Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 16:50 (GMT+7)
Strategic defensive operations for Homeland protection

By studying and assessing the current situation, it can be forecasted that: in case of conflict, the enemy will focus its strength to vigorously attack our main facilities right in the early days without interruption directly; deploying “fast attacking, fast winning” strategy in order to minimize damage and avoid getting stuck. Along with military operations, they intensify psychological warfare, economic blockade, diplomatic isolation, and riot, forcing us to accept conditions in their favour. The conflict may be of large scale right at the beginning, and it may spread throughout the country or focus on particular directions. The main battlefield may be in big cities, plains, and key areas, etc. Therefore, together with other types of strategic operations, strategic defensive operations play an important role and decide the success of creating a posture for a successful counterattack. To enhance the effectiveness of this kind of operation, meeting the requirements of a modern war, we suggest following ideas:

1. The aim of a strategic offensive operations is to cause lost and damages to a certain strength of the enemy; smashing down riots in the combat area; protecting our defensive strength, military potentials, key national facilities and strategic directions and areas. Besides, it is to hold disposition, safeguarding our forces, breaking the enemy’s offensive posture, creaking favourable conditions and chances for our strategic counterattack and offensive operations to gain victory.

For this reason, in Homeland protection, it is necessary to accurately study and assess the role, position and connotation of strategic defensive operations, especially at the early stage. By doing so, we can have a clear understanding of purpose and meaning of  each form of operations in this strategic type; knowing that the defensive operations consists of a number of combat types: defensive, protective, counterattack, and offensive operations, etc at operational level in order to resolutely fulfill the plan.

2. Unlike other forms of strategic operations, a strategic defensive one often occurs from the beginning of a war, mobilizing a variaty of forces and types of combat, covering a large area with different environmental conditions, hence it bears a comprehensive feature. Therefore, to enhance the effectiveness of this type of operations, it is necessary to promote the synergy from all forces and aspects of life (military, politics, economy, diplomatic, etc) in a unified plan, under the leadership of the Politburo, the Central Military Commission, the management of the State and the centralized, unified command and direction of the Ministry of National Defence. Accordingly, functional agencies at strategic level should study and give out right assessments of the world, the regional situations and the political, economic, military potentials of the country relating to the operations. During the implementation, it is necessary to pay attention to the combination between regular and local forces, between on the spot forces and mobile ones, between armed forces and those who also fight in political and diplomatic fields, etc, to create posture, favourable condition so that we can conduct massive and all round assault against the enemy, forcing them to be in passive and stuck posture.

3. One of the basic and principal features of this operations is that it is carried out by combining combat operations of local defensive areas with those of military zone’s defensive areas and of strategic mobile corps with the core being the defensive operations of military zone and the main force being the on the spot force. This is the most fundamental issue of the operations and the base to distinguish this form of operations from other ones.

4. In Homeland protection, to fulfill the set out goals and requirements, in strategic defensive operations, it is necessary to employ flexibly different forms of operations. Of which, defensive and protective operations are the main form and counterattack and offensive operations are optional. This factor is of paramount importance, aiming at both conducting resolutely the targets of this operations and settling harmoniously the relation between protecting and holding the strategic, critical ground and target and actively damaging and destroying each part of enemy and gaining advantage. As a result, along with other forms of operations, defensive operations is considered important and decisive factor to the victory of strategic defensive operations. Besides defending resiliently, resolutely block, divide, disperse and hold the enemy in disadvantageous position, it is necessary to actively carry out counterattacks, offensive operations in each direction and area when possible to destroy parts of the enemy and break their offensive direction. This issue worths considering but is also complicated and difficult to carry out. For this reason, when conducting counterattacks, and offensive operations, it is necessary to consider the target, opportunity, location, combat method and force deployment at reasonable scale so that we can both destroy part of enemy, gaining advantage, lessening the enemy’s pressure on defensive areas, contributing to fulfilling the goals of strategic defensive operations in Homeland protection.

Lieutenant General, Assoc. Prof, Doctor Tran Thai Binh 

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