Subfonds DPC - Defence Planning Committee


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Defence Planning Committee


  • 1963 - 2010 (Creation)

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Administrative history

The DPC chronological series contains the records of the Defence Planning Committee (DPC).The Defence Planning Committee is the principal decision-making authority on matters relating to NATO’s integrated military structure. The DPC is chaired by the Secretary General and includes representatives from all member nations that belong to NATO’s integrated military structure. The DPC implements decisions taken by the participating nations for collective defence planning, and approves Force Goals and Ministerial Guidance for future NATO defence planning.The DPC’s origins lie in the final May 1963 Communiqué issued at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Ministerial Session in Ottawa. The so-called "Ottawa Communiqué" outlined the challenges NATO faced from an increasingly complex international political and military situation. Ministers were especially concerned about the need for a balance between the Alliance’s conventional and nuclear capabilities and so they directed the Council to review the inter-related issues of strategy, force requirements, and available resources (see C-R(63)56). At the end of September 1963, NATO military authorities were told to develop a strategic plan, while nations were asked to report on available resources. It was also decided that the North Atlantic Council would constitute itself as a Defence Planning Committee to direct and supervise the Review. As a result, the DPC met for the first time on 10th October 1963, when it established a subordinate, advisory Defence Planning Working Group composed of nations with an interest in planning(1). The DPC made its first report to Council in December 1965, in response to a request for a five year force goals plan. In that same month, Council also decided to base defence planning on a five year cycle, complemented by yearly and triennial reviews (see C-M(65)138 and C-M(65)139).When France withdrew from NATO’s integrated military structure in 1966, the Council extended the DPC’s mandate beyond strictly military planning to include all integrated matters and all matters concerning bodies in which France no longer participated.

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Scope and content

The documents in the DPC chronological series contain information about the DPC’s core activities. This includes committee meetings and decisions; strategy; ministerial guidance; organization of ground, naval and air forces; nuclear forces; national defence programmes, plans and reviews; defence problems; force proposals; force goals for individual nations; mutual and balanced force reductions; infrastructure; financing and common funding; reports by the International Board of Auditors for NATO; communications; combat effectiveness; intelligence; lessons learned; exercises; command and control; force improvements and expansion; mobilization; the NATO defence planning review; rationalization; specialization; standardization; and the NATO Defence College.

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The chronological document series stemming from the Defence Planning Committee is arranged by type - Document (D), Record/Summary Record (R), and Verbatim Record (VR) - and then by year and number.

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Conditions governing access

NATO publicly disclosed information is available for research and education purposes. Any commercial use requires the written permission of NATO. Please credit the NATO Archives should any documents be used for publication. Guidelines for the proper citation of NATO publicly disclosed information can be found on the NATO Archives website (

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This chronological document series has been issued in each of the two official languages of NATO, English and French.

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(1) See series DPWG.

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