THE MICHIGAN DAILY
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28,1967
CAGE TEN TilE MICIIIbAN DAILY THU RSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1967
1963 AGREEMENT ENDS:
Strategic Necessity To Decide
Future of U.S. Bases in Spain
MADRIA, Spain UP)-How much
is an air base in Spain worth?
What's the current price on a used
navy base in a good condition?
.These questions are up for an-
swer in 1968, with Spain and the
United States each having a-dif-
ferent idea. To make the settling
of price more complicated, two
factions within each country may
have separate concepts, each tug-
ging against the other.
On the final answer depends
the future of the U.S. Air Force
bases at Torrejon, a few miles
northeast of Madrid, and Moron,
near Sevilla. Also at stake is the
future of the U.S. naval base at
Rota at the Bay of Cadiz.
Military factions of both coun-
tries seem likely - to campaign to
keep the bases going.
Civilian officials of both coun-
tries may take a more hardnosed
attitude in the kind of horse-
tradng that has one or the other
declaring, "this is the final offer,"
several times before agreement is
Many people argue the bases
'aren't necessary to proper defense
of U.S. interests and that the Tor-
rejon and Moron bases aren't stra-
tegic these days.
"This is nonsense," says a high-
ranking Air Force officer. "Of
course the bases remain strategic.
They're just as strategic now as
"The Spaniards know just how
important these bases are," said
another Air Force officer. "You
can bet Munoz Grandes knows the
score." Capt. Gen. Agustin Munoz
Grandes is a National Council
member and former vice president.
"It's up to Spain," said one in-
formed source. "It's up to Spain
to decide if it wants the bases.
If it doesn't, the U.S. will get out."
"There will be adjustments, of
course," this source said, "and
we're prepared to make them."
It was his view that the bases
had lost urgency, even the naval
installation at Rota, a service base
for Polaris submarines. The subs
would lose two days if they switch-
ed service to Holy Loch base in
In the agreement that originally
set up the bases and their renewal
in 1963, the price was economic-
massive U.S. aid economically and
The price this time, unofficial
reports indicate, will be, principally
political, open U.S. support in a
number of touchy areas.
Among reported desires, none
confirmed by the Spanish govern-
ment is sponsorhip of Spain's en-
try into the European Common
Market and into NATO, the North
against Britain on the Gibraltar
It's doubtful if the Spaniards
would seek the first. The United
States has not done Britain much
good in this respect and with Pres-
ident Charles de Gaulle of France
feeling the way he does, U.S. spon-
sorship could be the kiss of death
for Spain's common market hopes.
Gibraltar is just about as im-
possible for Uncle Sam, who would
put himself in the middle of a
fight which has been going on for
About the only reported price
the United States can pay aside
from dollars is membership in
NATO. In view of the feelings
some NATO members have about
authoritarian governments, this
might not be easy but it ranks as
It all gets back to the question
of how much an air base in Spain
is worth-but the odds are that
the bases will not be dismantled.
W aiThTo ai
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GETTING ON THE BALLOT
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v _ _ 1
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