Since the Obama administration's announced pivot to Asia, challenges have piled up in the region. With the exception of North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship, most of the challenges involve growing tension in the South China Sea and East China Sea. The US must devise a policy on these maritime disputes that preserves freedom of navigation and commerce, ensures regional stability, and upholds treaty commitments while avoiding military entanglements. A holistic strategy is required that calibrates the first term's diplomatic and military efforts while heeding the legal dimensions of these disputes, including the key role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS.
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