A New Strategic Architecture for the Pacific


Ambassador C. Steven McGann and Richard K. Pruett

Pacific Islands Brief, No. 2


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: December 13, 2012
Binding: electronic
Pages: 8
Free Download: PDF


The United States' historical relationship with Pacific Island countries most frequently conjures up images of 19th Century Yankee whalers and World War II's island-hopping campaign. Often forgotten is how, in the post-war years, the creation of new intergovernmental organizations and U.S. trusteeship of much of the North Pacific contributed to a stronger regional identity and more active efforts at regional integration. Following a period of relative inactivity in the 1990's, the United States is now refocusing on its political and economic role in the region as a matter of priority. Healthy regional intergovernmental organizations remain essential to the success of U.S. efforts.

Helping Pacific Island countries see themselves as connected by ocean rather than separated by water is best achieved through robust engagement and support for Pacific regional organizations. A strategic use of the region's intergovernmental architecture is necessary if the countries of the Pacific are to meet the challenges of the 21st century.