Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 07:48 (GMT+7)
Breakthrough developments in the Party’s theoretical thinking and direction towards the Fatherland protection in the new situation

Inheriting the nation’s tradition, basing on the theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought, grasping the situation on global, regional, domestic scales, our Party has created a breakthrough in identifying objects of struggle and goals of national defence task and Fatherland protection in the new situation. That has been clearly demonstrated in the Party’s military and defence, Fatherland protection viewpoints and guidelines as well as the Party’s direction towards this important field.

1. Prerequisites for breakthrough developments in our Party’s theoretical thinking and practical direction

National tradition is a critical prerequisite. In thousands of years of fighting against foreign invaders, “national construction must be in tandem with national protection”, which has become the inevitability. In the process, our people frequently remained proactive in all preparations for defending the country right in peacetime under the principle of “rich nation, strong army”. In the building of the military, our people focused on the quality of military personnel, instead of the quantity. When forced to fight in wars, the whole country would be involved in fighting enemies and all people would become soldiers.

Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought represent the theoretical precondition. Researching into revolutions and revolutionary and Fatherland protection wars, classical theorists believe that the masses are the makers of history. According to V.I. Lenin, protecting the Socialist Fatherland is an objective law; it is a central routine task of the Communist Party, Government, and entire people of the Soviet Union; there should be serious preparations for the country’s national defence and fighting capacity. When he was alive, President Ho Chi Minh ever said that: “in peacetime or wartime, we must take the initiative, foresee, make preparations in advance, and conduct all-people, comprehensive resistance wars".

The situation on global, regional, and domestic scales is the direct practical precondition. Currently, peace, cooperation, and development are still the mainstream of the times. However, there are rapid, complex, unpredictable developments in the global and regional situation. Major powers proactively adjust their strategies and development patterns under an intense competition. Ultranationalism, local wars, armed conflicts, disputes over territories, arms race, and non-traditional challenges tend to be on the rise. The 4th Industrial Revolution has been effectuating breakthroughs in various fields, including national defence. The advent of modern weapons and technical equipment together with new types of warfare impose new challenges to peace and stability in each region and the whole world. The Asia-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia holds an increasing important position; it is put at the forefront of the competition among major powers.    

Domestically, our country has been integrating into the world more deeply and widely, together with tremendous achievements of strategic importance. National defence and security have been strengthened. National sovereignty has been maintained. A peaceful environment has been ensured for socio-economic development. However, there have been a lot of difficulties and challenges in our national defence potential for protecting our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The above-mentioned fundamental elements, situation, and factors directly impacting on military and defence work and the Fatherland protection necessitate our Party achieving breakthroughs in its theoretical thinking and practical direction as the basis for formulating viewpoints and guidelines on military and defence work and the Fatherland protection in the new condition.

2. Identifying objects of struggle and goals of national defence, Fatherland protection tasks in the new situation

First, from the way of thinking towards the identification of enemies to a breakthrough in identifying partners of cooperation and objects of struggle. Prior to 1986, our Party’s viewpoints had been influenced by the friend-enemy mind-set. In the process of national renewal, our Party has changed its way of thinking towards partners – objects. In the Resolution of the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (9th tenure), our Party stated: those who respect our national independence and sovereignty, establish and expand friendship, cooperative, equal, mutually beneficial relations with Viet Nam are partners; any force that has plots and action against our country’s goals in the Fatherland construction and protection are objects of struggle. Identifying partners and objects in such a manner could be seen as a breakthrough development, which helped eliminate the rigid perception of “friends – enemies”. At the same time, doing so helped open up a new perception of partners – objects and transformations between partners – objects. To some extent, there are some fields we should cooperate with objects. Meanwhile, partners may have contradictions to our benefits. Identifying partners – objects created a favourable condition for Fatherland construction and protection, particularly for our diplomatic activities and international cooperation. In the past 35 years of national renewal, with their new thinking, our Party and State have implemented sound foreign policies, enabling our country to integrate into the world more deeply and widely with significant achievements, greatly contributing to firmly protecting the Vietnam Socialist Fatherland.

Second, from the way of thinking towards the identification of goals and tasks for victories in the wars to the way of thinking towards the identification of goals and tasks of national defence and Fatherland protection without conducting any war. Prior to the national renewal process, the Party’s thinking towards goals and tasks of national defence and the Fatherland protection had been considerably impacted by the war mind-set. In the national renewal process, the Party has developed its perception of goals of the Fatherland protection more comprehensively. According to the Political Platform of 1991, we shall “firmly protect national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, defend the country’s socialist regime, political stability, social order and safety, the people’s right to mastery, and foil all plots and actions against our people’s revolutionary cause”.  Under Resolution 28-NQ/TW, dated October 25th, 2013 by the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) on “the Strategy for Fatherland protection in the new situation”, our Party’s perception of goals and tasks of national defence and the Fatherland protection became more complete. At its 13th National Congress, our Party pointed out that we shall “safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, protect the country’s socialist regime, culture, and benefits, maintain peace, political stability, national security, and human security, and build an orderly,  disciplined, healthy society for the socialist-oriented national development”. That guideline clearly indicates the developments in the Party’s thinking, with a close bond between natural – historical and socio-political factors in the goals and tasks of national defence and the Fatherland protection.

In addition to making preparations for defeating all invasions in any form and scale, our Party has always heightened the goal of firmly protecting the Fatherland without involving in a war. That breakthrough development in perception and theoretical thinking is relevant  to the new situation.

3. Breakthrough developments have been mentioned in the Party’s viewpoints and guidelines on military and defence work and the Fatherland protection

First, proactively defending the Fatherland from afar. In the past, our thinking mainly related to preparing and winning wars under the motto of military power consolidation as the basis. In the national renewal process, our Party has developed its thinking on more comprehensively, completely defending the Fatherland in all aspects of social life, with the involvement of both internal and external factors. At its 12th National Congress, our Party stated that we shall “proactively prevent, soon detect, and eliminate detrimental factors, particularly the internal ones”. According to the 13th National Party Congress, “there should be strategies to prevent risks of war and conflict from afar”. It could be said that proactively protecting the Fatherland “from afar” is both viewpoint and directing motto of our Party when our country is integrating into the world deeply and widely. That viewpoint demonstrates the time and space elements and includes master measures for the Fatherland protection from afar. In this regard, defence and security act as the core measure, while diplomacy plays an increasingly important role. That is totally in accordance with the requirements set by the Fatherland construction and protection, being the best choice in the current situation.

Second, resolutely, persistently fighting to safeguard the Fatherland’s independence, sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity, airspace, and seas. Resolutely, persistently fighting to defend the Fatherland’s independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity was one of the six central tasks set by the 12th National Party Congress. This fundamental viewpoint demonstrates the development in our Party’s theoretical thinking and direction towards Fatherland protection. It also helps clarify measures, directing motto, and requirements for this strategic task against changes in the situation.

The identification of this viewpoint is aimed at building up political resolve and persistence of the entire Party, Military, and people to defend the Fatherland under any circumstance. Resolutely, persistently fighting to protect the Fatherland’s independence, sovereignty, unification, territorial, airspace, and seas must be based on bringing into play the country’s synergy. In the event of a war, we must conduct  an all-people, comprehensive war, with the core role of the people’s armed forces  and  combine the strength of the nation with the strength of the times to firmly protect the Fatherland.

Third, building firmly postures of “people’s hearts and minds”, all-people national defence, and people’s security. According to our Party, we shall “build firm postures of people’s hearts and minds, all-people national defence, and people’s security as the basis for the Fatherland protection”. This is one of the most fundamental, consistent viewpoints manifesting the development in the Party’s theoretical thinking towards the building of a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds” in the context of a socialist-oriented market economy and wide, deep international integration. That viewpoint also proves our Party’s accurate assessment and identification of goals, contents, and motto, with emphasis placed on multidimensional (both negative and positive) situational impacts on building the “posture of people’s hearts and minds” in the Fatherland construction and protection. The building of the “posture of people’s hearts and minds” must be aimed at providing a firm politico-spiritual foundation for strengthening the all-people national defence, people’s security, and Fatherland protection. That work must be centred around enhancing the people’s awareness, will, faith, patriotism, and consent as well as leadership, direction, management, and operation of the Party, the State, and people’s organisation to gather the people and promote “the people’s strength” in the revolutionary cause.

Fourth, closely combining socio-economic, cultural, diplomatic tasks with defence and security. With the implementation of the two strategic tasks of national construction and protection, the Party’s theoretical thinking on military and defence work and the Fatherland protection has witnessed more comprehensive, deeper developments. Our Party has placed emphasis on the combination of socio-economic, cultural, defence, security, and diplomatic tasks. That combination serves as a new point in the Party’s theoretical thinking on Fatherland protection; it also helps bring into play the country’s synergy and resources for Fatherland protection. In the relationship between those fields, according to our Party, economic development must play a central role, culture must provide an important spiritual foundation, defence and security must be a pivotal, routine task, and diplomacy must hold an increasingly important position. All fields will give support to one another in the development process. Hence, it is crucial to achieve a close combination of all those tasks in all degrees, within each region and area, and across the country as well.

Fifth, building an adept, compact, strong Viet Nam People’s Army (VPA) towards modernity, which could be seen as the viewpoint and guideline on building the people’s armed forces and demonstrates our Party and State’s strategic vision and thinking towards the Fatherland construction and protection in the new situation.

To defend the Fatherland, our Party advocates bringing into play the strength of the entire nation and political system combined with the strength of the times and taking advantage of the international community’s support. At the same time, our Party asserts that the VPA must play a core role in consolidating national defence and firmly protecting the Vietnam Socialist Fatherland.

To that end, it is necessary to build a revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, gradually modernised VPA, with a number of services, arms, and forces moving straight to modernity. By 2025, basically we shall finish building an adept, compact, strong VPA as a firm foundation for building a revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled, modernised VPA from 2030. Determining specific goals and time for the building of an adept, compact, strong VPA towards modernity represents the Party’s very new thinking. Therefore, it is necessary to step up adjustments in the VPA’s organisational structure, with a balance between components and forces and a reduction in intermediate and support units. Consideration should be given to building politically strong units, modernising weapons and equipment, building a powerful reserve force, and making the VPA capable of playing a core role in protecting the Fatherland in all situations.

Those above-mentioned analyses prove breakthrough developments in our Party’s theoretical thinking and practical direction as a determinant to victories in the Fatherland protection cause in the new situation.

Lt. Gen., Associate Prof. NGUYEN VAN BAO, Ph.D, Director of the Political Academy, Ministry of National Defence

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