Series DRC - Defence Review Committee

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Defence Review Committee


  • 1967 - ? (Creation)

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Administrative history

The Defence Review Committee (DRC), the senior advisory committee to the Defence Planning Committee(1) (DPC), came into being as a result of the re-organization of defence planning following France’s withdrawal in 1966 from the integrated military structure and the subsequent transfer of responsibility for all defence planning aspects of the Alliance from the Council to the DPC.Because of circumstances at the time, the DRC was established without official terms of reference. As of 1 September 1967 the DRC replaced the Defence Planning Working Group(2); it also took over the functions of the Committee of the Annual Review(3). The main activities of the DRC consisted in the preparation of Ministerial Guidance, the Force Goal process, the Defence Review and work related to the exchange of force planning data. The original membership included those nations taking part in the integrated defence structure; the Military authorities were also represented in the committee and the Assistant Secretary General for Defence Planning chaired the meetings. In 1974 Greece suspended its participation in the work of the DRC following its withdrawal from the military structure. It resumed participation in 1980 when it rejoined NATO’s integrated military structure. The following working groups and sub-groups were established under the authority of the DRC: - DRC(GK LF) 1968 -1970 Sub-Group on the Means of Strengthening Greek Local Forces - DRC(TK LF) 1968 -1970 Sub-Group on the Means of Strengthening Turkish Local Forces - DRC(DRWG) 1971-1973 Open-Ended Working Group on Defence Planning Data Requirements and Reporting Procedures and Methods - DRC(WR) 1972-1974 Standing Sub-Group on War Reserve Stocks.

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Scope and content

The documents in this series reflect the participation of the DRC in the various defence planning activities of the Alliance. They include questionnaires on forces, reports on the examination of force proposals and force goals for NATO countries, country chapters, analysis of defence expenditure and resource matters. They should be examined in conjunction with the DPC and DPQ (Defence Planning Questionnaire) series.
The DRC was principally concerned with the force planning process which provided the framework for determining the forces required for the defence of the Alliance in the light of political, economic, military and technological developments, and for co ordinating national defence plans in support of NATO’s strategy.
As a first step in the force planning process, the DRC was involved in the preparation of Ministerial Guidance. This guidance, issued in alternate years for Defence Ministers’ approval, provided advice on defence planning in general and force planning in particular. It addressed the political, economic, technological, strategic and military factors and identified the resources to be made available for defence. It also included guidance for achieving improved co-ordination of longer term planning activities.
As a follow-up, the Major NATO Commanders then prepared force proposals for each NATO country. These force proposals were examined by the DRC for their political, economic and financial feasibility and their compatibility with Ministerial Guidance. As a result of the review, draft force goals were prepared for the DPC’s examination and adoption.
Based on the adopted force goals, each country formulated its force plans for the next five years. These were examined by the DRC with a view to eliminating differences between country plans and NATO’s force goals. The DRC subsequently reported to the DPC on how countries had been able to meet force goals and whether they had fallen short.

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System of arrangement

The chronological document series created by the Defence Review Committee is arranged by type - Decision Sheet (DS), Note (N), Working Paper (WP) - and then by year and number. It should be noted that not all documents in this series were issued in both official languages.

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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 the DPC series.
(2) See the DPWG series.
(3) See the AC/19 series.

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