Applying Nat Laws in Int’l Space erodes trust Adm Swift

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By 2017-10-13

Applying national laws in international space erodes any trust that can be gained by multi-lateral cooperation, the US Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Scott Swift, said in Colombo recently.

"With these realities creeping into the Indian Ocean, maintaining the Indian Ocean as a sea of tranquility seems increasingly problematic. My concern grows regarding the vectors of instability and unhealthy competition that I see developing along its shores.

My sincere hope is that the inclusive conditions here will not succumb to more self-serving inclinations, but will instead export that cooperative spirit that resides in this basin for the benefit of all," he said.

Swift added that he remains convinced that the promotion of the rules-based order is the best possible way forward for all nations to rise peacefully, confidently, securely, and economically. Moreover, he said that by working together, those nations residing along the Indian Ocean that have put aside considerations of size and strength and instead pursued inclusive dialogue and discourse to resolve their national differences, can expand their example to the seas surrounding the Indian Ocean, reversing the current trend seen to the west and to the east.

Swift also iterated that engagement and building trust remains a critical part of maintaining the inclusive security network that sustains the rules-based order and helps protect freedom of the seas for the benefit of all nations.

"Multi-lateral operations, exercises, and professional dialogues build relationships, which in turn produces trust. It's hard to put a price on trust as a deliverable, but it is an indispensable element in the larger context of regional stability and the rules-based order. It is worth noting that if we're not building trust, then it's decaying," he said.

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