Thursday, June 16, 2016, 18:30 (GMT+7)
Cultural values in Vietnamese military art

Vietnam is by no mean a large country, thus its economic and military potentials are limited. However, its geographical position is of importance to the region and the world. Therefore, through out the coutnry’s history foreign feudal regimes for many times tried to invade it. In each historical period, our nation have had appropriate methods to protect the country and the lives of its people. This is the foundation for the Vietnamese military art to develop and become an unique one in the world.

As the country always has to face powerful and brutal invaders, the Vietnamese military art is to mobilize all people for national defence. This is a proud tradition of the nation’s military. To firmly protect the country, Vietnam’s feudal dynasties were consistent in uniting the community, taking advantages of the strength of “commune – country” posture and the strength of all people to defeat the enemy. In the Ho Chi Minh era, this spirit is not only applied creatively but also developed to a new height as manifested in Ho Chi Minh’s words: “Unity, unity, great unity. Success, success, great success”.

Vietnamese military art is also shown in the courageous and uncompromising fighting spirit. In all our struggle against the invaders, the enemies  had great potentials in economy and military. They managed to make full use of their superiority in strength, weapons and equipment to carry out fast fight - quick victory aiming at yielding our people. Coping the enemies, feudal dynasties of Dai Viet focused on arousing people’s courage, resilience and indomitable spirit to protect the homeland. The determined-to-fight spirit was clearly shown in the Dien Hong Conference attended by the elderly and the two words “kill Yuan” written on the arms of troops under Tran dynasty or in a saying  which goes: “Even the women will fight when the enemy comes”. In the modern time, the spirit is further upheld through Ho Chi Minh’s words: “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”, and “We have to gain independence determinatively even if Truong Son range has to be burn out,…” which urged the entire people of the nation to take up arms against the invader to protect their country.

Vietnamese military art is unique in the way of creatively applying the four elements of “posture, potential, opportunity, and plots” to win and minimize losses to both sides. To gain victory, Vietnamese military art combines closely posture with potential, armed struggle with non-armed struggle. The ideology was creatively applied in Ho Chi Minh era by a number of methods among which the most notable one was the enemy proselytizing. It served as a sharp weapon, a soft power, helping the misled troops rethink, acknowledge their mistakes, thus finding the way back to the homeland.

Vietnamese military culture is deeply imbued with national and human character. This is manifested in the way people behave toward with each other. Hatred resulted from wars  may make people kill their enemy brutally, but this was not the case in Vietnam. Vietnamese people always protect and find a safe way for prisoners to return to their country. This is a profoundly humanitarian condition for the two former opponents to build friendship relations after war.

Those heritages are notable for the outstanding merits of our ancestral generations. They are inherited, upheld and developed generation by generation, particularly in Ho Chi Minh era. For this reason, in many battles, we gained victory without having to open fire. Vietnamese military art always bears “the true, the good and the beautiful” – the typical features in Vietnamese military culture.

Today, though the regional and world situation is complex, peace and cooperation are the main trends. However, local conflicts, racist and religious clashes, territorial disputes and non-traditional security challenges seem to be on the rise. Therefore, besides other solutions, we should upheld values of Vietnamese military culture in the cause of Homeland protection, focusing on the following points:

First, to conduct propagation and education so that all people, particularly cadres and troops are fully aware of the values, contents of our military culture.

Second, promote theoretical study, reality review and inherit the quintessence of the world military culture to develop Vietnamese military culture to meet the requirements of national construction and defence.

Third, build Vietnamese military culture as a positive factor in building Vietnam People’s Army “revolutionary, regular, seasoned, gradually modern”, capable of detering, preventing and winning any invasive wars of the enemies.

Major Ta Huu Hung

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