U.S. Naval Base Is Under Threat…And It’s Britain’s Fault

In a stunning ruling last week, the permanent court of arbitration – or, more specifically, a tribunal constituted under its auspices – ruled that the Chagos Marine Protected Area (a huge marine reserve in the British Indian Ocean Territory) was created illegally by Britain in April 2010.  In my latest blog for The National Interest, I give some early thoughts on the international security implications of this decision.  Read it here.

The naval base on Diego Garcia in the central Indian Ocean is one of the most strategically important U.S. military installations in the world. But the base’s future might just have been thrown into question by a seemingly unrelated international ruling that the British government, which is sovereign over Diego Garcia, acted illegally by unilaterally announcing the creation of an environmental protection zone in the territory back in 2010…

I plan to write more on the ruling in the coming weeks.  I’m particularly interested in how the tribunal’s decision will affect the political climate in Britain, especially when it comes to restoring the indigenous islanders’ right to resettle the territory.  For more of my work on Diego Garcia, the Chagos Marine Protected Area and the Chagossians, see my publications page.