OPINION | FONOPs send a message – but they don’t speak for themselves

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey conducts routine underway operations.in the South China Sea, November 3, 2023.

The Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) program run by the US Department of Defense has become a symbol of China-US naval competition and of the West’s advocacy for a rules-based order. Operational assertions are thrust into the limelight whenever China responds to one. And barely any US...


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