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Thursday, January 09, 2020, 08:31 (GMT+7)
Some issues on building the all-people national defence in the new situation

Building the all-people national defence is a fundamental standpoint that has been affirmed in documents of various national Party congresses. On deeply grasping this viewpoint, together with ceaseless effort of the whole Party, people and military, over the past few years, the all-people national defence has been established and strengthened in all aspects, meeting the demands of safeguarding the Homeland in any situations and contributing to fostering a peaceful, stable environment conducive to development of the country. Despite these vital achievements, the emerging situation, which is characterised by new features and requirements, both opportunities and challenges, advantages and disadvantages, is placing new issues to be addressed in the process of leading, instructing and coordinating the building of the all-people national defence.

First of all, it is necessary to thoroughly perceive the Party’s viewpoints on national defence and building the all-people national defence in the new situation. Currently, there are different views on national defence that leads to differences in the leadership, management and organisation of national defence. As for Viet Nam, national defence is “the protection of the country, which includes both domestic and foreign relations activities in the realms of military, politics, economy, culture, science, etc., of the State and people aimed to defend the country and create overall, balanced power with military power as the core to firmly preserve peace, deter and repulse the enemies’ aggressive acts in any forms and scales.” Accordingly, we need to be cognisant of the unique feature of Viet Nam’s national defence that is all-people national defence. It means that the whole people participate in the establishment of national defence in which the people’s armed forces play the key role and are under the Party’s leadership and the State’s unified management. National defence resources consist of those provided by the State budget and mobilised from the people (organisations and individuals both at home and abroad). Thus, apart from the State resources (budget), the mobilisation of people’s resources to build the national defence is a prominent charateristics of Viet Nam’s national defence. It is widely different from nations where national defence is largely built on state resources. The state resources are limited regardless of how enormous they are. Meanwhile, people’s resources are unlimited. This demonstrates the superiority of the all-people national defence. It is also important to grasp the nature of peace and self-defence of Viet Nam’s national defence. Our Party, State and people pay constant attention to building the all-people national defence and strengthening national defence potential and power with the only aim of self-defence and protection of the country. Obviously, these moves do not aim to invade or threaten to use force against any other countries. This position has been clearly affirmed in the Party’s documents and “Viet Nam National Defence White Paper” as well as in external relation activities at international meetings and forums concerned. Our goal of strengthening national defence is to prevent and repulse the risk of war from afar while being prepared to defeat wars of aggression in any forms and scales if hostile forces dared to launch. Our Party judges that a large-scale war of aggression against our country is unlikely to occur in the coming time. Nevertheless, improbability does not mean that it cannot take place. This probability has not been removed completely. Consequently, we must exercise constant vigilance and give our minds to building a robust national defence. This is the best way to secure peace and stability for national development.

Establishment of the all-people national defence must give priority to comprehensiveness and focusing on linking the bulding of the all-people national defence with the people’s security posture, especially building a strong “people’s heart and mind posture” right at grassroots level. Connotations of building the all-people national defence are very wide, which covers a series of things and operations in many fields. Among these things, the establishment of the all-people national defence posture, or more specifically, posture of the provincial and municipal defence zones and military regions’ defence posture, is the key content. The all-people national defence is required to be made solid at all levels and in all areas, both inside the country and at the borders, seas, islands, and environments such as air, land, sea, cyberspace, and so on. National defence potential and power are most clearly shown in military power. Therefore, importance must be attached to building military posture, particulary the disposition of forces, military platforms, defence facilities and infrastructure, etc., according to operational plans at all levels during the process of building the all-people national defence posture. The evolving situation has influence on the mission of safeguarding the Homeland, thus requiring us to make timely, proper adjustments on the basis of the situation and our capabilities so as to secure an uninterrupted, strong military posture in areas, especially those in the borders, waters and islands. Grasping the Party’s standpoint on combining national defence with security and basing on the current situation, there needs to closely link the all-people national defence posture with the people’s security posture and all-people border guard posture to enable the military, public security, border guard, navy, coast guard, etc., to coordinate their operations and take initiative in dealing with situations in a timely and effective manner without falling into passivity and being surprised, firmly safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity. More importantly, the “people’s heart and mind posture” should continue to be made robust right from the grassroots level through adopting synchronous solutions and policies to gradually improve people’s material and spiritual life, especially those from the ethnic minority groups, religion, hinterland, borderland, seas, and islands, thus facilitating people’s confidence on the Party, State and regime and creating a solid foundation for developing the all-people national defence and people’s security.

Concentrating on building strong all-people national defence forces, especially the people’s armed forces, truly serving as the key element in the establishment and operation of the all-people national defence. It is common knowledge that the all-people national defence and people’s war have been the Party’s consistent positions throughout revolutionary periods. Accordingly, the forces who undertake national defence in wartime are the whole people. The forces who participate in national defence in peacetime are also the whole people. In both cases, the armed forces play the key role. To secure national defence potential and power requires us to link the building of a strong all-people national defence posture with cultivation of robust people’s armed forces with high combat capabilities. Furthermore, there is no solid posture without powerful forces. Consequently, force development also aims to strengthen the all-people national defence posture. The process of building the people’s armed forces should focus on building a revolutionary, regular, highly skilled, and gradually modernised Viet Nam People’s Army (VPA) with some services, arms and forces advancing straight to modernity. Facing high requirements of the mission to safeguard the Homeland in the new situation, the VPA is to be made strong in every aspect, first and foremost in political terms, and possess high combat capabilities, ensuring that it is truly a battle-hardened force both in the fight against foreign aggressors and the struggle against internal enemies. The VPA does not only perform military mission, national defence and protection of the Homeland but is in the vanguard of the struggle to defeat hostile forces’ plots of “peaceful evolution,” contributing to defending the Party’s platforms, guidelines and ideological foundation as well as preventing and combating corruption, wrongdoings and manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within the Party. Apart from building the standing force, there needs to pay attention to developing a powerful Reserve with high quality and renewing organisation, management, training, etc., to ceaselessly improve its comprehensive quality and ensure its readiness to be mobilised as needed. The Militia and Self-Defence Force is to be built into “robustness and extensiveness” with a focus on developing the on-site force, the standing force, the maritime force, and the self-defence force and establishing militia units in private enterprises.

To strengthen national defence potential and power, provide weapons and equipment to the people’s armed forces and satisfy the demand of gradually modernising the VPA according to direction of the Party require further establishment and development of an independent, self-mastery, modern defence industry. The Central Military Commission (CMC) and Ministry of National Defence (MND) have been instructed relevant units to strictly implement Resolution 06NQ/TW, dated 16 July 2011, of the Politburo (tenure XI) on “building and developing the defence industry by 2020 and beyond.” Attention is paid to effectively carrying out the plan to develop defence industry through 2025 and the vision for 2035, especially major programmes and projects and a high-tech defence complex, striving to master technologies used to produce some new, modern weapons and equipment for the ground force, services and arms. The defence industry is developed to become part of the national industry.

Continuing to enhance the establishment of provincial and municipal defence zones, laying the foundation for building a comprehensively strong all-people national defence in the new situation. Establishment of provincial and municipal defence zones is a sound guideline of the Party, which has been carried out since 1987. Significant outcomes have been achieved so far, contributing to improving defence capability of each locality and the whole country. After many years of implementation, we have gained a great deal of invaluable experience in the building and operation of leadership management while clearly identifying limitations and shortcomings being addressed. Therefore, in the coming time, ministries, commissions, sectors, and unions at the Central and local levels as well as forces in the areas need to grasp deeply Resolution 28-NQ/TW of the Politburo (tenure X) and promote collaboration in building strong province, district and military region-level defence zones as stipulated by Degree 21/2019/NĐ-CP of the Government. Based on overall planning, local authorities implement projects and plans to successfully establish defence zones without wasting resources. Key content of defence zones focuses on developing potential, in which political-spiritual potential serves as a foundation, economic potential is fundamental, and military potential is the core. The building of potential must be closely linked to the realisation of national defence and security missions in each locality and at each level.

There needs to bring into play the overall power and properly harness resources in order to successfully fulfil this strategic task. Accordingly, besides mainly tapping into internal strength, it is important to promote international cooperation to take advantage of external resources for supporting national defence and building an increasingly robust all-people national defence, successfully meeting the demand of safeguarding the Homeland in the new situation.

Major General Nguyen Manh Hung

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