Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 07:52 (GMT+7)
“Military depoliticalization” – An old cunning trick

Military “depoliticalization” is a dangerous stratagem which is being employed by reactionary forces to neutralize the violent instrument safeguarding our Party, our State and our regime. Though it is not new, this strategy is still very dangerous, thus should be noticed and prevented and countered with effective measures.

In the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries, the process of depoliticalizing the military resulted in the removal of Communist Parties’ authority over their armed forces; this was one of the most decisive factors that led to the collapse of these countries in 1990s. In Vietnam, adversary forces also recognize military “depoliticalization” as a major and permanent objective. In fact, since 1990s, they have constantly attempted to sabotage our military with the hope that the armed forces would distance itself from the Party leadership, become ideologically disorientated, organizationally scattered and unable to identify friend or foe. Accordingly, reactionary groups promote the rhetoric that in many countries, the military is politically independent. They also argue that: Vietnam People’s Army is a military of the people, by the people and for the people; so it should only be loyal to the people, the authority of the Party is unnecessary, and defense issues must be publicly discussed and decided by the people via the National Assembly. In regard to the ongoing structural reorganization in military-owned enterprises, they assert that this is the sign of corruption and interest groups in the armed forces. At the same time, adversary forces exploit the struggle in daily living of a certain number of military members to provoke infightings, seeking to sabotage the solidarity of the military. Another dangerous plot is disseminating fake news and misinformation via Internet to spread negative sentiments and perceptions in the military, call for a separation between the armed forces and the Party and a military alliance with other countries, and demand a military alliance with other countries to make our armed forces more modernized and “professional” like those of capitalist countries, etc.

Naturally, the main goal of the “depoliticalization” of the military is to convert our military, an army of the people and the working class, into a professional one, led by and only serve the interests of the bourgeois. To that end, the military will become politically disoriented, creating favorable conditions for further reactionary activities which are similar to “Arabs Spring”, “Rose Revolution”, or “Orange Revolution”. Hence, staying vigilant and actively identifying and fighting against these plots are still an imperative task and require systematic and integrated preventive approaches and countermeasures.

First, in any circumstances, Vietnam People’s Army must be put under the absolute, direct and comprehensive leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam. This has always been a perpetual principle which was laid down from lessons in human history and experience in the process of organizing and building the military since the foundation of Vietnam Propaganda and Liberation Army. A military force is naturally a violent instrument of a certain class or state. “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”. The politics of the military is the politics of the Party; the fighting will of the military is the fighting will of the Party; and the ideology of the military is also the ideology of the Party, these principles are based on Marxism – Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts. Our military is the working class’s armed forces in nature; and its embodiment of characteristics of our nation and working class is undeniable. Under the leadership of our Party, our military, with the support of the people, successfully defeated many powerful adversaries, creating some of the most glorious military feats in the human history of warfare. This clearly shows that: “Our military is invincible, because it is built, led and educated by our Party”. In the new situation, sabotaging attempts against our revolution in general, our military in particular will become more and more vicious and insidious, so that our armed forces must consistently keep the spirit of revolutionary vigilance, preserve political stability and constantly improve its overall strength and combat capability, always hold the initiative under any circumstances. Hence, enhancing the absolute, direct and comprehensive authority of the Party over the military is the decisive factor in preserving political stability and securing the unquestionable loyalty of the military to our Party, our State, our people and our socialist regime. Also, this enhancement plays a crucial role in building a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually modernized army of the people, capable of dealing with any situation, and protecting stability and peace for our country’s economic development.

Second, we must seek to build a stronger political foundation for the military to enhance its overall quality and fighting capability. This has been one of our main objectives since the birth of the People’s Army. In the Decree to establish Vietnam Propaganda and Liberation Army, December 1944, President Ho Chi Minh wrote: “The name VIETNAM PROPAGANDA AND LIBERATION ARMY means we prioritize politics over military matters.” In the everchanging world today, having to cope with sabotaging acts of adversary forces, to build a politically, ideologically, organizationally and morally strong military, we must fully grasp and adeptly apply military building principles in Marxism – Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, and our Party’s doctrine: “…build our People’s Army and People’s Police to be revolutionary, standard, elite and gradually modernized armed forces, certain services, specialized branches and contingents are prioritized for modernization first; our armed forces must also be politically strong, capable in combat, and absolutely loyal to the Motherland, to the Party, the State and the people”. To that end, military leadership at all levels in the military must heavily focus on improving the quality of Party and political work; effectively implementing “Renovation in Party and political work in military units in the new situation” Project; increasingly educating about our nation’s patriotic tradition and the history of our People’s Army, and enhancing the military’s will to protect the Party, the State and the people in the new situation. Also, Central Committee Resolution 4 (Tenure XII) must be taken seriously and effectively carried out in conjunction with the implementation of Politburo Guideline 05 on “Pushing ahead the movement of studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, morality and style”, Determination to Win Emulation Movement and “Promoting tradition, devoting talents, being worthy of Uncle Ho’s Soldier title” Campaign. Beside, the mentality of military members must be constantly and closely monitored to ensure the quality Party and Youth Union membership expansion; and politically strong foundations must be built for Party and civil organizations to prevent any negative impacts of rhetoric that call for “depoliticalization” in the Military.

Third, Vietnam People’s Army must be built to become really “elite, compact, strong and flexible”. To materialize Central Committee Resolution 6 (Tenure XII) on “Some issues on renewing and reorganizing state apparatus for a compact, efficient and effective political system”, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defense have been implementing measures to reform the organizational structure of the military to make it “elite, compact, strong and flexible” to keep pace with the global military advancement and the 4th Industrial Revolution. The military will be built for comprehensiveness, not only capable in armed conflicts, but also effective in non-violent confrontations and cyber warfare, etc to preemptively terminate any risk that leads to potential conflicts and defeat all “depoliticalization” plots of adversary forces. Also, military commands and Party committees at all levels must assertively and consistently materialize the Party’s and Central Military Commission’s principles in building the Military in the new situation, ensuring that the military will be built appropriately in terms of size and structure and have higher capability. In addition, political work must be combined with personnel work and social security work; important criteria such as: political awareness, qualification and working capability, etc, must be thoroughly evaluated in recruitment work in every unit.

Fourth, the living standard and mentality of military members must be constantly improved, and a healthy military culture must be created. In fact, once these standards are met, they will boost the morale of soldiers and cadres, thus making military members always stay positive, fully committed to the revolutionary cause, and always ready for any duty. As a result, soldiers and officers will become “immune” and “resistant” to any negative impacts from civilian society, avoiding “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” and able to defeating the strategy of military “depoliticalization”. To do this, command staffs and Party committees at all levels must constantly and effectively carry out grassroots Democratic Mechanism, ensure that all standard needs of their subordinates are met. Also, healthy military environments must be built to make military units become cultural highlights, turning each soldier and officer into true revolutionaries, sharing the same ideology and working performance. Every activity that benefits military members must be taken seriously and publicly implemented. Besides, soldiers should be encouraged to take part in self-subsistence production activities; in addition, cultural and sport events and public relation programs should be organized to improve soldiers’ mentality and provide necessary support for their families.

Staying watchful to defeat any plot seeking to the “depoliticalization” of the Military is a critical task, it is a decisive factor in preserving and promoting the nature and tradition of our People’s Army, ensuring the absolute loyalty of the Military to the Party, the State and the People, and protecting our national interests. This task is the duty of every soldier and officer, and most importantly, of all command staffs and Party committees in the military.

Nguyen Van Thanh – Ngo Van Luyen  

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Over 70 years of establishment and development (April 1948 – April 2018), the National Defence Journal has strived to overcome hardships and ceaselessly renew itself, improved its quality and effectiveness, making contribution to the revolutionary cause of the Party through different stages, most directly the ideological and theoretical work.
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