There are currently 3 Pacific island countries with standing armies: Tonga, Fiji
and Papua New Guinea. Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have elite para-military
units which are part of the Police force. A worrying feature in the region is
the increased militarisation of the armed and police forces, in response to
perceived threats following the events of September 11 and the consequent War on
In a new world disorder dictated to by US foreign policy, PCRC continues to
campaign for the close down of all military bases and military operations in the
Pacific, reduced army and cut in military budget. Current threats include the US
military build-up on Guam as a result of the winding down of the US military
operations in Okinawa, Japan and joint military exercises conducted by foreign
powers in the Pacific.
PCRC is also concerned with the emerging trends from the joint military
exercises in the Pacific which include:
* An increased military presence of foreign powers in the Pacific, but with
involvement of the Pacific islands themselves.
* An extension of the involvement of the military into areas that were
traditionally under the responsibility of the police and the arming of police in
some Pacific countries such as Fiji.
* Under the pretext of protecting vulnerable Pacific island countries from
natural disasters and criminal activities, a whole military/ police network is
being set up by foreign powers across the Pacific. Should a crisis arise, this
network could very easily be competely controlled by those foreign powers.
Furthermore, the response of Pacific Island Forum members to armed threats in
the region such as through the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon
Islands (RAMSI), could see the beginning of a permanent regional armed force,
something that PCRC will continue to oppose as a direct threat to the
preservation of peace in the Pacific.
For more information on our demilitarisation campaigns contact