Series AC/281 - Executive Working Group on the Study of Alliance Defence Problems for the 1970s

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Executive Working Group on the Study of Alliance Defence Problems for the 1970s


  • 1970 - ? (Creation)

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Administrative history

The AC/281 chronological series contains the documents of the Executive Working Group on the Study of Alliance Defence Problems for the 1970s. The Executive Working Group was set up to assist the Defence Planning Committee with the AD 70 study, a detailed review of the Alliance's defence problems for the 1970s. In the spring of 1970 the Council entrusted the Executive Working Group with examining, developing and refining the texts which it had itself commissioned from NATO committees and agencies or from nations, in order to submit a full report to the Defence Planning Committee in permanent session by the end of the year with the agreement of the Military Committee. It was chaired by the Deputy Secretary General and made up of senior officials, members of the International Staff and the International Military Staff, and independenor government experts as the occasion demanded, and had a supporting staff and secretariat (see PO(70)23 and AC/281 WP(71)1). At the end of the year the Defence Planning Committee in permanent session decided to keep the Executive Working Group in existence, to establish and ratify the programme of work, and then monitor the implementation of the findings of the AD 70 Study and report periodically to the DPC (see DPC-R(70)21, AC/281 WP(71)1 and AC/281-N(71)1).As authorized by its terms of reference, the Executive Working Group set up subordinate bodies, such as: - the East-West Balance Sub-Group (AC/281(SG/1)) - the Strategy and Force Levels Sub-Group (AC/281(SG/2)) - the Resources and Burden Sharing Sub-Group (AC/281(SG/3)) - and the Public Presentation Sub-Group (AC/281(SG/4)) all four of which were formed in 1970, as well as the Sub-Group on Ways and Means of Implementing the AD 70 Measures for the Strengthening of Greek and Turkish Local Forces (AC/281(LF)) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Data Requirements for a Functional and Regional Analysis of Defence Expenditures (AC/281(DR)), both of which were set up in 1973. The Executive Working Group itself, which met for the first time on 15 June 1970, is still active today.

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The documents of the AC/281 series are chiefly reports, studies and questionnaires produced, in the course of drafting the AD 70 report,
by the Executive Working Group and its subordinate bodies, various committees and working groups, the divisions of the International Staff, the International Military Staff, member nations and commands, as well as programmes of work, discussions and results of meetings
of the Working Group.
The documents for the 1970 report focused on the basic politico-military hypotheses underlying defence planning in the 1970s
and the essential problems to be resolved. The documents prepared for the 1971 report concerned problem sectors and the associated recommendations. The documents drafted in 1972, 1973 and 1974 examined the progress made and the implementation of the recommended improvements as regards forces and programmes, following a regional or functional approach.

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The AC/281 chronological document series is arranged by type - Agenda (A), Document (D), Decision Sheet (DS), Note (N), Working Paper (WP) - and then by year and by number.

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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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