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Building defensive zone potential in the Southeast region to meet the requirements of national construction and protection

Building defensive zone potential is aimed at preparing human and material resources of each area, zone, and locality right in peacetime, facilitating socio-economic development, and maintaining readiness for mobilisation in defence and security-related situations. Therefore, this task should be performed via synchronous, effective measures.

Provincial and municipal defensive zones are part of a military region’s defence, including politico-spiritual, economic, cultural, social, scientific, technological, military, security, and diplomatic activities. Defensive zone potential represents human, material and spiritual resources that could be mobilised for operations of a defensive zone during the development process and a war. Possessing mountains, plains, seas, islands, and a favourable traffic system, particularly roads connecting with the Central Highlands, the Central Southern region, and the Southwestern region, the Southeast of Vietnam holds a position of strategic importance. It is a key economic zone of the South and the whole country. It is also at the forefront of the hostile forces’ sabotage strategy. Hence, it is necessary to implement specific measures for building defensive zones in the Southeast. In this regard, building defensive zone potential acts as a determinant to the quality of defensive zones and military region defence in the process of national construction and protection. In order to build defensive potential within the Southeast, due regard should be paid to several measures and tasks as follows.

First, build a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds” as the basis for promoting politico-spiritual potential in defensive zones. Building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds” includes arousing patriotism, a sense of unity, national independence will, and self-reliance, cementing the people’s faith in local party committees and authorities in particular, the Party and the State in general, and creating the synergy of a defensive zone. That has been summarised in the country’s history of fighting invades, in the previous resistance wars for national salvation as well as in today’s national construction and protection. Thus, greater importance should be attached to building, bringing into play, and developing the “posture of people’s hearts and minds”  within the Southeast’s defensive zones to a new height. Due to a diverse population, in order to build a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds,” emphasis should be placed on educating and raising all people’s awareness of the Homeland construction and defence, and disseminating the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy. In this regard, significance should be attached to providing defence and security education for pupils, students, and all people, particularly religious dignitaries and persons with great prestige within their communities. Due attention should be paid to improving the efficiency of political bases, ensuring the people’s material and mental life, well satisfying the people’s aspirations, and building a pure and strong state apparatus as the basis for consolidating the people’s faith in local party committees and authorities, particularly at commune level. Consideration should be given to fighting against wrong, hostile viewpoints, defending the Party’s ideological foundation, thwarting the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution,” riot and conversion strategy, and preventing “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within.

Second, bring into play economic potential in tandem with the building of solid military-defence potential. As a key economic centre of the South and the entire country, the Southeast has a rapid growth rate. Also, it has a large number of economic sectors, industrial zones and clusters, and export processing zones. The planning of administrative units at several levels within the Southeast has been changed and adjusted as a favourable condition for it to bring into play its economic and scientific-technological potential in the building of its defensive zones. However, to meet the task requirements and goals, authorities and sectors at all levels should focus on building firm military-defence potential and posture, while ensuring rapid, sustainable economic development and taking the initiative in defence and security. Economic development must adhere to the targets of the building of defensive zones and infrastructures to maintain readiness for military-defence and security missions. Besides, it is important to anticipate possible situations in both peacetime and wartime. In the process of traffic development, due attention should be paid to ensuring cargo movement and a connection with combat bases, rear bases, and key defensive areas, especially in the border, coastal, strategic areas. Currently, the Southeast is constructing the international airport of Long Thanh with large scale and great capacity. Therefore, to satisfy the requirements set by military-defence tasks and defensive zone posture, it is vital to comply with the preset criteria. In the process of construction and use, it is necessary to promote economic potential for building solid defensive zones under the Government’s Decree 21/2019/NĐ-CP, dated February 22nd, 2019 on the building and operation of defensive zone.

Third, make the armed forces strong and capable of playing a core role in building military-security potential within defensive zones. The Southeast is witnessing new elements that will impact on the building of the people’s armed forces. Hence, there should be adjustments in organising and deploying forces and means to form a firm posture within defensive zones. Grasping and realising the Resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress and the 11th Military Party Congress, the Politburo’s Conclusion 16-KL/TW, dated July 7th, 2017, and the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 606-NQ/QUTW, dated June 16th, 2018 on the Military’s force organisation towards 2021, units within the Southeast shall place emphasis on adjusting their organisational structure in a “compact, strong” manner and effectively executing the Project on organising the Vietnam People’s Army in the new situation. Besides, the main and local forces within the region shall achieve a new type of coordination to form an increasingly solid defensive zone posture. The training of those forces should be comprehensive, practical, and effective enough to well perform military-defence and security missions.

As the militia and self-defence force plays an important role in directly protecting local party committees, authorities, offices, organisations, and citizens at grass-roots level, performing tasks within defensive zones, and fighting the enemy when a war occurs, due regard should be paid to making this force comprehensively strong, especially politically and organisationally strong. All-level party committees and authorities shall disseminate and well implement the Law on the Militia and Self-Defence Force (2019), with a focus on organising, arranging, and training this force, particularly military cadres at grass-roots level. Significance should be attached to improving the militia and self-defence force’s political zeal, professional competence, and capabilities in combat readiness, combat, and combat service. This force shall be trained to take part in building the all-people national defence, defensive zones, and civil defence as well as ensuring national security and social order and safety. At the same time, this force shall be trained to play a core role in carrying out the military-defence work in public non-business units, enterprises, industrial zones, factories, and farms. Great value should be attached to expanding and improving the projects on building the standing militia force, the mobile militia force, the key border militia force, the coastal militia force, and the key political force capable of protecting political security and social order and safety within Southeastern provinces and across the country.

Fourth, encourage the effectiveness of military diplomatic potential. Well performing the military diplomatic task will contribute to realising the Party’s viewpoints on protecting the Homeland “from afar” via peaceful means. The military diplomatic work in the Southeast is affected by a lot of factors. It should be noted that the city of Ho Chi Minh is a large centre with a rapid growth rate and numerous diplomatic activities relating to military diplomacy. Furthermore, the region has a borderline in its Southwest and a sea in its South, which is a favourable condition for raising the effectiveness of diplomatic potential in the building of defensive zones but requires a lot of measures to develop its potential and maintain sustainability. To promote military diplomatic potential in the building of defensive zones within the Southeast, first of all, it is necessary to render authorities, sectors, people from all walks of life, joint venture businesses, and other countries fully aware of our Party and State’s viewpoints on international relations, particularly in the defence-security field. Forms and methods of diplomacy should be synchronously, flexibly, comprehensively adopted and based on mutual respect and understanding for the sake of peace, stability, and development. Emphasis should be placed on building a contingent of cadres in charge of diplomacy with political zeal and great professional competence so that they could cleverly, flexibly deal with issues on the field, at meetings, and in cooperation. Situations should be handled cautiously, flexibly under the authority of each level to avoid impacting on political security and social order and safety and contribute to building solid defensive zones.

Building defensive zone potential in the Southeast is associated with all aspects of the social life. The contents and measures of performing this task should continue to be further studied and made relevant to the condition of each locality so as to bring into play this type of potential, ensure sustainability and development, and contribute to building the all-people national defence and firmly protecting the Socialist Vietnamese Homeland.

Maj. Gen., Associated Prof. VU THANH HIEP, PhD, Deputy Commandant of the Infantry Officer College No.2

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