DISINFO: The US placed two additional destroyers in a naval base in Spain without bothering to consult Madrid
  • Outlet: lahaine.org (archived)*
  • Date of publication: July 28, 2022
  • Article language(s): Spanish
  • Reported in: Issue 302
  • Countries / regions discussed: US, Spain
NATO US presence in Europe

DISINFO: The US placed two additional destroyers in a naval base in Spain without bothering to consult Madrid


The US has so much trust in the Spaniards that they don’t even consult them, they only inform them. In the frame of the recent NATO Summit in Spain, the US has informed Pedro Sánchez that it will place two more destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class in the Rota naval base, and without asking for permission, with all that this movement implies. That makes clear for Spain that its importance in the organisation doesn’t go beyond obeying.


This disinformation claim, first reported by the Spanish language service of the Sputnik agency and reproduced by La Haine, is clearly false. The placement of two more destroyers in the Rota naval base is part of an increase of the US military presence in Europe at the request of many NATO members, partially as a result of Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. It also goes in line with Spain’s demands that the Atlantic Alliance reinforced its southern flank. Those destroyers will improve NATO’s ballistic defence capabilities in the area.

This is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against NATO, trying to frame it as a mere tool of a warmongering US. But contrary to this narrative, in reality decision-making inside NATO are adopted through consensus and not following US orders, as pro-Kremlin disinformation often claims. And although the US is the country with the highest military expenditure of the North Atlantic Alliance, it covers for only 16 per cent of NATO’s running costs, the same figure as Germany and not too far from UK’s 11 per cent and France’s 10,5 per cent, according to NATO’s formula to calculate these costs. Even in previous periods, the US didn’t pay for more than 22 per cent of the Alliance’s running costs.

See other examples of similar disinformation messages, such as claims that Russia should negotiate only with Washington because 90 percent of NATO is the US, that NATO became US armed wing ensuring the control of energy resources, or that leaders of NATO countries are completely dependent on the US.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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