The Pacific region has experienced the effects of many wars.

The most damaging have been those where other nations have used the Pacific islands as a battle ground - in particular the Japanese invasion of the region in World War 2, and the subsequent battles in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Many Pacific nations have experienced violent colonisation over the last five centuries. France, the USA and Indonesia still have Pacific colonies, and military bases and test sites in other Pacific nations.

Under colonial rule, many Pacific islands and countries have suffered from the effects of militarisation, in particular nuclear testing. Nuclear tests took place in Australia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and in French occupied Polynesia.