Spain: Up, Up And Away

Up, Up And Away

Throughout 18 months of negotiations, Washington kept sweetening the pot, offering to reduce its fighter fleet at Spain's Torrejon Air Base outside Madrid first by 10%, and later by 20%. Each time, Spanish negotiators countered with a demand for complete withdrawal. Last week the U.S. blinked, announcing that 72 F-16 fighters will be pulled out of Spain by 1991 at the latest.

It was a reluctant concession for the U.S., which regards the fighters as a crucial link in the defense of NATO's southern flank. But Socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez insisted that the withdrawal was necessary to comply with a...

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