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Sunday, December 31, 2017, 08:02 (GMT+7)
Distorting the nature, functions and responsibilities of the Army – common humbug of hostile forces

Distorting the nature, functions and responsibilities of the Army has been a type of humbug in the “Peaceful Evolution” strategy of hostile forces with the aim of fostering “self evolution” and “self transformation” and then making the Army an apolitical and civil organisation. Recently, this humbug has been employed with increasing frequency; hence, we need to detect and refute it.

According to Marxism–Leninism, military is a social phenomenon with historical nature, and a product of class struggle. All Armies bear the nature of the ruling class that has founded them. There is no classless or neutral army. V.I. Lenin stated that “The armed forces cannot and should not be neutral. Not to drag them into politics is the slogan of the hypocritical servants of the bourgeoisie”. Applying this viewpoint to the establishment of Vietnam’s armed forces, our Party built a new-type army of the proletariat from scratch. The worker–farmer self-defence teams, Bac Son guerrilla team, Ba To guerrilla team, National Salvation team, etc, were the first establishments of the armed forces. In his Order to establish the Armed Propagation Team for Vietnam’s Liberation, President Ho Chi Minh pointed out clearly that: politics is more important than military”, “propagation is more important than combat”, “personnel first, weaponry second”. On the 20th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), 22 December 1964, he stated “Our Army is loyal to the Party, filial to people, ready to fight and sacrifice for the independence and freedom of the country, for socialism; accomplishes any tasks, surmounts any hardships and defeats any enemies”. This is the most accurate description of the nature, tradition, functions and responsibilities of the VPA.

However, with their bad will, hostile forces are trying to sabotage the Army with a view to making it apolitical. They consider this one of the three focuses in their sabotage plan against our Party, State and revolution. In their plan, breaking the political ground is the key target; destroying the economy is the basic, regular and long-term measure; “apoliticalising” the armed forces is the crucial task. This is nothing new but extremely dangerous it aims to deplete the class nature, political and social functions of the revolutionary armed forces and deny the Party’s principled leadership over the Army, making the Army politically disoriented and disabling it. To achieve their target, they resort to all measures to change the political nature of our Army and our cause of building revolutionary, regular, seasoned and increasingly modern Army etc. They reason that Army is founded just for protecting the “national interests”; that the Army must be “neutral” and “apolitical” and “not be put under the leadership of any parties”. They also cited some single phenomena to assess and distort the nature, functions, and responsibilities of the Army, etc. Recently, they have focused their sabotage on the Army’s production. They argue that “The VPA should not involve in production” but its defence tasks only; “The Army’s quitting production is a breakthrough in thinking”; “the Army should have quitted production long time ago”, etc. These arguments all aim to distort the nature, tradition and functions of the Army, separate it from the close relationship with the people and the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), and discredit it in social life, etc.

It should be noted that the establishment, fighting and development of the Army have been associated with the revolutionary cause of the Party and the struggle of the people. In any circumstances and conditions, whether peacetime or wartime, the Army has always borne its revolutionary nature, represented a reliable force in protecting socialist regime and the nation’s independence; closely linked with the people, ready to fight, sacrifice, and recorded landslide victories against the colonialism and imperialism, and become the core force in the cause of protecting the Socialist Fatherland. Both the theory and the practice have justified the three basic functions of the VPA. Besides the function as an army for fighting, it also serves as an army for work and an army for production. These are tasked by President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of the CPV and the people. In this regard, hostile forces are so cunning when mentioning only the first function of the Army and neglecting the rest. They even distort and criticise the Army’s engagement in economic production. This is so ridiculous!

Right after the success of the October Revolution, when dealing with both internal and external enemies, V.I. Lenin did not disregard the task of economic development but put economy and defence in a dialectical relation. In our history of establishing and protecting the country, the combination of economy and defence was manifested in the policy of “farming soldiers” in the Ly, Tran, Le dynasties. President Ho Chi Minh used to say that: “…determine to build our Army into a strong one ready to fight, work hard and study hard”. The production function of the Army has been stipulated in the formal documents of the Party through its National Congresses with the latest ones being the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress and the Resolution of the 10th Army Party Congress that: “combine closely economy, culture, society with defence and security…” and “defence and security with economy”, etc. The reality has shown that during the post-war years, officers and soldiers of the Army have always upheld their fine tradition and nature of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” and successfully performed their functions of “fighting, working and producing”, thereby contributing significantly to the cause of Fatherland construction and defence.

When considering the arguments distorting the nature, functions and responsibilities of the Army, particularly its economic production, with an objective and comprehensive view, we should not tar every view with the same bush but classify which one as wrong and which one as hostile in order to have the sound response. Those who are misinformed about the functions of the Army should be further educated and persuaded so that they will have the right understanding of the matter and not help bad persons damage the credit of the Army. The hostile ones deliberately distorting and sabotaging the Army should be countered and punished severely. This is the most realistic and effective measure for countering the dirty tricks of hostile forces against the VPA.

Senior Colonel Pham Van Bo, PhD, National Defence Academy

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