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Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 10:24 (GMT+7)
Measures to build the all-people national defence posture in the Northeast sea and coastal region

The Northeast sea and coastal region holds a position of utmost importance to the Homeland protection. To ensure political security and social order and safety as well as defend the national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, it is vital that we undertake researches on measures for building the all-people national defence posture.

Over the years, grasping the Party’s military-defence guidelines and its policies on building the all-people national defence, including the all-people national defence posture, the entire Party, Military and people in general, the Northeast coastal provinces’ troops and people in particularly have focused all efforts on building the all-people national defence posture and achieved a lot of significant results. It should be noted that there has been a positive change in the all-people national defence posture associated with the people’s security posture, while the “posture of people’s hearts and minds” has been regularly consolidated. The system of constructions within provincial and district-level defensive zones, such as combat base, rear base, and logistics-technical base has been frequently adjusted, upgraded and modernised to meet the task requirements in both peacetime and wartime. Those good results have directly contributed to making the all-people national defence posture capable of neutralising acts of sabotage within localities, opportunely detecting and settling all plots of riot, social evils, crimes, and non-traditional security challenges, maintaining political security and social order and safety, creating a peaceful, stable environment for socio-economic development, and enabling our forces to gain the initiative in protecting the key targets and agencies in the event.

However, in addition to those positive results, there have been some weaknesses in organising and disposing national defence force and potential. Due to the rapid socio-economic development, planning, funds, and the constructions within provincial and district-level defensive zones have exposed limitations. At present, there many new types of war, such as information war, cyber war, and proxy war together with the development of modern weapons and means of war, which imposes new demanding requirements on the building of all-people national defence posture. To deal with those issues, in the Northeast, we should well implement several measures as follows.

First, organise, adjust, and dispose national defence force and potential in accordance with the Northeast region’s socio-economic development. Doing so will gradually help develop a uniform plan in line with the Strategy for the Homeland protection in the new situation so that we could prevent and successfully deal with all plots and acts of sabotage by the hostile forces, and maintain readiness to shift our country from peacetime to wartime. The national defence strength in the Northeast sea and coastal region is comprised of all people and the three-category armed forces, with the latter playing a core role. Meanwhile, all people occupy a role of paramount importance as they directly, quickly grasp the developments of political security and social order and safety. Besides, all people act as an “on-the-spot” force responsible for swiftly settling all situations and making reports for relevant competent offices. This force includes locals, employees from localities, sectors, and units, and staff members of law enforcement offices, such as the Regional Fisheries Surveillance, naval groups, and customs. This is the main force directly building and developing our marine economy and protecting themselves during the process of production in the coastal, sea and island area. They serve as the largest, quickest force that we could mobilise to cooperate with other units stationed in the area in building the all-people national defence posture, engaging in our national defence struggle, handling defence-security situations, protecting national sovereignty, and maintaining a peaceful environment within the Northeast sea and coastal region. Thus, the Northeast coastal provinces’ party committees and authorities should include the adjustment and disposition of the national defence force and potential right in their plans for marine economic development, economic restructuring, and reconstruction of marine economic sectors and fields, in the building of coastal economic, industrial, and urban zones, facilities and economic-defence zones in the Northeast sea and coastal region as well as in their policies for migration, residential and labour rearrangement, and new-style rural area construction. At the same, consideration should be given to fostering economic activities and international cooperation in the sea and coastal area, such as maritime transport, petroleum exploration, mineral exploitation, marine science, and fishing in order to enhance both civil activities and national defence struggle, affirm and safeguard the Northeast sea and coastal sovereignty.

The three-category armed forces in the Northeast sea and coastal region include the main force, the local force and the militia and self-defence force. The main force (Navy, Air Defence - Air Force, Artillery, Commando, Border Guard, and Coastal Guard) is responsible for managing and defending the national sovereignty, sovereign right, and benefits at sea. It is the core force in building the all-people national defence posture and provide firm support for locals to keep their mind on their work at sea. Hence, it is necessary to formulate plans for adjusting and disposing national defence force and potential extensively in accordance with civilian defence projects for seas and islands, particularly in the key, strategic zones, such as the Border Gate Economic Zones of Mong Cai and Van Don, outpost islands, seas adjacent to other countries, and international waters.

Second, continue to review, supplement, consolidate, and build the system of military-defence works, headquarters, combat bases, and logistics-technical bases to maintain readiness for national defence struggle and armed struggle against violations of national interests and sovereignty. Military-defence works and operational, logistics and technical bases in the sea and coastal area should be renovated, upgraded and constructed in a basic, synchronous, solid and gradually modern manner so as to create a posture for defending seas, islands, and mainland and facilitate human and material reinforcement for the forces in the seas far from the coast. Units in charge of defending seas and islands and militia and self-defence units should grasp the terrain, make best use of heights, mountains, caves, rivers and springs, and anticipate the enemy’s main attacking direction to opportunely adjust and construct the system of headquarters, key positions, clusters of key positions, defensive areas, secret garrisons, fire battlefields, underground works, headquarters tunnels on islands, and campaign-level key positions as well as combat works for units of the ground force, corps and services. Besides, there should be roads, barriers, and anti-amphibious and anti-airdrop zones in the coastal area and on islands, with priority given to the key directions and the work of camouflage and diversion to keep secret. At the same time, significance should be attached to building dual-purpose works, such as airport, seaport, coastal and cross-island road, logistics and technical base, and fisheries logistics service centre.

Meanwhile, the Navy, the Coastal Guard and the Border Guard should take advantage of sea and island terrain and grasp the environmental and hydrologic conditions to construct the works, such as harbour, headquarters, artillery and missile battlefield, trench and fortress within naval and coastal guard bases and within border guard posts and stations as well as dock for vessels, secret evacuation zone, position for observation and reconnaissance at sea, logistics and technical base, maritime signal system, and search  and rescue centre. As for the Air Defence - Air Force, great value should be attached to building headquarters, trenches, fortresses, observation and reconnaissance posts in the air and at sea, airports, take-off and landing sites, and especially several sections within national highways for aircraft to take off and land. Moreover, other forces, such as artillery, signal, and electronic warfare should construct combat works for national defence struggle in peacetime and combat in wartime. On the key outpost islands, it is vital to build the system of combat works in a basic, synchronous, complete, in-depth and proper fashion to establish an inter-connected, solid posture, satisfy the requirements set by independent operations and long-term joint operations, and provide firm support for the armed forces to expand the people’s war at sea.

Third, combine the building of all-people national defence posture with the construction of people’s security posture in the sea and coastal area. The building of all-people national defence posture associated with the people’s security posture is a matter of principle and aimed at promoting the synergy of the Military, the Public Security Force and all people to fight for safeguarding the national benefits in all political, economic, defence-security, cultural and social fields. When the hostile forces are yet to gather enough reasons for a military intervention, they always seek ways to attack those fields right in peacetime. Hence, in order to maintain peace and stability, we could not use violence or our military strength; we must exploit our knowledge and adopt a flexible foreign policy to defend the national interests. In the process, military and public security offices in the Northeast provinces should proactively give advice to the provincial party committees and authorities on concretising resolutions and directives on national defence and security by our Party and State into their own projects, plans, programmes and road maps for building the all-people national defence posture and the people’s security posture. Besides, those localities’ plans and projects for socio-economic development must include the consolidation of all-people national defence and people’s security postures. Due attention should be paid to well providing defence and security education for all groups of learners, conducting the mass mobilisation work, making political bases increasingly strong, and cementing the people’s faith in local party committees and authorities as the basis for building a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds.”

Well implementing those above-mentioned measures will contribute to making the all-people national defence posture in the Northeast sea and coastal region strong and capable of opportunely dealing with national defence, traditional security and non-traditional security challenges right in peacetime and transforming itself into the people’s war posture to firmly protect the Northeast’s waters and islands.

Col. CANH CHI CUONG, MA, National Defence Academy of Vietnam

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