George Will's recent column in The News on the Law of the Sea Convention overlooks the enormous advantages the state of New York and our country would gain under LOS. He vaults over the favorable changes, made years ago, to the seabed mining terms of the LOS Convention and sadly and surprisingly substitutes personal criticism of those who support the convention for solid argument.

As a former Chief of Naval Operations and commander of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, and after 38 years in the Navy, I support the convention because it provides a stronger and more predictable guarantee for U.S. freedom of movement on and under the sea. Militarily, we are not inhibited in any way. The convention strengthens our navigational freedoms, guarantees passage in international waters and protects our right to exercise at sea, none of which requires permission from any other nation or body.

I am not alone in my support. All living U.S. presidents and secretaries of state, along with numerous current and former Army, Marine and Air Force generals and Navy and Coast Guard admirals, support the convention because it strengthens our sovereignty and bolsters our economic security.

The world has changed and the treaty has changed. It is time for us to change course now and ratify the LOS Convention.

Admiral Gary Roughead

Retired Chief of Naval Operations

Washington, D.C.