U.S.–Portuguese relations and Lajes Field Air Base
Amaral, Rui F.
Yost, David S.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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The thesis examines the relationship between the United States and Portugal with special attention to the past, present, and potential future utilization of Lajes Field Air Base, the sole military asset in Portugal that has historically been highly valued by the United States. In the last decade, global events have set U.S. geopolitical interests pivoting toward the Asia-Pacific. The post-Cold War re-alignment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and recent U.S. budgetary limitations have placed constraints on the U.S. Air Force’s mission capability. Lajes Field Air Base, located in the Azores archipelago, was not spared from these budgetary cuts. The U.S. Air Force made cuts in manning and logistical assets at Lajes Field in order to save millions annually. This thesis evaluates the impact of these reductions on Lajes Field Air Base’s mission. The thesis also assesses the implications of these reductions for the social, political, and economic bonds between the United States and Portugal, particularly the autonomous government of the Azores.
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