Proposals on Spanish Defense Policy

General Elections 2019

Concrete measures that may be of interest to those responsible for political programs, considering the priorities of the Spanish strategic security issues.

1. Defense Budget

  • Increase the Defense budget. The current reality is described by the heads of the Armed Forces as a “limit situation”. It is necessary to address priorities for maintenance and sustainability of systems, procurement and equipment. There are a series of programs that need an urgent and immediate response to guarantee their viability.
  • Multi-party State Pact on Defense. Without a budget consistent with the strategic objectives set by the Government, it is not possible to undertake the work entrusted to the Defense, to address the emerging threats or to protect our interests. Spain shares its southern border with the most unstable region in the world, therefore, Defense should be included as part of the “Marca España”.
  • Budget Stability Law. It is necessary to establish budgetary commitments adapted to the reality of the industrial defense programs, which must necessarily be subjected to stability and to a medium-term vision. The new panorama within the European Union implies a coherent and sustained policy in accordance with what is expected of the national industry.

2. Military Personnel Policy

  • Enhance the Social Institute of the Armed Forces. Continuously over the past few years, there has been a considerable reduction in the social aid that the personnel of the Armed Forces receive. This has resulted on the reduction of the volume of employment benefits offered by the Social Institute of the Armed Forces (ISFAS). The lack of these benefits is an expense that has ended up being compensated by the salary which, by the way, remains among the lowest of the Public Administrations. The military are the only public officials whose salaries are reduced by the mere fact of turning 63 years old.
  • Compliance with the Educational Law which exempts military children from studying autonomic languages due to geographical mobility. The frequent change of destination within the national territory should not place an additional burden on the academic development of the children of the military. Only Spanish should remain compulsory.
  • Promoting family reconciliation. It would be necessary to change the evaluation processes of the military so that the change of destination cannot take place halfway through the school year since it implies moving schools.

3. Destinations and missions of the Armed Forces

  • Solve the salary mismatch depending on the destination unit. For example, currently there is an existing salary difference between the Military Emergency Unit (UME) and other units or between those who work in the Ministry of Defense and other public officials.
  • Solve the wage mismatch of international missions that occurs because it is assigned given the GDP of the country of destination. The economic retribution of the military deployed must contemplate not only the GDP per capita of the country in which they have been sent, but also the risk of the mission. For example, there is a considerable salary difference between those troops deployed in Mali and those deployed in Latvia.
  • Improve the attention to those families in which a spouse is deployed in an international mission. Measures that seek to offer greater psychological support and attention to the families of the military deployed should be taken. Psychological assistance for the spouses and children should also be provided by the Ministry of Defense.
  • Mid-mission destinations. Recover as far and viable as possible the mid-mission military leave for deployed personnel.

4. Military reserve force

  • Military Reserve Law. Develop and strengthen the military reserve force with a reserve Law. The Voluntary Reserve is clearly underdeveloped but there is a growing social demand about it. This measure integrates manpower, skills and capabilities from a technical and professional point of view on a wide range of activities.

5. Defense Culture

  • Include in the programs to access the Corps of the Civil Administration of the State a topic on Defense and the Armed Forces. To date, the contents of Defense are absent in this programs’ agendas.
  • Integrate a topic on Defense and the Armed Forces into the school program as part of civic education.

6. Intelligence

  • Review the criteria that define the organic affiliation to the National Intelligence Center (CNI) so it becomes an effective work tool that serves well the President of the Government. 
  • To propose the creation of the figure of the National Director of Intelligence (DNI) to favor the coordination of intelligence matters and act as a reference instrument for the security of the State.