This "Washington Insider" column first appeared in the May/June 2012 edition of The Maritime Executive. In the midst of the 2012 election season the Obama Administration and the Democratic leadership of the U.S. Senate have decided to take another run at gaining Senate approval of the 1982 U. N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Administration’s decision reflects not only its foreign, national security and maritime policy objectives but also its political aim to define its opponents as unreasonable obstructionists. If the Administration’s opponents are true to form,
they will confirm this critique by blocking approval before the November elections. The stage is set for confrontation, not compromise.