291. National Security Decision Memorandum 431


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Bureau of the Budget


  • US Policy Toward Spain: Base Negotiations

With reference to the Memorandum of January 26 to the Chairman, NSC Review Group,2 and the memoranda to the President from the Secretary of State (January 27), the Secretary of Defense (January 30), and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget (February 2),3 the President has decided, with respect to the negotiations with the Spanish, that:

1. We should seek to retain as many of the present and desired military rights and facilities as are possible within the limits of a sustainable quid pro quo; negotiations to this end should not be protracted.

2. Prompt agreement should be reached within the Government on a quid pro quo which can be offered in the negotiations, sustained over the term of the agreement, and which will avoid an impasse with Congress; similarly, prompt agreement should be reached on priorities to be accorded to each facility, taking into account military requirements, duplication or relocation costs and political sensitivities. Priorities should be agreed through the DPRC in the context of five-year force and budget projections, and the quid pro quo should be agreed through the Under Secretaries Committee.

3. With the aim of seeking continued good relations with the Government of Spain through the 1970’s, a course of action should be developed with respect to concluding a general treaty of cooperation, and to renewed efforts to develop a Spanish link with NATO.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–214, National Security Decision Memoranda, NSDM 43. Secret; Nodis. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. Not found.
  3. These memoranda are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–147, National Security Study Memoranda, NSSM 46.