Thursday, November 22, 2018, 17:20 (GMT+7)

Thursday, May 10, 2018, 17:19 (GMT+7)
Building an “organizationally compact, solid, flexible” army to meet the requirements of Homeland defense

The Party, State, and Central Military Commission (CMC) pays attention to building an “organizationally compact, solid, flexible” army in order to increase its combat power and secure all possible victories.  This is viewed as a breakthrough in accordance with the resolution of the 10th National Congress of the Viet Nam People's Army (VPA), which is supposed to be achieved through synchronous and appropriate measures to meet the requirements of Homeland construction and defense.

Being fully aware of the Party’s military line, particularly the line concerning the building of the people’s armed forces and the task of Homeland defense in the new situation, the CMC and Ministry of National Defense (MoD) has focused their leadership on adopting synchronous measures to build an “organizationally compact, solid, flexible” army. Preliminary positive results have been yielded, thereby making the VPA’s organizational structure uniform but flexible among its components to be eligible for tasks when necessary.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang inspects the Air Force Regiment 927
(photo: phongkhongkhongquan.vn)

So far, the VPA’s organizational structure has been brought into line with its Determination to defend the Socialist Vietnamese Homeland and has sustained the balance between arms and services, agencies and units, regular forces and the reserves. As for units, alongside mergers and dissolution, the MoD has prioritized the establishment and upgradation of units and forces with their particularities to match their assigned tasks while adjusting their strategic disposition nationwide, especially in strategic areas of national defense-security. The organizational structure of agencies, particularly at operational and strategic levels, is subject to regular review and adjustment so as to reduce the number of intermediaries and to gradually redress the overlap of functions and tasks. Schools, hospitals, research institutes, manufacturing facilities and economic-defense corps have also had their organizational structure adjusted to square with the VPA’s goals and tasks and the State laws and policies. At the same time, the reserves’ organizational structure has been made compact and sustained the balance among geographical regions to meet the requirements of mobilization in both peacetime and wartime. All of these have enabled the VPA to become far stronger in all aspects, contributing to their greater combat readiness to successfully fulfil the task of Homeland defense in any situation.

However, the adjustment of the VPA’s organizational structure has suffered from shortcomings. Their awareness of this task remains limited among a segment of cadres and Party members as they have either downplayed it or become over-reliant on the higher echelons for accomplishing it. Some Party committees and commanders, particularly at strategic level, have yet to exercise strong leadership pertaining to the adjustment of organizational structure and the handling of redundancies as results yielded have fallen short of expectations. Unless those shortcomings are redressed opportunely, they will beset units’ performance as well as the building of a “revolutionary, regular, seasoned and gradually modern” army. Therefore, Party committees and commanders at all levels should learn from experience and adopt timely solutions.

Peace, cooperation and development remain the prevailing trend, yet the world still faces complicated and unpredictable developments. Local warfare, ethnic conflicts, religious clashes, terrorist attacks, territorial disputes in the South China Sea continue, which directly affects our Homeland defense. At home, hostile forces have stepped up their sabotage activities through the “peaceful evolution” strategy and have incited “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” through tricky artifices. Moreover, the restructuring of the political apparatus to make it compact and effective in sync with the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s the 6th Plenum has been undertaken vigorously and widely. Against this backdrop, the VPA should exert themselves to become organizationally compact and flexible, highly skilled and strong and to play the core role in Homeland defense.

First, efforts should be focused on education to raise awareness of the adjustment of the VPA’s organizational structure in the new situation among cadres and soldiers, particularly Party committees and commanders at all levels. This is central to making for shared awareness of and greater sense of responsibility for the reorganization and is supposed to be carried out regularly via strong and effective measures. The focal point of education should be the Party and CMC’s line and higher echelons’ directives on the VPA’s reorganization, particularly the 10th Politburo’s Resolution 29-NQ/TW, dated December 22nd, 2008; the 12th Politburo’s Conclusion 16-KL/TW on the VPA’s organizational structure until 2021; the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 6th Plenum entitled “Some issues about the restructuring of the political apparatus to make it compact and effective”. Accordingly, Party committees and commanders within the VPA should focus their leadership on forging a higher degree of consensus over the restructuring, while linking education with disciplinary measures, thereby bringing about profound transformations in awareness of and responsibility for this.

Cadres and soldiers should made aware of the fact that the restructuring is a matter of objectivity and urgency to the building of a “revolutionary, regular, seasoned, gradually modern army” so that the VPA is well capable of successfully fulfilling their assigned tasks. The education should be focalized in tune with units and agencies’ circumstances. Accordingly, agencies and units should properly assess the situation to identify the pros and cons and to foster cadres and soldiers’ trust in the Party and VPA’s line, thereby forging their determination to accelerate the restructuring consonant with the Party and State’s line.

The VPA’s restructuring is a crucial, complicated and sensitive task as it involves a lot of agencies and units and directly affects cadres and soldiers’ mentality as well as the VPA’s combat power. As a result, Party committees and commanders at all levels should effectively undertake ideological work towards cadres and soldiers, particularly those who are subject to the restructuring. The ideological work should be carried out step by step, correctly predict and opportunely tackle ideological issues arising from mergers and equitization in order to promote internal solidarity. In the furtherance of the 12th Politburo’s Conclusion 16-KL/TW, Party committees and commanders at all levels should enhance their leadership over and encourage the masses’ greater participation in undertaking the reorganization. The ideological work should be closely linked with personnel and policy works, prioritize proactiveness and creativity while definitely redressing manifestations of complacency, impatience, indifference and over-reliance on higher echelons.

Based on the Politburo’s line, prior experience and results, agencies and units should focus their efforts on breakthrough measures for making the VPA organizationally compact and flexible, highly skilled and strong. To this end, the entire VPA should accelerate the review of agencies and units’ organizational structure in order to facilitate the restructuring in line with their functions, tasks, and materiel as well as Vietnam’s military art in the new situation. The review should be undertaken on an objective, comprehensive, focalized basis. Accordingly, alongside the downsizing, the MoD continues to invest efforts in building the forces that will proceed directly to modernization, to weigh up the establishment of a number of strategic reserve units, to build the powerful reserves, to reorganize military-run manufacturing facilities, and to adjust functions and tasks of economic-defense corps.

As for agencies at strategic and operational levels, the restructuring should be undertaken in the direction of reducing intermediaries, adding functions and tasks, and fixing the overlap of their functions and tasks. In the immediate term, those agencies will have their staff downsized by 10%, who will subsequently be added to units responsible for combat readiness training stationed in strategic, border, coastal, island areas. As regards combat units, based on the VPA’s Determination to defend the Socialist Vietnamese Homeland as well as their functions and tasks, the MoD has mulled over the organizational structure of the strategic reserves assigned to some arms. Vis-à-vis the infantry, they are organized in such a way that their combat power and mobility can be enhanced to be ready for all contingencies while importance is attached to their components with particularities.

Regarding public non-business units, manufacturing facilities are open to rearrangement while military schools and economic-defense corps will have their strength adjusted in agreement with their tasks. In the immediate term, attention should be paid to the implementation of the CMC’s Resolution 425-NQ/QUTW on “Rearranging, renovating and improving the performance of military-run enterprises until 2020 and beyond” on “Restructuring, renovating and improving the performance of military-run enterprises in the 2016-2020 period” approved by the Prime Minister, thereby bringing about profound transformations to make VPA’s organizational structure compact and solid.

The organizational structure of the VPA is a scientific category characterized by complexity, theoretical and practical values, regulated by different strategies and involving a lot of sectors. As a result, there should be close cooperation among relevant sectors in mapping out a uniform road map and making reasonable steps to facilitate the VPA’s restructuring. Accordingly, together with heightened awareness of directives and resolutions by the Party, CMC and MoD on the VPA’s restructuring, agencies, particularly staff ones at strategic and operational levels, should devote attention to correctly predicting global, regional, domestic situations and the VPA’s possible tasks, thereby putting forward sensible advice and practical guidelines in order to be conducive to the military build-up. In the furtherance of the 12th Politburo’s Conclusion 16-KL/TW, the CMC is going to issue a specialized resolution on leading the rearrangement of the VPA’s organizational structure until 2021; Party committees, Party organizations, agencies and units across the VPA should develop their own action plans on a synchronous and scientific basis in line with their specific circumstances. The rearrangement should be closely linked with the ideological and policy works and the participation by different organizations and forces not to undermine internal solidarity and unity, to affect regular task fulfilment and to beset the minds and life of cadres, soldiers and employees. At the same time, the advancement of the 12th Politburo’s Conclusion 16-KL/TW should run parallel with that of the 10th Politburo’s Resolution 29-NQ/TW, the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 6th Plenum, the 12th Politburo’s Resolution 15-NQ/TW on the VPA’s military equipment until 2025 to meet the requirements of Homeland defense in the new situation.

The rearrangement of the VPA’s organizational structure to make it compact, solid and flexible is our Party and State’s sound policy in tune with the requirements of the military build-up in the new situation. As a result, the strict implementation of this policy will lay an important foundation for building a “revolutionary, regular, seasoned, gradually modern” army to meet the requirements of Homeland defense amidst today’s integration trends.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang, Member of the Party Central Committee, Standing Member of the Central Military Commission, Chief of the General Staff, Deputy Defense Minister

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The continued promotion of the Party’s mass mobilization in the new situation
Mass mobilization as one of the Party’s fundamental tasks greatly contributes to cultivating blood relations between the Party and the people and building a firm posture of “the people’s hearts and minds”. In the new situation, it is essential that mass mobilization continue to be promoted to truly serve as a bridge between “the Party’s intent” and “the people’s will” and to uphold the strength of the great national unity in the cause of national construction and defense
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