The defining feature of the South Pacific is that it is dominated by one country, Australia, which enjoys the position of being the most influential and important actor in the region. The fact that Australia is both a country and a continent is not just an interesting piece of geography trivia; it is the reason why a net assessment of the South Pacific must be, for all intents and purposes, a net assessment of Australia. It has the 12th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP and it is the sixth largest country in the world by land mass. The other countries in the South Pacific that surround Australia – New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and numerous other small island states – pose no threat to Australia by themselves. Indonesia is the largest well-populated country in the vicinity, but it is thousands of miles away from Australia’s population core and also has rarely been unified or strong enough to pose a serious security threat. In fact, Australia is the
Net Assessment of Australia
Jan. 22, 2016 Australia has the 12th largest economy in the world and it is the sixth largest country by land mass. It is without question the most powerful nation in the South Pacific, yet has struggled to achieve one of its most important strategic goals.