Spain and Defense of the West; Ally and Liability

Spain and Defense of the West; Ally and Liability

Spain and Defense of the West; Ally and Liability

Spain and Defense of the West; Ally and Liability

Excerpt

The central theme of my study is the evolving relationship of the United States and Spain under the agreements which they made in 1953 for the establishment of several joint air and naval bases in Spain as a part of the U.S. global defense system. Over the past seven years the relationship has become both broader and closer than was originally intended, at least by the United States, and it has had far-reaching repercussions both in the economy of Spain and in the economic policy of its government. In 1959 this evolution culminated in two spectacular events: in July, Madrid's commitment to the bold but hazardous economic reforms which are disarmingly described as a stabilization plan; and, in December, President Eisenhower's cordial visit to General Franco. Each of these events marked the end of one stage only to usher in another, and there is no reason to expect that the relationship will lose its dynamic character. On the contrary, its impact on the domestic situation in Spain is likely to be even greater from now on, if only because of the political and social as well as economic consequences of the stabilization plan.

The domestic situation in Spain is obviously of great importance and will accordingly be discussed at some length. To begin with the most obvious reason, the usefulness of the Spanish bases to Western strategy depends in large measure on the strength and stability, as well as the good will, of the government of Spain. At present, as for more than two decades past, that rule is in the hands of a dictator. General Francisco Franco seems firmly entrenched; yet, as always, the . . .

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