Theses Bachelor's

Base Logic: The Military Integration of Spain into the Atlantic Community, 1945-1953

Mendoza, Raul

The Prussian military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, once posited that war is "politics by other means." In Clausewitz's traditional notion of war, political considerations must always lead military ones except in the case of a fight for survival. He also asserted that policy-making in wartime works best when military considerations are fully incorporated with the political, thereby producing a seamless policy. In the years immediately following the Second World War, peace again prevailed. The architects of American foreign policy in the State Department therefore did not pay much heed to the military aspects of policy. Those tasked with evaluating the military aspects of policy, the Department of Defense planning staffs, largely deferred to their counterparts at the State Department. In the case of Franco's Spain, much antipathy existed among the New Dealers of the State Department against his regime. Although they did not adopt an openly hostile stance, they pursued a policy of benign neglect toward Spain for a period of nearly five years. This policy ignored both important military and political aspects. Historians such as Boris Liedtke assert that the military interests of the Department of Defense planners subordinated political considerations when the United States finally established relations with Franco's Spain in the Pact of Madrid of 1953. This thesis will display that disequilibrium existed in American foreign policy toward Spain between 1945-1953 since the State Department ignored the Spanish question. The President then delegated negotiating authority to the Defense Department planners so that they could form a cohesive Spanish policy. The distinguishing factor of the Spanish negotiations was simply that they occurred under the aegis of military instead of civil authority. It will be shown that, in the case of Spain, military considerations did not supersede political ones, for they functioned in concert as Clausewitz originally put forward.

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Academic Units
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 13, 2010


Senior thesis.