Defence doctrine

The Defence doctrine applies to all Services of the armed forces, because the various elements of the military must be capable of working together, using the same starting points and preconditions.

Doctrine ensures unity of opinion

Defence is a large organisation comprising many different jobs and fields of work. A joint doctrine ensures that everybody in the organisation shares the same set of ideas. And if these ideas change, doctrine offers a way to communicate these changes.

Doctrine also serves as a steering instrument for the Chief of Defence

Because the Defence doctrine provides unity of opinion, it can serve as a basis for planning, preparing and performing military operations. Through doctrine, the Chief of Defence directs the armed forces' Services.

NATO doctrine and Defence doctrine

Dutch military operations and thinking are underpinned by NATO doctrine, while Defence doctrine provides the national context, making clear in which areas the Netherlands applies a different emphasis than NATO.


Defence doctrine provides information to everybody who is interested to learn how the armed forces carry out their tasks. This may include other organisations that are involved in missions. This is one of the ways in which the Defence organisation ensures transparency.