Spain's Military-Strategic Outlook


From Parameters, Winter 1996-97, pp. 26-38.

From the southwest corner of Europe the Iberian Peninsula juts toward North Africa and the Americas. That's but a trivial geographical note, perhaps, except for the allusion it draws to Spain's strategic interests, vulnerabilities, and potential. Spain's international importance would seem self- evident based on its location alone. Curiously, although the calculus of Spain's interests has changed slowly in the past 50 years, the Spanish are striving to redefine their strategic place. Shadows from the Spanish Civil War, isolation from the rest of Europe after World War II, and ideological ambivalence regarding the Franco era had constrained Spain's ability to form a strategic consensus. Since the late 1980s and the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, the Spanish have identified the steps needed to adjust to a world of collective defense and diffuse threats. An outward Spanish vision is emerging that presents favorable opportunities for the United States.[1]

Spanish geostrategic performance in this century has been unremarkable--when it hasn't been dismal. Spain, we might forget, is one of four or five major powers against which the United States has gone to war in the last 100 years. The Spanish-American War of 1898 asserted the arrival of a nation-state whose economic ascendance had gone under-recognized by an arrogant Europe. The war also presented a startling denouement to the slow decline of one of history's great empires. The century to follow would be an American century in Europe, while the fate of Spain was to occupy a diplomatic and economic sideline. Things change. Today, 20 years after the death of Franco, after the definitive American resolution of the Cold War, and after a maturing experience with social democracy, Spain is again welcome as an ally--by the United States and by other Europeans. While perhaps only a second-tier power, Spain is taking inventory and finding out that the second tier is quite good, and that Spain has, like Britain, a basket of options in and out of Europe.

One of the liveliest strategic questions for the Spanish in the mid-1990s can be stated as follows: Should the Spanish state relationship with the United States be shaped through each country's participation in European fora and multilateral mechanisms, or should Spain strive to preserve a separate, visible, and vigorous bilateral relationship to help assure some measure of geopolitical autonomy from Europe? Spaniards differ widely in their answer to this question, but if "multilateral versus bilateral" is a fulcrum of current strategic polemics, on another point there is almost a complete consensus. The long-term object of Spanish strategic concern is in the Maghreb; Europe is an inescapable neighborhood, the Americas are an important opportunity--but North Africa is the Spanish preoccupation.[2] To accept this assertion is to understand the premise from which strategic collaboration between the United States and Spain is most likely to advance.

In 1994, the Spanish army produced a top-to-bottom restructuring plan, Plan Norte, that is guiding completion of a historic transformation of the Spanish ground forces.[3] This transformation reflects democratic changes in the country, the present European search for collective security options, and a pragmatic logic regarding an unresolved national strategic debate. Plan Norte is the business end of Spanish strategic vision. Its progress will measure Spain's ability and willingness to translate ideas into action. Plan Norte may ultimately represent the difference between Spanish rhetorical solidarity with alliance objectives, and effective Spanish participation in achieving those objectives. The plan is, nevertheless, only the army's concept of a strategic vision that is necessarily broader, one that presupposes military power to be only a supporting element in the nation's response to the modern gamut of security risks.[4]

Plan Norte

The pilot article of a long series of writings in the Spanish army's professional journal, Ejército, outlines the strategic comprehension upon which Plan Norte was founded.[5] The fact that the army has openly described the plan in such great detail speaks of the understanding within the Spanish military that successful participation by Spain in the coming strategic order depends on consensus, not secrecy. In consonance with this democratic realization, the Spanish geopolitical perspective also has broadened in just the last half decade.[6] Many Spanish military thinkers are still satisfied with the traditional concept of a strategic axis running from the Baleares Islands in the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Canary Islands (thus drawing Spanish vision to the south). Today, however, that concept is giving way to a perception of Spanish territory as a single strategic entity, and as the central point for the projection of force in whatever direction and for whatever purposes are required. The peninsular territory remains Spain's strategic center of gravity, but now as the fundamental base for force projection in support of three major spheres of action that are stipulated in a document titled Defense Directive 1/92, which Plan Norte helps implement.[7] The spheres of action are defense of the national territory itself, regional defense with emphasis on commitments to European security and the Atlantic Alliance, and that sphere determined by commitments to the United Nations.[8]

Spanish statements of overall strategic military objectives are standard, except in their explicit emphasis on multilateral commitment. The objectives are: to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of Spain; to protect the life of the population and the vital interests of the nation; to contribute to collective security and defense along with Spain's allies according to international obligations; and to cooperate in strengthening peaceful relations among nations--especially those within Spain's geographic vicinity.[9] Plan Norte addresses these objectives in light of current military theory regarding strategic capabilities. The list of theoretical capabilities, as adopted by the Spanish, is purposefully familiar to US and other NATO countries' doctrines. It includes deterrence, forward presence, force projection, mobility, readiness, and collective defense. To understand Spain's strategic outlook, note these three aspects of the list: First, it excludes as a needed capability the army's formerly widespread presence in Spain's local communities. (Internal law and order is definitively the mission of the Civil Guard and the National Police, not the Spanish army.) Second, the list of capabilities also ties the Spanish to their prospective allies, implying as it does a program of equipment and organizational modernization. Third, it indicates the essential acceptance that for a strategy to be relevant it must reconcile objectives with courses of action and resources.

As noted, one effect of Plan Norte is practical completion of the progressive abandonment of the army's territorial presence mission. In other words, the Spanish army will no longer provide government force throughout the territory of Spain. There is no longer any need to occupy Spain's provinces for the tacit purpose of internal stability. This result of political evolution has made possible a reduction in military manpower that budgetary priorities may have been making necessary anyway. In place of internal presence, however, new external missions (particularly peacekeeping) will necessitate more professional and externally deployable forces capable of participating alongside Spain's allies.

The Spanish army has shrunk by more than a third in little over a decade (from a force of 300,000 to less than 190,000), eliminating more than 300 local military posts in the process.[10] The ground force is also moving toward a 50-percent fill of career volunteers, while the term of conscription has been reduced from one year to nine months.

Plan Norte's most notable shortcoming is its single service reach. In March 1995, the Spanish equivalent of the National Security Council approved a new Joint Strategic Plan (Plan Estratégico Conjunto, or PEC).[11] This plan was three years late in arrival, owing to bureaucratic detours and interservice debate. In the interim Plan Norte was approved for the land force, but it should have been the by-product of the PEC, not vice versa. Lack of an all-service reform plan has made Spanish participation in NATO less precise, and the other services still need to finalize their compatible plans. However, the land force is the dominant political influence within the Spanish military. Plan Norte firmly establishes Spain's military strategic azimuth, and the other services will be obliged to follow the army's lead.

Direction is not the same as getting there, however, and if a current lack of jointness is Plan Norte's greatest weakness, the national military strategy's major weakness will be underfunding. When the Socialist Party took power in 1982, Spanish defense spending represented about two percent of GDP. In 1993 this figure was just more than one percent of GDP, slumping during the decade from 12 percent to around four percent of the federal budget.[12] In June 1991, the Spanish congress overwhelmingly approved a model for the armed forces that established an objective of two percent of GDP by the end of the century. According to government figures, defense spending in fact went from 1.74 percent of GDP in 1990 to 1.24 percent in the 1993 budget, rebounding slightly in 1994.[13] In other words, at the same time that the Spanish army has been reorganizing, attempting to modernize, and participating in international troop deployments, it has endured a shrinking fiscal base.[14] Significantly, José María Aznar, leader of the pro-defense political party Partido Popular, won in general elections in March 1996, replacing long-time socialist Prime Minister Filipe Gonzalez. The new government will probably begin a slow recovery of the defense budget in the direction of the originally targeted two percent of GDP.


Spain's foreign policy toward Europe has been to maintain flexibility and balance through active participation in NATO, the several forums of the European Union, and a growing network of interrelated, multinational, security institutions.[15] Spain is NATO's newest member, having joined the Alliance in 1982, and it is on a path toward becoming fully integrated into the NATO military command structure. Spain's participation in NATO has been more than the military independence exhibited by France and less than the fully integrated status of the remaining Allies.[16] Spain participates actively in NATO's military committees. Spain does not permit nuclear weapons on its soil, nor has it subordinated its troops to the SACEUR. Spanish forces do, however, regularly participate in NATO military exercises. Most Spanish strategic thinkers view NATO as a central pillar of European security, but sense a continued, inevitable reduction in the US presence.[17]

In 1990, on completion of the ratification process among member states, Spain officially entered the Western European Union (WEU), a nine-member defense alliance whose reinvigoration was spurred by the pragmatic needs of the Gulf War. The WEU was born just after World War II, but its status and relevance as a defense alliance were soon dwarfed by NATO.[18] Post-Cold War questions about NATO's role, and about European defense self-sufficiency and independence, caused a revival in WEU expectations and activity. Not everyone is impressed with the WEU initiatives, however, including some of the most influential Spanish defense thinkers. One such individual points out,

There are three basic problems the question of the WEU raises, and upon which it is essential to reflect: In the first place, there is a lack of institutional definition regarding its nature, objectives, capacities, and relations with the rest of the organizations that form the latticework of European security. In second place, and in good measure a consequence of the above, is the serious political inability to reach decisions about major security challenges. Finally, the WEU suffers military limitations that really incapacitate it for any action not having the support of NATO or the United States.[19]

This attitude may be realistic, but it derives from one position in the strategic dialog mentioned earlier regarding whether Spain should organize its security affairs through European mechanisms or if it should manage an independent and bilateral dimension to its policies--especially toward the United States. At least one senior Spanish general sees no need for the argument. In his words,

The European movement is a good thing. While European unity is a tremendously difficult and complex undertaking, tremendous achievements have already been made, and we should be optimistic about the future. Spain's throwing in its lot with a unified European foreign affairs voice is advantageous in the long run. One should be optimistic about the unifying factors operating in Europe, and need not make false distinctions between a successful Spanish strategy worked out bilaterally and a successful strategy worked out multilaterally.[20]

In July 1996, Spain assumed the presidency of the WEU.[21] Ironically, Spain's willing engagement in multilateral security efforts may present difficulties for Spanish cohesion within Europe's defensive structures. Spain has been increasingly active in support of UN peacekeeping missions.[22] In 1992, NATO agreed to support UN peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia. In solidarity with its commitment to a European identity, and in support of the United Nations, Spain has maintained a 1200-man force in the former Yugoslavia for more than two years.[23] Even though this has been a source of pride and operational experience, the Spanish people may tire of Spain's participation in the Balkan problem and therefore of military identification with European security matters in general.[24]

As further proof of its faith in multilateralism and of its strategic commitment to a European identity, in 1994 Spain joined the Eurocorps, a combined military structure composed of forces from France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and now Spain.[25] The WEU has favored the creation of this kind of multinational unit as a method of tightening political and military ties among member states.[26] In 1999 command of the Eurocorps will go to a Spanish Lieutenant General. Spain also is participating in an initiative with France, Italy, and Portugal to field the "Euroforce." Referred to also as the Euroejército del Sur (European Army of the South), this force is nominally composed of a division of combined troops whose mission would be to intervene in crises in the Mediterranean and to support UN peacekeeping initiatives.[27] The creation of the Euroejército del Sur reflects anticipation by its four members that the North European countries will continue to show disinterest in Mediterranean crises.

The Americas

What kind of missions might Spain's future hold? An illustration in a Plan Norte article in Ejército magazine is revealing. An oval at the center of the illustration represents strategic mobilization, and out of the oval come four arrows, pointing to four destinations: Haiti, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Colombia. The mission types suggested include humanitarian aid, peacekeeping, and other cooperative efforts short of war. Importantly, however, the fact that two of the four locations are in the Western Hemisphere underlines the Spaniards' intuitive inclusion of the Americas in their strategic vision.[28] The question for Spain is how to associate with the United States in the Americas. Some influential Spaniards believe the time has come to explore, by way of high-level commissions or other mechanisms, a way to steer Spanish-US policies in the Americas in a more mutually beneficial direction. Until now, Spain has taken a stance in the Americas that might be described as common-cultural solidarity with Spanish-speaking nations against North American hegemony. In part ideological scrap from the Cold War, this attitude also has a historically rooted appeal going back to imperial competitions between the Spanish and English, though that would seem anachronistic today.

In October 1995, representatives of 22 countries from the Americas, plus Portugal and Spain, celebrated the Fifth Ibero-American Summit in the resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. Education was the central theme of the conference, but some of the small diplomatic tensions of that conference are emblematic of Spain's role in the Americas and of the choices it faces regarding future positioning in Spanish-US-Latin American diplomatic triangles. Fidel Castro, as during his visit to New York for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, was the star of the party. He was also the lightning rod for disagreement. Seated between Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and Spanish King Juan Carlos at a closed meeting to discuss the question of Cuban democracy, Castro was successful in minimizing criticism coming from the Salvadoran delegate regarding Castro's aged revolution.[29] Castro's existence scratches Latin America's number one psychological itch--insecurity regarding the United States. His ability to thumb his nose at American presidents has been a pathetic source of Latin American pride.[30] During the 12 years when President Filipe Gonzalez was the central figure in Spanish foreign policymaking, the standard for Spanish relations in the Western Hemisphere was one of presumptively joining alongside Latin American countries when they opposed US initiatives. Contributing to this tendency was the personally warm relationship between Fidel Castro and the Spanish leader. Thus, a weave of Latin American insecurity, leftist anti-American axioms, and the personal affinity of these two socialists has greatly colored the positioning of Spain in the Western Hemisphere.

The Spanish delegation seemed to make the second greatest imprint at the conference, after the Cuban dictator. Represented by two heads of state (King Juan Carlos and President Gonzalez), Spain showed real leadership at the summit. At previous conferences, education proposals were introduced but remained only expressions of good intentions; this time Spain offered to contribute $23.5 million to finance the proposals. With that as leverage, Spain asked that other financially able countries also allocate funds for the proposals.

Diplomatic initiatives in Latin America also have extended to the military arena. In June 1995, for example, a high-level Spanish military delegation to Cuba exchanged relics from the Spanish-American War and established a new military training and education agreement that allows Cuban military personnel access to selected military courses in Spain. As one journalist reports, it is the "intent of the Defense Ministry to position itself for the future political evolution of the Cuban revolution."[31]

The recent changes in Spain's internal political and ideological leadership promise to allow a more varied mixture of approaches to diplomacy in the Americas. The strategic obsessions of nations may be difficult to understand, but they count for a great deal. The Spanish may play to Latin American insecurity regarding the United States, but they do not share in it. They also are not as self-conscious about lost empire or strategic dependence as other Europeans might tend to be. Political insiders expect that Spain's habit of showing solidarity with Latin American countries in opposition to the United States will change. Some Spanish opinion leaders believe Spain should become a junior partner with the United States to promote common interests in the Western Hemisphere. Importantly, these same Spaniards also visualize a cooperative spirit in the Americas as a reasonable quid pro quo for improved US consideration of Spanish interests and concerns in the Maghreb.


Increasing migration pressures on Spain from North Africa are a consequence, among other things, of the free trade aspects of European integration. Spain provides a geographic bridge not only between European and North African populations, but between European and Arab cultures. Since to a degree Spanish national identity is rooted in not being Moslem (and in being a Christian bulwark against the spread of Islam) the assimilation of Arab culture presents an exceedingly difficult prospective challenge for Spain. The clash of civilizations warned of by Samuel Huntington is no phantom when considered from the Iberian Peninsula, and of all the instability seen in the Arab world, some of the most potentially volatile is that in Algeria.[32] As one leading Spanish strategist puts it, "Algeria may turn in the direction of Somaliatization, in which whole zones of the country are left in the hands of distinct and opposing authorities. In the best of cases, a Lebanonization with a conflict that produces 2000 deaths per week--but for years."[33] Meanwhile, real military threats to the Spanish homeland may grow in the Maghreb. As another influential commentator points out, "Half of Spain, including Madrid, would lie within range of a Scud-C missile that could theoretically be stationed in Oran in Algeria."[34] How far-fetched we consider such a scenario depends on how dangerous, unified, and competitive we view Islamic extremism to be. Spaniards differ widely in this regard.

A solid majority of Spaniards do not feel that any country presents a military threat to Spain, but among those who do, most see the threat coming from the Arab countries, particularly Morocco.[35] This perception exists, as much as anything, because Morocco has laid claim to the two tiny Spanish enclaves on the African coast--Ceuta and Melilla.[36] A political storm is brewing in Morocco with the imminent succession of the Moroccan monarch. King Hassan II is aged and ill, and there are doubts that his son, the heir apparent, has the leadership ability to maintain the monarchy. While Ceuta and Melilla may be tertiary questions in the basket of Moroccan strategic concerns, sovereignty of the enclaves could easily be raised as a banner issue in the context of any internal Moroccan political turmoil. We can further assume that any political upheaval within Morocco would be influenced by the Islamic extremism felt throughout the region, particularly in neighboring Algeria. Some convergence of political agendas and events could induce direct actions against Spanish governance in the enclaves. This pressure need not be manifested militarily--it could include selective embargoes, mass migration strategies, or other options against which a military deployment might appear to be the only effective short-term response by the Spanish. Of course this is the type of provocation that the Spanish government would like to avoid.

The potential loss to Spain of Ceuta and Melilla goes directly to the first-priority mission of the Spanish military--to preserve Spanish sovereignty. The North African enclaves are not seen by the Spanish as mere possessions, and they are not recent acquisitions. Ceuta, for instance, was incorporated into the holdings of the Spanish kingdom early in the 16th century, before some of the major peninsular communities. Even so, the loss of North African territory is not apparently unthinkable for some Spaniards.[37] And such a loss would be much more palatable politically if it could be couched in conjunction with Spanish recovery of Gibraltar, which has a much higher emotional status as a Spanish claim.[38] Thus, British willingness to negotiate the status of Gibraltar may also become a factor in avoiding or ameliorating confrontation between Spain and Morocco.

As an additional complication, any compromise of Spanish sovereignty over Ceuta or Melilla could have an effect on the independence movements in the northern Spanish communities of Cataluña and the Basque country. (Cataluña is for Spain somewhat like what Quebec is for Canada.) Spanish government concessions regarding Ceuta and Melilla might be interpreted by separatist elements as a sign of government weakness, and encourage them to harden their negotiating positions or accelerate their agendas. Other factors play as well, not the least of which is Spanish military resolve. "In its relations with its southern neighbors, Spain must hope for the best but be prepared for the worst."[39] As for the United States, Spanish leaders apparently believe that the United States would not come quickly to Spain's side in a problem with Morocco. This is a natural concern for the Spanish, considering US military prominence in the Mediterranean.

Spain's African enclaves pose a potentially sticky international problem, but troubles with the government of neighboring Morocco are counterbalanced by powerful mutual economic interests. More troublesome over time is the ability of radical, outlaw leaders to translate civil disorder (of the kind found in Algeria) into violent international political leverage. For Spain, the American Sixth Fleet can therefore be seen as an important and reassuring presence, whatever the fate of Ceuta, Mellilla, or Gibraltar--and however the United States positions itself on these matters.[40] This is especially so since Spain has had a difficult time steering the security attentions of its European partners toward the south. Speaking in Madrid, the first military commander of the Eurocorps, German Lieutenant General Helmut Willmann, commented on the Spanish decision to contribute a unit. "What was originally a Franco-German initiative becomes a truly European Army Corps. . . . Spain is, for us, the bridge toward the south and if there were a threat in that zone, it would be an enormous advantage to have the Spanish army with us." Nonetheless, the Northern Europeans' preoccupation remains to their east, even as the locus of threats to Europe shifts southward. North European disinterest in the Mediterranean feeds Spanish interest in maintaining independent bilateral relations with the United States.

The United States

In 1997, the current Agreement on Defense Cooperation that has guided Spanish-US defense relations will expire. The season for reconsidering the strategic military importance of Spain and military relations with the United States is upon us. For the United States, Spain presents the following strategic military benefits: continued access to Spanish geography and logistic support, Spanish collaboration and military participation in peace operations in Europe and elsewhere, Spanish participation as an ally in warfighting contingencies, and perhaps a healthy and mutually advantageous defense trade. The first item--continued access to Spanish geography--has been at the center of the US-Spanish security relationship for decades and has at times been the object of political controversy within Spain.[41] Spain's location assures that real estate will continue to be an important contribution that Spain can bring to bilateral or multilateral arrangements, but Spanish basing rights are diminishing as a strategic value relative to Spain's active capability to deploy units in support of military missions worldwide. In other words, Spanish ability and willingness to contribute forces in multinational deployments may become more valuable to the United States than access to Spanish land. Add to this the need for Spanish cooperation in defeating transnational threats such as organized crime, and Spain looks like a much different kind of ally than in the past.

What then is the importance of Spain to the United States, strategically speaking? Although the pace of change is dependent on funding, Spain will complete its transformation from being an insular military player to having a strategic character based on foreign engagement, deployability of forces, and multinational participation. Spain seeks areas of cooperation with the United States through European forums, but also sees extra-European areas in which its national interests would be better served through bilateral and other multilateral arrangements. It represents itself in the Americas both independently and as an agent for the European community, but many leading Spanish strategists express enthusiasm for greater cooperative efforts in the Americas directly with the United States. For the Spanish, alliance in the Americas, and joint military deployments elsewhere, may be offered in exchange for more favorable US alignments in what will remain as Spain's most pressing strategic horizon--the Maghreb.

Regardless of how changes in Cuba occur, it may be there, rather than in the Balkans, that alliance with Spain could be of greatest mid-term value to the United States. In Spain, willingness to adjust diplomatic habits in the Americas toward more cooperative positions with the United States will be weighed against other strategic priorities. These include Spanish concerns in North Africa and Spanish representation of European community interests in the Americas.

Currently there is great receptivity in Spain to improved US-Spanish military-to-military relations. Whether this is due to optimism regarding a more pro-US stance by the new Spanish administration, admiration of US capability as demonstrated in the Gulf War, the expectation of increased combined operations in peacekeeping, or other factors, the Spanish are making clear their invitation to close ranks militarily with the United States. Whatever the reasons for Spain's receptivity, if the United States is to take full advantage of the potential for greater strategic military alliance with Spain, the United States must understand Spanish expectations. US support of Spanish security concerns in the Maghreb will probably top the list. The results of such a closer diplomatic and military relationship could be significant for both partners.


1. Most of the material cited and viewpoints expressed in this article are the products of a trip to Spain taken by the author in September 1995. The author was aided immeasurably by Mr. Antonio Garrigues Walker, prominent attorney and publicist. Through his intervention the author met with Mr. Miguel Herrero de Miñon, like Mr. Garrigues a prominent attorney and intellectual; Dr. José Varela Ortega, vice-president of the José Ortega y Gasset Foundation; Darío Valcárcel, editor of Política Exterior; and the Marqués de Tamarón, director of the Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior, INCIPE. The author met also with two of the most productive strategy scholars in Madrid, Ignacio Cosidó Gutiérrez and Rafael Bardají, director of the Spanish Strategic Studies Institute. Also interviewed were Santiago López Valdivielso, congressman from Valladolid and spokesman on defense matters for the ascendant Grupo Popular political party. In addition, the author met with senior Spanish military officers and US government officials. While this selection of individuals is very well informed, it cannot represent the entire range of Spanish strategic opinion. Their opinions do, the author believes, represent the dominant direction of Spanish strategic thinking.

2. For a primer on Spanish concerns and interests in North Africa, see Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, Las Conversaciones Internacionales Norte-Sur Sobre Los Problemas Del Mediterraneo Occidental (Madrid: Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Ministerio de Defensa, 1995).

3. NORTE is an acronym that stands for Nueva Organización del Ejército de Tierra (New Organization for the Ground Army). See José Antonio García Gonzalez, "Antecedentes Próximos" (Recent Antecedents), Ejército, November 1994, p. 19. In the Spanish language, norte (north) can mean an azimuth, direction, or bearing.

4. Spanish interpretation of the modern threat environment is exemplified in José Sánchez Méndez, Aspectos operativos y técnicos ante las nuevas amenazas (Operational and technical considerations in view of the new threats) (Madrid: Camara de Comercio e Industria de Madrid, 1994). The litany of risks is now commonplace: radical nationalism, regional instability, famine, drought, debt, disease, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, organized crime, mass migrations, poverty, religious fundamentalism, environmental degradation. Sánchez also includes a pair of risk factors specific to Spain and which may seem curious to some readers. They are a low Spanish birth rate and an unusually high assertion by draft age Spaniards of conscientious objector status. Both these latter phenomena may bode poorly for the country's future mobilization capability, but the diminishing sizes of modern military forces probably makes these factors irrelevant (unless there is a major war).

5. Argumosa Pila, "El Nuevo Marco Estratégico" (The New Strategic Framework), Ejército, November 1994, p. 8. Ejército is published by the Estado Mayor del Ejército.

6. See Diego A. Ruiz Palmer, "Spain's Security Policy and Army in the 1990s," Parameters, 20 (June 1990), 90-98. Ruiz anticipated with precision Spain's need to evolve from static territorial defense to force projection and collective security. The Spanish army has reorganized along lines similar to those proposed in the Ruiz article, and for the reasons stated. Perspicacious as Ruiz's observations were, it was not possible to envision the immediate collapse of the Soviet Union and the speed with which this would affect NATO and the WEU.

7. Directiva de Defensa Nacional 1/92, 27 March (Madrid, Presidency of the Government of Spain, 1992).

8. See Argumosa Pila, p. 11.

9. Ibid., p. 10.

10. Urban centers had grown around many small bases, allowing the army to profitably sell some urban properties to help fund centralization of units into a selection of major bases. See Adolfo Gonzalez Martin, "La Infraestructura en el desarrollo del Plan Norte" (Infrastructure in the development of Plan Norte), Ejército, February 1995, pp. 24-31.

11. See Rafael Bardají and Ignacio Cosidó, España y su Defensa en 1995 (Madrid: Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior, 1995), p. 21.

12. Ignacio Cosidó Gutiérrez, El Gasto Militar: El Presupuesto de Defensa en España 1982-1992 (Military Spending: The Defense Budget in Spain 1982-1992) (Madrid: EUDEMA, 1994), p. 296.

13. Rafael Bardají and Ignacio Cosidó, España y su Defensa, 1994: El Aumento de la Vulnerabilidad (Spain and its Defense, 1994: Increase of Vulnerability) (Madrid: Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior, 1994), p. 32.

14. As a percentage of GDP, Spain expends less on defense than any other NATO nation save Luxembourg. Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior (INCIPE), Spain: The Essential Facts 1995 (Madrid: INCIPE, 1995), p. 33 (citing NATO Review, March 1995).

15. These include the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), and the Partnership for Peace (PFP). For a fuller listing of organizations and their memberships, see Hans Binnendijk and Patrick Clawson, eds., Strategic Assessment 1995 (Washington: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, 1995), p. 34. For a comparison of contributions to collective defense schemes by European countries, see Office of the Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, United States Security for Europe and NATO (Washington: Department of Defense, 1995), p. 32.

16. At the time this article was written, Spain's foreign minister, Javier Solana, had been named secretary-general of NATO. Both Spain and France pledged to participate fully in the NATO deployment to the former Yugoslavia. Any earlier sluggishness on Spain's part about incorporating into NATO can perhaps be described as an admixture of anti-NATO resentment (part product of Franco's Spain having been snubbed by the Allies), leftist President Gonzalez's socialist sympathies, simple fiscal cost, Spanish public anti-militarism, public sentiment against US bases, and relative lack of interest in the East-West confrontation. This mix acted as a varying but semipermanent set of partial derivatives in a calculus that also included a strong desire on the part of Spanish strategists to effectively identify with Europe and the United States.

17. See Hans Binnendijk, p. 36, for a graph series projecting the reduction of US forces 1990-1998.

18. See Imprenta de la Oficina de Información Diplomática, Unión Europea Occidental: Historia, Estructuras, Perspectivas (Madrid: Oficina de Información Diplomática, 1995).

19. Santiago López Valdivielso, "Reflexiones sobre la presidencia Española"(Reflections about the Spanish Presidency), Revista Española de la Defensa, July/August 1995, p.18. (passage translated from the Spanish by the author).

20. Personal interview, Madrid, September 1995.

21. Roman David Ortiz, "De cara a Europa" (Facing toward Europe), Revista Española de Defensa, July/August 1995, p. 4.

22. Spanish support to United Nations operations has not been limited to the European region. See generally El Ejército en Misiones de Paz, special issue of Ejército, November 1994. It has also not been limited to deployments by the Spanish army. Spain's Guardia Civil has also been a prominent provider of UN observers. See, e.g., Gabriel Cano Pestaña, "El Salvador," Guardia Civil, May 1995, pp. 12-21.

23. Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, Evolución del Conflicto de Bosnia 1992-1993 (evolution of the Conflict in Bosnia 1992-1993) (Madrid: Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Ministerio de Defensa, 1995); José Martín and Santiago Fernández del Vado, "Quinto relevo en Bosnia" (Fifth relief in Bosnia), Revista Española de la Defensa, April 1995, p. 6.

24. Survey data taken by the prestigious Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior show that while a huge majority of Spanish leaders has favored Spain's membership in NATO, more than 40 percent of the general population viewed NATO membership negatively. A large majority also rejects involuntary military service. See Salustiano del Campo, La Opinión Pública Española y la Política Exterior: Informe Incipe 1992 (Madrid: INCIPE, 1992), pp. 115-22.

25. Jose Luis Lobo, "España firmó su adhesión al Euroejército, al que aportará 12,000 hombres" (Spain signs its entrance in the Euroarmy, to which it will contribute 12,000 men), El Mundo, 30 September 1994. The XXI Mechanized Brigade based in Córdoba is the initial Spanish contribution to Eurocorps, but the plan is to assign the Brunete Armored Division composed of the XII Armored Brigade from Madrid and the XI Mechanized Brigade from Badajoz in addition to the Córdoba unit.

26. Roman David Ortiz, "De cara a Europa," p. 4.

27. Miguel Gonzalez "España, Francia, Italia, y Portugal fundan mañana el Euroejército del Sur," El País, January 1995, p. 6. The Castillejos Cavalry Brigade based in Zaragosa will be the principal Spanish contingent to the force. This past September the Spanish Defense Ministry proposed Barcelona as the headquarters of this future force, arguing that France is already headquarters for the Eurocorps and Italy has in Naples the Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) headquarters. Miguel Gonzalez, "Defensa propone Barcelona como cuartel general del futuro Euroejército del Sur," El País, 25 September 1994, p. 24. See also Massimo Dal Piaz, "A Regional Perspective on European Defense," Parameters, 24 (Winter 1994-95), 57-65.

28. For a recent expression of Spanish strategic interpretation of the Americas, see Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, El Entorno Internacional de la Comunidad Ibéroamericana (Madrid: Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Ministerio de Defensa, 1995).

29. See "Discord on Draft Over Cuba Revealed," Buenos Aires Clarín in Spanish translated in FBIS-LAT-95-203, 20 October 1995, p. 4.

30. It is not surprising that Colombian President Ernesto Samper was invited to give an inaugural address at the conference, an honor that was no doubt related to his current difficulties with the US government over the alleged drug funding of his presidential campaign. His disfavor with the United States qualifies him as a sort of victim-hero among many Latin American leaders. Spain has long pandered to this sentiment, an irony of sorts. Spain suffered from early US imperialism--the United States helped remove the last vestiges of Spanish imperial presence from Latin America. Perhaps adding to Spanish solidarity with the Colombians' position, Spain is itself a major transshipment country for illegal narcotics.

31. Angel Tomas, "Maniobra Militar," Cambio 16, 26 June 1995, p. 67.

32. Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations: The Debate (New York: The Council on Foreign Relations, 1993). "The fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural." (p. 22)

33. Rafael Bardají and Ignacio Cosidó, España y su Defensa en 1995 (Madrid: Instituto de Cuestiones Internacionales y Política Exterior, 1995), p. 14.

34. Marques de Tamaron, "Tensions to the south," Financial Times, 14 March 1995.

35. Salustiano del Campo, La Opinión Pública Española y la Política Exterior: Informe Incipe 1992 (Madrid: INCIPE, 1992), p. 110.

36. For an overview of the Ceuta and Melilla problem, see Manuel Leria y Ortiz de Saracho, Ceuta y Melilla en la Polémica (Madrid: Editorial San Martin, 1991).

37. See Salustiano del Campo, La Opinión Pública Española, pp. 106-07. Around 14 percent of the general population and 12.5 percent of Spanish leaders favor surrender of Ceuta and Melilla to the Moroccans. The great majority, however, believes they should remain as part of Spain.

38. Ibid., pp. 93-95.

39. Marqués de Tamarón, Defensa e indiferencia (Defense and indifference), El País, 12 April 1995, p. 10.

40. Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional, El Equilibrio Aeronaval en el Area Mediterranea: Zonas de Irradiación de Poder (Madrid: Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Ministerio de Defensa, 1995). "In the first place, the fact that Spain maintains with the United States a double political-military alliance, one bilateral by way of the Treaties on Hispanic-American Cooperation and the other multilateral within the framework of NATO, presupposes that Spain contributes directly and operatively to the North American hegemonic dominance of the `zone of power projection' that is the Mediterranean, and, as a consequence, Spain should maintain and even reinforce its cooperative links with the United States and NATO." Ibid., p. 291.

41. Currently there are about 4000 American defense personnel, uniformed and civilian, stationed on Spanish soil. Most of these are at Rota Naval Base near Cadiz on the Atlantic coast. Moron Airbase near Seville is still available for operations, and Torrejon Airbase, although returned in 1994, is still being maintained for possible future reactivation in an emergency.

Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey B. Demarest is the Executive Officer at Readiness Group Sheridan, Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He previously was an analyst for the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado, a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies, and a J.D. from the Denver University School of Law. Lieutenant Colonel Demarest is a graduate of the Command and Staff College and the Defense Attach<130> Course. His areas of academic interest include Latin America, insurgency-counterinsurgency, intelligence, international law, and national strategy.

Reviewed 6 November 1996. Please send comments or corrections to