Sunday, February 23, 2020, 08:26 (GMT+7)

Saturday, January 25, 2020, 11:49 (GMT+7)
Criticising the idea to call for military alliances

“No military alliances” is a consistent, correct guideline and policy of the Party and State of Viet Nam, which is expressed in the newly released 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper. This serves as a fundamental basis for us to oppose false ideas calling for Viet Nam to join military alliances to safeguard the Homeland.

On 25 November 2019, Viet Nam released the 2019 National Defence White Paper, a supplement and development of the 2009 version, to publicise all the most basic matters of Viet Nam national defence. The document specifies that “Viet Nam advocates neither joining any military alliances, siding with one country against another, giving any other countries permission to set up military bases or use its territory to carry out military activities against other countries nor using force or threatening to use force in international relations.” This policy has been supported and appreciated by many countries and international opinion, which mirrors Viet Nam’s sense of responsibility to contribute to strengthening peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

However, some articles on social networks, foreign digital newspapers, etc., claim that Viet Nam’s implementation of “four no’s” policy is dangerous and urgent, and call for Viet Nam to “enter into military alliances to defend the Homeland.” According to these ideas, in the current context, Viet Nam needs to be in alliance with a great power with strong military capability such as the United States, Russia or Japan, etc., so as to receive hugh military assistance, including their deployment of weapons and military forces. All of these articles are products of individuals and editors in chief who have attitudes and acts of sabotage against the Communist Party, State and socialist regime in Viet Nam. They do not purely appeal for immediate military alliances but aim to incite people to deny, criticize and put pressure on the Party, State and Viet Nam People’s Army (VPA), create instability and negative influence on national defence and security, cause political instability, undermine peace, remove the Party’s leadership and socialism in Viet Nam. These are their real intentions. Consequently, this false idea must be resolutely criticized and rejected on the following theoretical, practical bases.

1. Advantages and disadvantages of a military alliance. “A military alliance is the affiliation of military activities between two or more countries or political syndicates based on unification of purposes and interests. A military alliance can be progressive, reactionary or self-defensive against aggression, depending on political purposes.” Clearly, a military alliance means mutual protection and support in terms of not only military but also politics and economy. A military alliance must be built on the basis of unified purposes and interests, first and foremost the acceptance of reciprocal conditions in politics and economy, or even national sovereignty. Sooner or later allied nations will expose their progressive or reactionary nature, self-defence or aggression, justice or injustice, mercenary motives or mutual benefits, depending on political, economic purposes and how many benefits they can reap from these alliances.

Therefore, a military alliance can be positive or negative, depending on the political, economic nature of its parties. If that alliance is justice and for mutual support, it will help to safeguard independence and sovereignty of parties concerned, contributing to progress of human race. Otherwise, if that alliance is reactionary and injustice, it will lead to increased tension and confrontation between countries or military blocs and give them a pretext to participate into arms races and enhance their military presence and activities, driving the world, regions and countries into “the brink of war.” Powerful financial, military groups or hostile forces even bargain with each other, realise their double face policy with small countries induced to join the alliance, and force nations to partly renounce or sacrifice their fundamental interests, particularly the right to self-determination, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, to serve their goals. This is especially true when the allied partners reach a compromise to bring them greater interests from the objects of potential conflict or war.

History of the world has proved that one of the causes and “triggers” of wars and conflicts across Southern Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa in recent decades, especially the civil war in Syria, conflict in Ukraine, etc., was the inconsistent domestic and foreign policies of the ruling parties and governments in those countries. The governments and even part of the people used to look forwards to foreign assistance. They did not know that behind the seemingly impartial actions and deeds are great powers’ ambitions of strategic interests. This will lead to not only the destruction of socio-economic spaces, downgrading of development of the countries, but also civil wars, separation, destruction of the country, collapse of sovereign regimes and states, and risk of instability. Thus, firm preservation of independence and self-mastery is a dear lesson in international relations of each nation. Countries participating into military alliances have their own interests. Therefore, countries must consider gains and losses before deciding whether to enter into a military alliance or not. Viet Nam’s policy of no alliances is completely suitable and lucid and serves as a vital condition for preserving a peaceful environment for development.

2. Viet Nam advocates building the all-people national defence and bringing into play the overall power of the great national unity to safeguard the Homeland. Those who call for Viet Nam to join military alliances usually dub military power of Viet Nam “weakness” and “outdatedness,” defence policy of Viet Nam “land offering and sale of seas,” “submission to great powers,” and so on. These are false and narrow-minded. It is common knowledge that whenever a country stages a war, it will need necessary weapons and equipment, as modern as possible. However, if Viet Nam only relied on weapons, it could not defeat any foreign aggressors. History has demonstrated that Viet Nam won the wars because we possessed an extremely important “weapon,” i.e. the great political-spiritual element, deep patriotism, people’s will as the most solid stronghold, and the whole people as soldiers of the whole country. It is this valuable thing that determines and multiplies power of all other weapons. During the cause of struggling for national liberation, given the spirit that “nothing is more precious than independence and freedom,” Vietnamese troops and people overcame hardships, fierceness, sacrifice and fully tapped into weapons available to them or provided by international friends to defeat two powerful imperialist countries equipped with the most modern weapons and equipment to gain independence and reunification.

The 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper affirms that Viet Nam builds its national defence power on the basis of the overall power of the whole nation, of the great solidarity of the masses, and of the whole political system under the leadership of the CPV and the unified management of the State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, consolidating and strengthening the great national unity. It also specifies that Viet Nam's national defence policy is peaceful and self-defensive in nature. Viet Nam resolutely and consistently settles all disputes and divergences through peaceful means on the basis of international law, actively and proactively prevents and repulses the risks of war, realises the motto of defending the Homeland from afar, and is prepared to fight against wars of aggression. This defence policy is not “submission to neighbouring countries” as what has been claimed by somebody. In fact, the military and national defence potential of Viet Nam has become stronger than ever because it is an independent, unified country, led by only one true Party, has a robust State and a population of nearly 100 million people who are united with each other. Viet Nam is assessed as a dynamic developing economy in the most dynamic developing region and has recorded many great, effective achievements. Viet Nam advocates building a revolutionary, regular, highly skilled, and gradually modernised VPA with some services and arms advancing straight to modernity and taking the development of strong political potential as the basis for promoting overall quality and combat power of the VPA. Viet Nam has a strong national defence posture – the people’s heart and mind posture. This posture is the core while closely combining national defence and security with socio-economic development and diplomacy. Viet Nam’s unique, rich military art has been built and developed over the course of thousand-year history of founding and defending the nation. It is well placed to defend and attack the enemy. Viet Nam has brought into play the spirit of proactiveness, creativeness, self-reliance and resilience in research, development, application, and mastery of science, high technology and modern weapons and equipment, ensuring effective prevention and winning the war in the context of the enemy’s use of high-tech weapons. Viet Nam has established relations with 194 countries and territories, including all the great powers. Most of countries in the world, especially the neighbouring ones, appreciate and support the sound national defence policy of Viet Nam. This serves as the foundation to affirm that Viet Nam is capable of pursuing the guideline of independence and self-mastery in defending the Homeland, resolution of disputes and differences by peaceful means on the basis of international law without resorting to joining military alliances. Those who constantly appeal to Viet Nam for joining military alliances has fallen into and absolutised “weaponry theory.” They want to rely on foreign countries and weapons without knowing that they are to lose national pride.

Despite consistently pursuing the “four no’s” policy, the 2019 Viet Nam National Defence White Paper specifies that “depending on circumstances and specific conditions, Viet Nam will consider developing necessary, appropriate defence and military relations with other countries on the basis of respecting each other's independence, sovereignty, territorial unity and integrity as well as fundamental principles of international law, cooperation for mutual benefits and common interests of the region and international community.” It shows that the national defence policy of Viet Nam is not only correct but also flexible, appropriate and opportune aimed to tap into all resources to firmly safeguard independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the Homeland.

Senior Colonel, Associate Professor, Doctor Nguyen Van Quang and Lieutenant Colonel, Master Hoang Anh Tuan.

Your Comment (0)

Top ten notable military events of the world in 2019
The year 2019 marked the transitional period of the world order from “unipolarity” to “multipolarity,” both creating opportunities and posing challenges for small countries’ defence of independence and self-reliance. The following outstanding military events selected by the National Defence Journal will give us a basic description of the world scene in 2019
Weather

City