Mission and goals
The CSWG was initially created in 1999 to establish, maintain and enhance a regular, multilateral, and open exchange of information, viewpoints and ideas between official military history and defense institutions through annual thematic conferences that examine historical determinants of national military strategy, policy and objectives, as well as the historical context of current international and regional affairs.
Secondly, the CSWG improves and strengthens defense and military education and research, by enhancing cooperation between institutions and nations.
Thirdly, the CSWG helps create a community and network of experts in the fields of military history, defense and security studies by providing historical background to common issues and practices from an official history perspective.
Fourth, the CSWG helps produce academic curricula aiming at supporting professional military education and increase greater intellectual and professional interoperability within and between NATO members and partner countries.
Military historians as well as experts on foreign affairs from participating nations come together to share ideas concerning important events, and to gain an appreciation of differences in national perspectives with respect to them. This open sharing of opinion and historical research assists the different nations in building trust and moving away from confrontation and toward a lasting peace and stability.
As a Central Europe representative wrote in 2003, this working group has played “a pioneering role of driving the Central Europeans back to a multilateral forum, facing their own controversial military and political history. I think that if this working group does not do it, nobody will do it.”
You can find all proceedings from the CSWGs annual conferences here.