No. 853
Memorandum by the Acting Officer in Charge of Political-Military Affairs of the Office of European Regional Affairs (Wolf) to the Deputy Director of the Office of European Regional Affairs (Parsons)

top secret
  • Subject: Spain: Negotiations for Military Rights.

The Spanish negotiation is nicely off the rails. General Kissner presented to the Spanish General not only the requirements agreed between State and Defense but also the three requirements which were struck at State’s insistence,1 including the general army requirement for Spain.

In response to a query sent by the Department2 asking for an explanation, Embassy Madrid has reported3 that General Kissner took this action on receipt of some documents4 from Defense, which were assumed to have been cleared with State.

Bill Dunham is trying to get these documents from Defense, and we will then decide what should be done. This is a most unfortunate occurrence, as it leads into just the trap that we sought to avoid: asking the Spaniards for rights in the Army area, which will evoke requests for army equipment. It also gets into the sensitive problem of preparation for army operations south of the Pyrenees, with all the inherent implications of abandonment of the doctrine of “forward strategy”.

I am convinced that we should take a firm line on having curative action taken to drop this requirement. The reasons for this are the political aspects set forth above and the fact that, when we cannot meet our NATO equipment needs, it would be murder to engage in a major end-item program for Spain.

  1. The three requirements under reference were items (h), (i), and (k) of Kissner’s memorandum to the Spanish, Document 850; see also Document 844, for additional information on this subject.
  2. Reference is to telegram 926, Apr. 28. (711.56352/4–2152)
  3. Reference is to telegram 1165, Apr. 29.(711.56352/4–2952)
  4. These included a memorandum of Mar. 24 by Acting Secretary of Defense Foster to the JCS and two enclosures. (Madrid Embassy files, lot 58 F 57, “440—U.S. Negotiations”) The letter from Foster instructed the JCS to issue instructions to the negotiating team on the basis of these enclosures, the second of which consisted of the U.S. military requirements as proposed by the Department of State; see the enclosures to Documents 835 and 840.