Defence Planning Committee

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Defence Planning Committee

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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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