizons of Innovation model. (Click to expand.)

The Horizons of Innovation model provides a framework for three horizons. The Y-axis, labeled “solutions” spans the spectrum from unsuitable to perfect. The X-axis, labeled “time” spans from the present into the future. Solutions are constrained by the positively sloped “innovation” line and negatively sloped “adaptation.” All solutions constrained in the angle formed between adaptation and innovation are acceptable where the bisecting dashed line represents the best performance. Solutions that exist below the adaptation line are unacceptable while solutions that exist above the innovation line are unattainable. DoD force planners should look at the limiting lines of innovation and adaptation across the three different horizons of 10, 20, and 30 years to develop the framework to address future challenges.

Outside of the boundary formed by innovation and adaptation, two observations are readily apparent: 1) some desired innovation may be unachievable, but that possibility lessens over time and 2) some adaptations are suitable until obsolescence. Future opportunities are revealed as each new change gives a glimpse of the degree of disruption and benefit from that new understanding. The longer a problem is considered, the more likely abstract concepts of the future can be quantified. It is not a perfect understanding of the future but provides a model to identify areas that need investment to benefit from forecasted change.

The further one looks out, the greater the institutional freedom of action between innovation and adaptation. While the lines are linearly divergent, the difference between optimal and suboptimal solutions becomes greater with time. Any adaptation can be assessed to meet future demand and innovations can be identified that generate disruptive change. The model also shows that the closer in time to execution, the less institutional freedom of action there is. The longer future issues are considered, more possibilities could be explored. If a desired innovation is available sooner than expected, it could be seamlessly transitioned into an earlier horizon. This would create a phase shift up the vertical “solutions” axis, increasing advantage over an adversary. Conversely, if an expected innovation cannot be realized in time, the innovations can phase shift down. However, the loss of innovation is managed by shifting the lines of efforts from innovation to adaptation. The longer the institution looks into the future and evolves that understanding, the more risk accepting and opportunity seeking it becomes, vice risk averse and opportunity limiting. Allowing current force commanders to contribute their concerns to future analysis will prevent pinning the DoD just on “hear and now” concerns that in turn alleviates anchoring and availability bias in DoD planning.

While the Horizon’s model is agnostic of personal bias or viewpoints, there is still a human element in force design methodology. Novel solutions that change paradigms and alter the inertial course of massive institutional ships takes time. A contemporary example is found in the efforts of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger, to accelerate the naval service toward modernization by 2030. To casual observers, it seems that General Berger is the initiator of this effort. That is far from the truth. The lineage of the Force Design 2030 efforts trace themselves back to his predecessors throughout recent times. General Dunford began a force redesign in 2015, followed by the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Neller, and his introduction of Marine Corps Force 2025. Current iterations continuing under General Berger will cover a span of seven years. Despite having the full support of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger’s effort to modernize require explanation, convincing, testing, and advocacy. By the conclusion of his tenure as Commandant, the transition to a new force design will have taken nearly 10 years. This transition period beckons several questions: even as FD2030 falls into place, where is the next horizon? Have strategic leaders considered the frame that will emerge after 2030? Where is the guidance to evaluate the potential outcomes of the 2030 force? How will the adversary respond? What countermeasures/innovations must be developed?

Too often near-term executors are segregated from future visionaries as if they have mutually exclusive institutional roles. The model shows they are not distinct but complementary. Immediate pressures force the DoD to emphasize the near-term challenges and solutions that are biased and anchored in the present. These current concerns generate responses that are often risk averse because of the perceived potential for loss. Future speculation promotes a greater propensity to accept risk because the focus shifts from potential loss to potential gain. Collective discussion with involved stakeholders should be held in all three horizons simultaneously. This ensures that choices for institutional readiness can be assessed over the different time horizons which allow for an informed approach. Focusing exclusively in one time frame generates collective ignorance since it disregards the existence of the next range of options and opportunities. It is possible to be both a contemporary and future thinker simultaneously, which is necessary to assesses risk and balance the forces that are “here and now” with the forces that will be “there and later.”

An additional opportunity from this method is that younger generations will be inculcated in strategic thought and be exposed to the strategic environment they will face earlier in their careers. Advancing in one’s career with a sense of ownership over the potential challenges and being involved in the likely solutions will generate career-long strategic thinking. If adopted, the Three Horizons model enables transition of the future environment to successor generations. This could catalyze an educational shift to think critically and creatively both at the individual and institutional level ensuring the proper shaping of the future design of the force with each turnover of leadership. Current leaders can manage force sustainment challenges while sponsoring and investing in the contributions of future generations on an informed basis led by those who will inherit the outcomes.

Leaders that are reticent to engage in timelines beyond 10 years may do so because they fear how future considerations can be viewed as path determinant once they are discussed in public. This happens because there is no running institutional method of discourse to encourage evolution of thought over time. Rather, it remains a leader-managed process subject to the whims of the next decider rather than being a participant-driven enterprise with clear transitions and gates between ideation, iteration, and ultimate leader-required decisions based on legal obligations and restraints. Nothing substitutes for a well-considered problem with persistent investments of time and resources. Nothing improves support of an institutional direction like transparent stakeholder engagement on a persistent basis. The Horizons of Innovation model, with its three frames of replacement, transition, and exponential change, supports both and invites rigorous analysis at each step.


Horizons are not fixed limitations but rather means of effectively organizing referred to as “chunking,” and based on likely periods of technology development or institutional transition. This model can serve as an institutional tool for facilitating change, stabilizing the disruptive effects of innovation, programing the arrival of new capabilities, and replacing obsolete practices and models in a managed timeline. It enables detailed analytic approaches based on the continuous refinement of institutional design for the future with iterative adjustment. The Horizon model can enhance acquisition, programming and budgeting, and capability development processes by organizing stakeholders into common appreciation of long-term force design.

The current capabilities development process requires 10 years to move through the initial stages of identification, explanation, buy-in, and approval to generate needed solutions to likely military challenges 15 to 20 years on the future, let alone solve current problems and readiness challenges. Competitors and adversaries are executing on their long-term strategies and steadily growing their capabilities and capacities having followed a similar process of decades-long planning and organized action.

They have however accelerated towards their goals by harnessing steady and persistent momentum rather than attempting radical lurches based on short-term forecasts and near-term focus. Their ability to capitalize on a long-view approach, while critically analyzing our force (and that of our allies) is enabling them to progress toward strategic and operational overmatch. Adversaries’ planned transitions from current to future through managed modernization have resulted in our present challenges.

It is time to account for the role of those factors in the process for force design as well. Retired Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan, in a recent interview on his book War Transformed, articulated the case for balancing current and future when he described the cultural paradigm that needs to be overcome. He opined that democracies are good at leveraging 24-hour news cycles and 3 to 4-year electoral cycles. Conversely, he stipulated that if leaders want to exploit microseconds of opportunity that may only be possible through building the societal patience to think in decades.

The Horizons of Innovation model provides discipline to forecasting decades into the future. Although the future is uncertain, it is not a fact-free activity solely left for conjecture. Future planning can be a very informed process with logical designs and reasonable outcomes. When the Horizon model is used, these designs and outcomes will help define how current means satisfy requirements when adapted to new circumstances. The model also shows where the potential for disruptive innovation may be needed to avoid strategic surprise and overcome anticipated concerns. Famed Disney Imagineer and consultant to the DoD on future innovation, Bran Ferren stated, “We don’t do strategic or long-term thinking anymore. If anything, we may do long-term tactical thinking and call it strategic, but it’s really just a spreadsheet exercise…That’s not a survivable model.” Bran Ferren’s words articulate a pressing problem, and the Horizon model may just be the prescription to fix it.

Travis Reese retired from the Marine Corps as Lieutenant Colonel after nearly 21 years of service. While on active duty he served in a variety of billets inclusive of tours in capabilities development, future scenario design, and institutional strategy. Since his retirement in 2016 he was one of the co-developers of the Joint Force Operating Scenario process. Mr. Reese is now the Director of Wargaming and Net Assessment for Troika Solutions in Reston, VA.

Featured Image: JAPAN (Aug. 18, 2022) – U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II’s assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 participate in an aerial refueling mission during a 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Certification Exercise over the East China Sea, Aug. 18, 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Justin J. Marty)

Evolving Marines and Aerial ASW for the Undersea Fight

By Jason Lancaster


The Marine Corps is an expeditionary crisis response force designed to project power globally from the sea. For the first time in a generation the shape of the Corps is changing and returning to its maritime roots. Closer integration with the Navy means that as in the Second World War, the Marine Corps will be a force provider for the maritime fight, potentially extending to the undersea domain. General Berger stated, “the undersea fight will be so critical in the High North and in the western Pacific that the Marine Corps must be part of it.”1 During World War II, Marine aviation units flew anti-submarine patrols from escort carriers and island bases in the Pacific defending the sea lanes from Japanese submarines.2 Today, the Marine Corps needs to invest in ASW-capable aircraft to support the ASW fight from the sea and ashore.

Today, the Navy has a major capability gap in anti-submarine warfare. In the 1980s, the Navy relied on land-based long-range maritime patrol planes, an ASW screen consisting of surface combatants, carrier-based medium-range ASW aircraft like the S-3B Viking, and short-range helicopters for localization and engagement. The Navy eliminated the S-3B Viking in 2009 with no replacement. This elimination removed medium-range ASW aircraft from the carrier strike group, and in a modern conflict with Russia or China, this gap could have catastrophic results. Both nations are increasing the number and capabilities of their submarines. Many of those submarines can engage surface ships with missiles from beyond 200 nautical miles, beyond the capability of organic carrier strike group ASW assets. The Navy has not taken enough steps to address the vulnerability of its major formations to submarines. The lack of organic ASW capabilities in amphibious ready groups (ARGs) makes them even more vulnerable than a CSG. ASW is a role the Marines have not conducted since World War II, but it is a vital role they must fill in the future.

Anti-Submarine Warfare 

In its most simple form, ASW is placing sensors in positions to find submarines and kill them. The Navy uses surface ships, submarines, and aircraft to place sensors in positions to detect, classify, and engage submarines. The U.S. Navy uses two main frameworks for ASW: Theater ASW (TASW) and Strike Group ASW (SGASW). The role of TASW is to detect, track, classify, and engage submarines throughout an entire theater. In conflict the primary objective is to sink as many submarines as possible. SGASW is concerned with protecting the high value unit (HVU) from submarines. Success for SGASW is never being shot at. With good intelligence and communications with the TASW Commander, speed and maneuver may enable a strike group to avoid slow-moving diesel submarines.

The current concept to defend an ARG from submarines relies completely on non-organic aircraft and surface escorts assigned to the ARG as required. Unfortunately, the Navy’s ability to provide sufficient escorts for aircraft carriers and ARGs is decreasing. Despite NDAA 2017 requirements for a fleet of 350 ships, the number of surface ships in the Navy is decreasing. The 2023 proposed Navy budget included the decommissioning of 22 cruisers, 9 littoral combat ships, and the elimination of the LCS ASW mission package. The P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol planes are excellent ASW platforms, but are limited in quantity, and primarily work for the TASW Commander. Although an important mission, protecting the ARG is only one of many tasks for the TASW Commander. During a period with multiple submarine prosecutions occurring across a theater, the P-8 inventory may not enable 24-hour coverage of the ARG.

The Navy and Marine Corps should combine assets to create an organic air ASW squadron. The Navy can contribute existing MH-60Rs and the Marine Corps should contribute a new medium endurance Marine ASW aircraft. These platforms will fill the gaps in ASW coverage and protect the ARG’s main battery, its Marine Expeditionary Unit.

These assets can also operate from expeditionary advanced bases, which can be well-positioned to interdict submarines in chokepoints. In the Pacific, expeditionary bases positioned along the first island chain can cover the key chokepoints Chinese submarines must navigate to break out into larger oceans and seas. These chokepoints greatly simplify the challenge of locating and interdicting submarines, and Marine aerial ASW assets could be poised to pounce on contacts and maintain layers of sensors.

Marine ASW assets positioned in the High North, especially along the Norwegian coast, could make significant contributions to undersea capability and awareness by virtue of proximity to the Russian Northern Fleet’s main base at Severomorsk. With the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, Marines can help bolster undersea capability throughout the Baltic Sea.

A medium-range ASW aircraft should be able to conduct ASW patrols 200-300 nautical miles away from the ARG or expeditionary base for at least 4-6 hours, while carrying sufficient sonobuoys and torpedoes to detect, classify, and engage a hostile submarine. In order to save time and money on sensor development, the radar, sonobuoy processing system, EW suite, and sonobuoy launchers from an MH-60R can be utilized aboard a different aircraft. The Marine Corps has several options for developing a new medium endurance ASW aircraft. Two options are the MV-22 and the MQ-9B.

Multiple reconfigurations of the ARG and MEU make the present the perfect time to eliminate the ARG ASW gap by introducing Marine ASW assets. The introduction of the F-35B into the Air Combat Element (ACE) is changing the composition of the ACE. The Marines are experimenting with 8-10 F-35Bs instead of 6 AV-8s, which reduces space available on the LHD for MV-22s. The planned decommissioning of the Dock Landing Ship (LSD) is also shifting the composition of the ARG. The LSD had a large flight deck but no hangar and no permanent flight deck crew, limiting the LSD to flight deck or well deck operations.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Jan. 24, 2022) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Juliet Collazo signals to an MV-22B Osprey attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), as it takes off from the flight deck of USS Essex. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wesley Richardson)

The LPD-17 class has a large flight deck capable of operating two MV-22s simultaneously and a hangar designed to conduct maintenance on an MV-22, or holding two MH-60s. The LPD’s air department enables simultaneous well deck and flight deck operations. The elimination of the LSD and its replacement with an ARG composed of an LHD/LHA and two LPDs drastically increases the aviation capabilities inherent in the ARG. The Navy-Marine Corps team should take advantage of that shift to develop an organic ASW capability.

Option 1: Existing Airframes

Force Design 2030 planned to divest three MV-22 squadrons. The FD2030 2022 update stated that instead the Marines will shift from 14 squadrons composed of 12 aircraft to 16 squadrons of 10 aircraft.3 Instead of eliminating those eight aircraft, the Marine Corps should instead make a 17th squadron of 10 aircraft that is equipped for ASW. This squadron should be collocated at NAS North Island with the Navy’s MH-60R squadrons or at NAS Jacksonville with the P-8 and MH-60R squadrons so that Marine ASW aviators can train with their Navy counterparts.

Marine Corps experiments with more F-35Bs and fewer MV-22s aboard the LHD suggest that instead of eliminating surplus MV-22s, they could be converted into ASW aircraft. These reconfigured aircraft would utilize the MH-60Rs electronics/ASW suite to save time on fielding and development as well as saving resources on spare parts and training. NAVAIR would need to determine whether the airframe has sufficient electrical power generation to support the additional sensors. The Navy has sent MH-60R detachments on ARG deployments before, and their sensor suite is useful for ASW and surface warfare.

Another ASW MV-22 option is to utilize the multi-static active coherent (MAC) buoys. NAVAIR would have to determine whether the buoy processing system would fit into an MV-22, but MAC buoys are the most capable sonobuoys in the U.S. Navy’s inventory and their utilization by a medium-range ASW aircraft would dramatically increase the lethality of the ARG’s ASW capability. Foreign military sales could make this platform a force multiplier and reduce overall program cost. Spain, Turkey, Australia, and South Korea all operate LHDs and MH-60Rs. An MV-22 equipped with MH-60R sensors would increase allied ASW capabilities without adding additional sensor training and logistics pipelines for their forces. France, Britain, Italy, and Japan also operate aircraft carriers or LHDs and might be interested in a medium-range ASW platform. A successful platform could even be bought by the Navy for integration into the carrier air wing and used to eliminate the CSG’s ASW gap.

Option 2: UAVs

An alternative medium-range ASW aircraft is the MQ-9B Sea Guardian. The Marine Corps is already purchasing 18 MQ-9s from General Atomics, with the desire to acquire more. The Air Force is looking to transfer 100+ MQ-9s to another service. General Atomics has developed an ASW and ISR sensor kit for the MQ-9 Reaper, and states an ASW mission radius of 1,613NM or 25 hours aloft. In 2021, General Atomics signed a $980 million contract with Australia to buy 12 MQ-9Bs which was canceled in 2022.4 They carry sonobuoys and radar for detection and classification of submarines, but currently lack torpedoes to prosecute engagements. The lack of antisubmarine armament is a major drawback for these aircraft, but these aircraft have participated in fleet exercises and are available today.5

April 16, 2021 – The Marine Corps’ first MQ-9A at an undisclosed location in the Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. John Coppola/Released)

General Atomics has also developed a kit that converts existing MQ-9s into short takeoff and landing (STOL) platforms without diminishing the range. This capability would enable MQ-9Bs to operate extended ASW patrols from the LHD and expeditionary bases. In April 2021, the MQ-9B participated with other unmanned systems during the Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem Exercise.6 This exercise demonstrated the ability of unmanned systems to effectively integrate into the navy’s fleet architecture. The USMC and USN should experiment with the STOL MQ-9B Sea Guardian during exercises like Talisman Saber 23.


In World War II, Marine aircraft operating from islands and escort carriers provided ASW aircraft to the fight. The Marines have not been required to conduct ASW operations since. The Navy will have significant difficulty resourcing all of the escort requirements for carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups, and TASW missions. Without organic ASW aircraft the ARG is vulnerable to submarines, especially sub-launched long-range missiles.

The Marine Corps has two rapid options for establishing an ASW capability – a modified MV-22 or the MQ-9B Sea Guardian. Although the Corps has not planned to acquire ASW aircraft, the Commandant’s thoughts on the importance of ASW in the High North and the western Pacific combined with the ARG’s vulnerability means that consideration for a platform must be considered. The Commandant is divesting of legacy equipment and end strength to invest in future equipment. With the Navy’s shortage of ASW assets, it makes sense for the Marine Corps to support the maritime fight not just with land-based anti-surface fires and sensing, but also with its own ASW aircraft.

LCDR Jason Lancaster is a Surface Warfare Officer. He has served at sea aboard amphibious ships, destroyers, and a destroyer squadron. Ashore, he has worked on various N5 planning staffs. He is an alumnus of Mary Washington College and holds an MA in History from the University of Tulsa. His views are his own and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.


1. Berger, David (2020, November). Marines Will Help Fight Submarines. Proceedings.

2. Marine Scout Bombing Squadron Three Four Three. (1945). VMSB-343 – War Diary, 4/1-30/45. US Marine Corps.

3. United States Marine Corps. (2022). Force Design 2030 Annual Update May 2022. Washington DC: United States Marine Corps.

4. Clark, C. (2022, April 1). Aussies ‘secretly cancel’ $1.3B AUD drone deal; Nixing French subs may cost $5B . Breaking Defense.

5. General Atomics. (2022, April 5). Versatile multi-domain MQ-9B SeaGuardian has revolutionized anti-submarine warfare . Breaking Defense.

6. Office of Naval Research Strategic Communications. (2021, April 22). Unmanned Capabilities Front and Center During Naval Exercise. US Navy Press Release.

Featured Image: PHILIPPINE SEA (March 27, 2019) F-35B Lightning II aircraft, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, and MV-22 Ospreys, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 268, are secured to the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker)

East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zones: A Primer

This article is part of a series that will explore the use and legal issues surrounding military zones employed during peace and war to control the entry, exit, and activities of forces operating in these zones. These works build on the previous Maritime Operational Zones Manual published by the Stockton Center for International Law predecessor’s, the International Law Department, of the U.S. Naval War College. A new Maritime Operational Zones Manual is forthcoming.

By LtCol Brent Stricker

Tensions could be high in East Asia when a civil aircraft flying in international airspace over the East China Sea (ECS) finds itself intercepted by military fighter aircraft. These aircraft are part of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) system which exists to identify and control aircraft approaching a nation’s airspace. Intercepted aircraft can be ordered to land in a country they never intended to visit, shot down for failure to comply, or perhaps suffer a mid-air collision as occurred in the EP-3 incident. Unfortunately in the ECS, there are four overlapping ADIZs (Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan) increasing the risk for civil aircraft navigating the area.

The patchwork of overlapping Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZs) covering much of the East China Sea represents a potential flashpoint for conflict. A brief survey of the history, purpose, and location of these zones can help frame these risks for the future.

A Short History of the ADIZ

International law governing aircraft evolved after the First World War with the adoption of the 1919 Paris Convention for the Regulation of Aerial Navigation.1 The Paris Convention treated international air space like the high seas, adopting the principle of caelum liberum (freedom of the skies) where national sovereignty could not be asserted.2 The Paris Convention was replaced by the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). The Chicago Convention maintains the distinction between national and international airspace but only applies to civil aircraft.3 State aircraft, which include military, customs, and police aircraft, are exempt from compliance with the convention but must operate with “due regard” for the safety of civil aircraft and may not fly over the territory, including the territorial sea, of or land in another state without permission.4

An Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is defined in Annex 15 of the Chicago Convention as a “Special designated airspace of defined dimensions within which aircraft are required to comply with special identification and/or reporting procedures additional to those related to the provision of air traffic services (ATS).”5 Information regarding the establishment of ADIZs and their reporting requirements is available in each states’ Aviation Information Publication.6

The United States pioneered this concept by creating the first ADIZ in 1950 and encouraging its allies, such as Norway, Iceland, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, to establish similar zones. An ADIZ can extend beyond national air space into international airspace to allow states to identify aircraft approaching their territory to ensure they are not a hostile threat. ADIZ reporting requirements vary by state, but all have requirements to identify approaching aircraft and their origin and destination. An ADIZ is analogous to port entry requirements or conditions a state imposes on ships entering or transiting its internal waters.7 Since the end of the Cold War, ADIZs have declined in use. Norway and Iceland’s ADIZs, for example, were decommissioned after the Cold War ended.8

While states exercise sovereignty over their national airspace, an ADIZ that extends beyond a state’s territorial sea only allows the state to establish “conditions and procedures for entry into its national airspace.”9 These conditions and procedures may include filing a flight plan before departure, aircraft identification requirements, and positional updates.10 Aircraft entering an ADIZ that do not intend to enter national airspace continue to enjoy high seas freedoms of overflight and are not required to comply with ADIZ requirements.11

A civil aircraft entering an ADIZ that fails to comply with the conditions and procedures for entry into national airspace may be considered a potential threat. Typically, such non-compliant aircraft are intercepted by military aircraft to determine their intentions. Violation of ADIZ requirements does not, however, authorize a military aircraft to attack a civil aircraft unless it commits a hostile act or demonstrates hostile intent.12 For example, in February 1961, a Soviet state aircraft was flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea 80 miles off the coast of French Algeria when it was intercepted by a French fighter.13 The French claimed that the aircraft had entered a declared “zone of identification,” had diverted from its declared flight path, and was approaching Algeria without responding to radio challenges.14 Although only warning shots were fired, the diplomatic fallout of the incident was a recognition by both the Eastern and Western powers that there was a free right to navigation in international airspace even within an ADIZ.15

East China Sea ADIZ

ADIZs have been established in North Asia by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. The PRC ADIZ differs from the others in that it intentionally overlaps portions of the other three. The PRC ADIZ also includes the airspace above Japanese administered territory16 and appears to assert jurisdiction over international air space.17  (The People’s Republic of China AIP can be accessed here.)18

The PRC declared an ADIZ in the East China Sea on November 23, 2013.19 This ADIZ differs from other zones because claims to apply to all aircraft transiting the zone whether or not they intend to enter PRC national airspace. Such a requirement is inconsistent with international law.20 The zone requires all aircraft transiting through the zone “to follow identification rules, including filing a flight plan with the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Civil Aviation Administration; maintaining two-way radio communications and responding promptly to identification requests from the Ministry of National Defense; operating a secondary radar responder (if equipped); and marking nationalities and logos clearly.”21 The zone therefore illegally purports to assert PRC jurisdiction over aircraft in international airspace.22 Under international law, all transiting aircraft are guaranteed freedom of overflight in international airspace seaward of the territorial sea.

The PRC zone directly overlaps with those of Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.23 This was the first ADIZ to intentionally overlap with another.24 It also includes airspace over the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands adjacent to Taiwan. These islands are the subject of a territorial dispute between the PRC/Taiwan and Japan.25

Both the United States and Japan protested the establishment of the ECS ADIZ. Then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused China of attempting to change the status quo in the East China Sea and increasing tensions in the region. The U.S. statement further indicated that the United States does not “support efforts by any state to apply its ADIZ procedures to foreign aircraft not intending to enter its national airspace.” Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs similarly accused China of attempting to change the status quo in the East China Sea, indicating that the ADIZ “measures unduly infringe the freedom of flight in international airspace…and will have serious impacts on the order of international aviation.” Japan also objected strongly to the inclusion of the airspace over the Senkaku Islands within the ECS ADIZ.


Lateral Limits

Upper/Lower Limits and
system/means of activation announcement
1 2

3º11’N and 121º47’E , 33º11’N and 125º00’E, 31º00’N and 128º20’E, 25º38’N and 125º00’E, 24º45’N and 123º00’E, 26º44’N and 120º58’E

Figure 1: East China Sea Air Identification Zones

Taiwan’s ADIZ is defined in its AIP.26 The Taiwan ADIZ was established by the United States after the Second World War and applies the standard request for aircraft entering the zone intending to enter Taiwanese air space to identify themselves. Civil aircraft are required to fly above 4,000 feet along designated airways or as vectored by air traffic controllers. Aircraft that do not comply with these requirements are subject to intercept by military aircraft.27 Other examples for intercept include, “Aircraft deviat[ing] from the current flight plan – fail[uire] to pass over a compulsory reporting point within 5 minutes of the estimated time over that point; deviat[ing] 20 NM from the centerline of the airway; or 2000FT difference from the assigned altitude; or any other deviations.”28 Taiwan’s AIP publishes strict guidance for aircraft to “fly straight and level” upon interception and to take no action that might be viewed as hostile. Communication with the intruding aircraft will be attempted via radio or visual signals. The AIP notes that Taiwan will not be held responsible for damages caused by interception or failure to comply with ADIZ requirements. Since September 2020, Chinese military aircraft have maintained a near continuous presence in the Taiwan ADIZ, penetrating the zone nearly 2,200 times. Although China believes that these incursions are consistent with international law because Taiwan is part of China, Taiwan has stated that it will respond in self-defense if attacked.


Lateral Limits

Upper/Lower Limits and
system/means of activation announcement
1 2
Taiwan ADIZ
210000N 1173000E –
210000N 1213000E –
223000N 1230000E –
290000N 1230000E –
290000N 1173000E –
210000N 1173000E.

The South Korean ADIZ is described in its AIP.29 The ADIZ was established in 1951 by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. It currently includes airspace above Ieodo/Suyan, a submerged feature disputed between South Korea and the PRC. South Korea expanded its ADIZ to include the airspace over Ieodo in December 2013 after the PRC included the airspace above the feature in its ADIZ in November 2013.30 The Korean ADIZ is similar to the PRC ADIZ in that it requires aircraft flying in the zone to submit a flight plan whether or not they intend to enter Korean air space. Aircraft are required to maintain two-way radio contact, use a secondary surveillance radar transponder, and make position reports every thirty minutes to air traffic control. 

An illustration of Japan’s ADIZ is contained in its AIP.31 Japan’s ADIZ was established in 1969. It does not include the airspace above the disputed Northern Territories/Kuril Islands controlled by Russia.32 The Japanese ADIZ follows the North American example applying its procedures only to aircraft intending to enter Japanese national airspace. The zone is divided into an inner and outer zone. The inner zone overlaps the territorial Sea of Japan. An aircraft entering the inner zone is expected to file a flight plan in advance and comply with air traffic control instructions or face interception.

Name and lateral limits Upper limit / Lower limit
1 2

3900N 12330E – 3900N 13300E-

3717N 13300E – 3600N 13030E-

3513N 12948E – 3443N 12909E-

3417N 12852E – 3230N 12730E-

3230N 12650E – 3000N 12525E-

3000N 12400E – 3700N 12400E-

3900N 12330E

Figure 2: Air Defense Identification Zone of Japan


While ADIZs may have once been a relic of the Cold War, the situation in the East China Sea has seen an increase in their use. As the issue of China-Taiwan relations remains unresolved, the PRC ADIZ might become a tool to pressure other nations if the PRC chooses to assert sovereignty over the ADIZ by intercepting civil aircraft over the ECS. Certainly for Taiwan, repeated instances of Chinese military aircraft testing Taiwan’s response time show that ADIZs will remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

LtCol Brent Stricker, U.S. Marine Corps, serves as the Director for Expeditionary Operations and as a military professor of international law at the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College. The views presented are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, the Naval War College, or the Department of Defense.


1. Convention on International Civil Aviation, Oct 13, 1919, 11 LNTS 174, reprinted in 17 AJIL Supp. 195 (1923) (no longer in effect).

2. Peter A. Dutton, “Caelum Liberum: Air Defense Identification Zones outside Sovereign Airspace” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 103, No. 4 (Oct., 2009), pp. 691-709, 692.

3. Chicago Convention Article 3.

4. Id.

5. INT’L Civil Aviation Organization, Convention on International Civil Aviation, Annex 15, International Standards and Recommended Practices, Aeronautical Information Services (16th ed. July 2018). .

6. For a comprehensive listing of AIPs see Hazy Library Emory Riddle Aeronautical University Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Resources: Electronic AIPs by Country (

7. James Kraska and Raul Pedrozo International Maritime Security Law 158 (2013); Raul “Pete” Pedrozo, “Air Defense Identification Zones” 97 INT’L L. STUD. 7, 8 (2021).

8. Joëlle Charbonneau, Katie Heelis, and Jinelle Piereder, “Putting Air Defense Identification Zones on the Radar” Centre for International Governance Innovation POLICY BRIEF No. 1 • June 2015 CIGI Graduate Fellows Series at 2

9. J Ashley Roach “Air Defense Identification Zones” Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law,; Each country’s ADIZ is defined in its own Aircraft Information Publication (AIP). Joëlle Charbonneau, Katie Heelis, and Jinelle Piereder, “Putting Air Defense Identification Zones on the Radar” Centre for International Governance Innovation POLICY BRIEF No. 1 • June 2015 CIGI Graduate Fellows Series at 4.

10. J Ashley Roach “Air Defense Identification Zones” Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, (

11. J Ashley Roach “Air Defense Identification Zones” Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, (

12. Chicago Convention Article 3.

13. Oliver J. Lissitzyn “Legal Implications of the U-2 and RB-47 Incidents” The American Journal of International Law Jan 1962, Vol 56, No.1 pp. 135-142. (

14. Lissitzyn at 141 (

15. Lissitzyn at 142 (

16. Joëlle Charbonneau, Katie Heelis, and Jinelle Piereder, “Putting Air Defense Identification Zones on the Radar” Centre for International Governance Innovation POLICY BRIEF No. 1 • June 2015 CIGI Graduate Fellows Series at 4.

17. “Strauss at 759; “Announcement of the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone of the P.R.C.,” PRC Ministry of National Defense, November 23, 2013, ( content_4476143.htm).

18. To access the PRC AIP (

19. Ted Adam Newsome, “The Legality of Safety and Security Zones in Outer Space: A Look to Other Domains and Past Proposals” A thesis submitted to McGill University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of MASTER OF THE LAWS (LL.M.) Institute of Air and Space Law McGill University, Faculty of Law Montreal, Quebec August 2016 at 47.

20. “Pedrozo at 9-10.

21. Edmund J. Burke and Astrid Stuth Cevallos, In Line or Out of Order? China’s Approach to ADIZ in Theory and Practice 6-7 (2017).

22. Edmund J. Burke and Astrid Stuth Cevallos, In Line or Out of Order? China’s Approach to ADIZ in Theory and Practice 7 (2017).

23. Raul “Pete” Pedrozo, “China’s Legacy Maritime Claims” Lawfare (July 15, 2016) (

24. Raul “Pete” Pedrozo, “China’s Legacy Maritime Claims” Lawfare (July 15, 2016) (

25. Edmund J. Burke and Astrid Stuth Cevallos, In Line or Out of Order? China’s Approach to ADIZ in Theory and Practice 1 (2017).

26. To access Taiwan’s AIP (

27. NR 1.12 Taiwan AIP.

28. NR 1.12 Taiwan AIP.

29. To access the South Korea AIP (

30. Michael Strauss “China-Japan-South Korea-Taiwan: East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zones” Border Disputes : A Global Encyclopedia: Functional Disputes, 2015, p.759-764, 761.

31. To access Japan’s AIP (

32. Edmund J. Burke and Astrid Stuth Cevallos, In Line or Out of Order? China’s Approach to ADIZ in Theory and Practice 5 (2017).

Featured Image: U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Self-Defense Force aircraft conduct a large-scale joint and bilateral integration training exercise on Tuesday in airspace near Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fostering the Discussion on Securing the Seas.