Series DPWG - Defence Planning Working Group

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Defence Planning Working Group


  • 1963 - 1967 (Creation)

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Administrative history

The DPWG chronological series contains documents on the Defence Planning Working Group.The Defence Planning Working Group (DPWG) sprang from the decision taken by the Council on 2 October 1963 regarding the establishment of NATO force plans (C-M(63)74). In the same document, the Council agreed to constitute itself as the Defence Planning Committee.The DPWG comprised representantives of those nations who wished to be involved, together with representatives of the International Staff, the Standing Group, the Military Committee and the Major NATO Commanders. At its first meeting on 10 October 1963, the Defence Planning Committee drew up "Draft Initial Instructions to the Defence Planning Working Group" (DPC-D(63)2). The Group was then able to start work. Its role was to assist the Defence Planning Committee in implementing C-M(63)74. It was authorized to take initiatives to fill any gaps which might become apparent in the procedure as work progressed. Its work schedule involved close cooperation with the NATO military authorities so as to be able to provide, at any time, information needed on the resources likely to be allocated to the defence effort. The DPWG was tasked with ensuring that all necessary preparatory studies were made. It provided the Defence Planning Committee with the information it required and drew up draft reports which were used by the Committee for its reports to ministers. The DPWG set up the following study groups and specialized sub-groups which were tasked with assisting it in its work: - Economic Sub-Group of the Defence Planning Working Group (1965), under reference DPWG(ECO); - Restricted Sub-Group on Main Issues (1965), under reference DPWG(SG); - South-East Sub-Group (1965), under reference DPWG(SE); - Northern Sub-Group (1965), under reference DPWG(NORTH); - Ad Hoc Working Group on Mobilization or Force Expansion Plans and Potential (1966-67), under reference DPWG(MOB); - Ad Hoc Working Group on the Implications of Various Assumptions Concerning Strategic Warning (1966), under reference DPWG(STRAT WNG).The DPWG discontinued its activities following the withdrawal of France from the Alliance’s integrated military structure in 1966 and the subsequent reorganization of the NATO committee system. From 1 September 1967, the DPWG was replaced by the Defence Review Committee(1) .

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Scope and content

The records in the DPWG chronological series contain information on defence plans. This includes information on the defence plans (up to 1970) of member nations as regards their forces and defence budget, as well as assumptions concerning the relationship between economic development and their future defence effort. The DPWG series documents cover the structure of land, naval and air forces, as well as nuclear forces. They deal with questions of national force goals, command and control, force enhancement and expansion, and mobilization. They also include studies of possible scenarios, proposals and instructions concerning the gathering of information on national defence plans and concerning the presentation of force goals, draft resolutions on defence plans, activity reports for the Defence Planning Committee, etc.

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The records in the DPWG series are assembled by type - Notice (N), Working Paper (WP), Document (D), Record (R) and Decision Sheet (DS) - 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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Language and script notes

The documents of the chronological series were generally circulated in both NATO official languages (English and French). However, not all documents seem to have been preserved in both languages.

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(1) See the DRC series.

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