Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Thursday, July 29, 2021, 16:10 (GMT+7)
Orientating troops’ ideology in the fight against wrong, hostile viewpoints in cyberspace

Currently, the hostile forces are devoting more effort to uploading, disseminating and sharing wrong information in order to directly negatively impact on our cadres and soldiers’ awareness, ideology, sentiment, and faith, promote “self-evolution” and “self-transformation,” and gradually “depoliticise” our Military. Therefore, increasing each soldier’s awareness, responsibility, and vigilance against evil information when they use social networks is a matter of urgency.

Being fully aware of negative impacts made by wrong, hostile information and viewpoints in cyberspace on the ideological work within the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), all-level party committees and commands have focused on adopting various measures of prevention and combat. In this regard, grasping and orientating cadres and soldiers’ ideology act as one of the most important solutions to prevent and combat “peaceful evolution” in the ideological, cultural field and in the building of a politically strong VPA. Grasping and strictly adhering to directions by the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defence, and the General Political Department on preventing and combating wrong, hostile viewpoints in cyberspace, all-level Steering Boards 35, party committees, commands and political agencies have taken properly measures to deal with ideological issues and orientate troops’ ideology opportunely, thereby maintaining the Party’s ideological foundation within the VPA.

However, in the process, some offices and units have yet to focus their leadership and direction on the ideological work against negative impacts in cyberspace; therefore, a number of soldiers have been unable to recognise the “hidden enemy” or violated the regulations on the use of social networks, which has undermined the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers.” To settle those shortcomings, there should be measures to orientate troops’ ideology in the fight against wrong, hostile viewpoints in cyberspace.

First, promote the role of party committees, commands, political offices, and the core force. To that end, offices and units should grasp and stick to the directions of the Steering Boards 35 at all levels, while regularly mastering and orientating troops’ ideology so as to opportunely detect and prevent wrong, hostile information. They should  be proactive in ideological education and orientation, ideological forecast, grasp of the ideological situation, settlement of ideological issues, and ideological struggle. Emphasis should be placed on grasping ideological tendencies in troops’ daily life, their faith in our revolution and the Party’s leadership, and their improvement in morality, lifestyle, and observance of discipline. Due attention should be paid to taking measures synchronously to grasp troops’ ideology via three-soldier teams’ meetings, mass mobilisation soldiers, security soldiers, vanguard youth teams, and relationships between soldiers themselves, between superiors and subordinates, between old and new soldiers, between soldiers and their families as well as their social relationships. Consideration should be given to promoting the role of party committee members and secretaries, commissars, commanders, political offices, and political cadres at all levels in grasping and orientating troops’ ideology via the “Political and Cultural Day” and the “Legal Study Day” within units or via specialised training courses, news briefings, politico-ideological meetings, and forums.

In addition, it is necessary to organise refresher courses on skills and methods of struggle in cyberspace for the party committee, political agency, and core force in each unit, strictly maintain weekly, monthly, quarterly meetings to grasp the situation, draw lessons, and propose measures to orientate troops’ ideology, particularly prior to units’ important tasks and major events of the Party, the State, and the VPA. Besides, it is essential to promote the role of the core, specialised force in researching the hostile forces’ plots and artifices and grasping cadres and soldiers’ ideology and mood to give advice to commanders on measures for ideological education and orientation and ensure that all soldiers will remain steadfastness in their political stance and ideology in any situation.

Second, enhance the work of propagation, education, and ideological orientation for cadres and soldiers within units. In propagation and education operations, it is necessary to closely combine ideological management and education to raise troops’ awareness with emulation movements, campaigns and the building of a fine, healthy cultural environment in order to grasp, manage, and orientate troops’ ideology. Due regard should be paid to organising oral propagation and employing rapporteurs as the most important information channel for opportunely orientating cadres and soldiers’ ideology, particularly against the sensitive issues directly impacting on their ideology and sentiment. On a weekly and monthly basis, it is essential to maintain news briefings to directly provide official information from the Party, the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defence and the General Political Department for all troops. Moreover, it is vital to employ rapporteurs to provide information about sensitive issues on politics, diplomacy, security and defence, key events around the world and in the East Sea as well as significant activities of leaders of our Party and State, with a view to achieving a consensus amongst troops and raising revolutionary vigilance of cadres and soldiers, particularly the young ones. Great value should be attached to adopting diverse forms of propagation and education and using sharp, practical, objective, convincing scientific arguments against distortions. At the same time, importance should be attached to directing the core, specialised force to directly conduct their struggle on websites to share official information and upload articles unmasking the nature of wrong, hostile viewpoints in cyberspace so that readers and viewers could fully understand sensitive issues.

Third, build a fine, healthy cultural environment within offices and units. To do so, it is necessary to effectively promote cultural institutions in offices and units and organise cultural, sports, entertainment programmes, especially in days off and rest hours to make contributions to preventing evil products, bad information, and distortions on social network from penetrating into offices and units. Offices and units should well execute the Regulations on Democracy at grass-roots level and the 13th Politburo’s Conclusion 01-KL/TW, dated May 18th, 2021 on continuing to realise the Directive 05-CT/TW on “accelerating the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics and lifestyle” as well as the Campaign titled “promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the new period. Due attention should be paid to grasping the motto of “taking the good against the bad” and encouraging positive factors and good examples against negative practices. Emphasis should be placed on building pure, strong organisations within offices and units as the decisive factor, preventing the degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle, and dealing with passivity, subjectivity and lack of vigilance. Additionally, it is vital to maintain “soldiers’ psychological and legal consultant team,” “soldiers’ profile,” and “team of orientation,” assign “party members to give assistance to the masses,” and require ethnic minority cadres to “eat with, live with, share with,” and help ethnic minority soldiers. Those models would enable cadres and soldiers, particularly the new ones to acquire life skills, understand their own issues, and decide their own solutions. At the same time, it is important to raise troops’ knowledge of the State’s law, the Military’s discipline, and their units’ regulations, and build up their optimism, proper behaviour, and determination to fulfil their task and avoid negative impacts by wrong, hostile information in cyberspace.

Fourth, closely manage collectives and individuals’ exploitation and use of the Internet within offices and units. To that end, it is necessary to establish regulations on providing, exploiting and using information to prevent leaks of units and offices’ information. Significance should be attached to giving instructions on using the Internet and social networks. Measures should be adopted to manage cadres and soldiers when they use social networks via computers and smart phones that are connected to the Internet under the regulations of their units and the Military, the Law on Cyber-Information Safety, and the Law on Cyber Security. Due attention should be paid to managing the provision and use of digital information on the Internet under laws on information technology, press, publishing, and State’s secret protection as well as regulations on the management of digital information on the Internet. Offices and units should encourage their cadres and soldiers to abide by regulations on managing and using the Internet, and protecting secrets of the VPA, the Party, and the State. They should well exploit their virtual computers, proactively provide official information, and avoid “information gaps” on the Internet. Also, they should take advantage of cyberspace to disseminate reliable, objective news to their cadres and soldiers opportunely, correctly. At the same time, they should maximise the system of blogs to directly fight against wrong, hostile viewpoints in cyberspace in a “proactive, resolute, flexible, timely, constant, complete” manner.

Flexibly applying those above-mentioned measures will help orientate cadres and soldiers, enable them to recognise the hostile forces’ nature, plots, and artifices, especially in cyberspace, create “immunity” within themselves, and defend the Party’s ideological foundation in all offices and units across the VPA.

Col. PHAM THANH TRUNG, PhD, Political Academy, Ministry of National Defence

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