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Saturday, August 04, 2018, 18:37 (GMT+7)
Continuing to build strong provincial, municipal defensive zones

Building strong provincial, municipal defensive zones represents our Party and State’s strategy for Homeland construction and protection. Thus, central and local party committees and governments should continue to strengthen leadership and direction over the implementation of this important task.

Fully aware of the position and role of the provincial, municipal defensive zones towards the cause of Homeland building and safeguarding, over the past years, the Party, State and Government have issued various resolutions and directives on this task, particularly the Politburo’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW, dated September 22nd, 2008, the Government’s Decrees 152/2007/NĐ-CP, dated October 10th, 2007, and 02/2016/NĐ-CP, dated January 5th, 2016 on amending and supplementing several articles of the Decree 152 as well as other guiding documents. At the same time, the Ministry of National Defence (MND), particularly the General Staff and the General Department of Politics have been directed to closely cooperate with central committees, ministries and sectors in taking measures synchronously to build the increasingly strong provincial, municipal defensive zones, which has gained significant results.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Phuong Nam encourages the forces in the defensive zone exercise of Quang Ninh province 2017 (photo: qdnd.vn)

It is worth noting that awareness of sectors, forces, localities and people towards the building of defensive zones has been ceaselessly raised while the building of types of potential, particularly the political-spiritual potential and the “people’s hearts and minds posture” has witnessed positive changes. The all-people national defence posture associated with the people’s security, with a focus on the military, security posture of the defensive zone has been developed steadily. Importance has been attached to effectively operating the mechanism of Party’s leadership, authority’s management and local offices and sectors’ counselling. The synergy and combat readiness level and capability of the armed forces in the defensive zones have gradually improved, thereby opportunely dealing with defence and security situations, greatly contributing to ensuring political stability and facilitating localities’ socio-economic development.

Besides the recorded results, the work of consolidating and renewing the operation of the Steering Board and the Standing Steering Board on the defensive zone at all levels has yet to be effective. Several localities’ budget for this important task has been limited and not squared with their economic condition and potential yet. The work of building forces, particularly the regular, reserve, and militia and self-defence forces as well as the preparation work for defence and war-time mobilization have been limited. The settlement of defence and security situations in several areas has yet to be really effective and still depended on the support of the Military Regions and MND. Meanwhile, in the country’s regions and areas, particularly key strategic ones, hostile forces have been stepping up their acts of sabotage in a bid to make the internal political affairs destabilized and create a pretext for intervention from outside. Against this backdrop, our entire Party, military and people should enhance a sense of unity and foster socio-economic development in combination with defence and security consolidation while attaching great importance to improving the quality of the building and operation of defensive zones via synchronous measures.

First, it is necessary to strengthen leadership and direction of all-level party committees over the building of defensive zones and consider this a central point in performing this strategic important task in each area and locality as well as nationwide.  Offices, units and localities, particularly provinces and centrally-controlled cities should thoroughly grasp the importance of the defensive zones and regard the building of defensive zones as a central, routine task. At the same time, it is vital to grasp and seriously implement the Party’s viewpoints, principles, directives and resolutions, especially the principle of the Party’s absolute, direct leadership over the cause of national defence, including the building and operation of defensive zones. Accordingly, resolutions for leadership over the building of defensive zones at all levels should be developed on an annual, periodic basis. The defensive zones must be built comprehensively strong in potential, forces and posture while importance should be attached to political, ideological, economic, defence, security, and diplomatic fields, particularly to taking the economic development as the centre, the Party building as the key, the consolidation of defence and security as a vital, routine task, and the building of strong “people’s hearts and minds posture” and comprehensively strong communes as the basis, all of which should be closely integrated with components and posture of the provincial, district-level defensive zones. To realize that direction, in addition to formulating proper action plans in accordance with their particularities and condition, localities should focus on the work of defence and security education, the building of works of the defensive zone, the armed forces, and the all-people national defence posture associated with the people’s security posture, and the combination of economy and defence. It is necessary to closely combine the consolidation of all-level military party committees and organization with training courses for local party committees, secretaries and key cadres to enhance their capabilities to lead, direct and perform the military and defence tasks. Significance should be attached to building strong, pure party organizations and comprehensively strong localities in line with the implementation of the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW on the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle, particularly his military and defence thought, creating a considerable change in cadres, party members and people’s awareness and action towards the task implementation. At the same time, consideration should be given to the work of inspecting and supervising the implementation of the Party’s resolutions and directives as well as to the work of evaluating the task performance to improve the quality of building the defensive zones in the new condition.

Enhancing the efficiency of operating the mechanisms of the defensive zone – a key stage to create the synergy for the fulfilment of this important task. Over the past years, in localities, the mechanisms for the building and operation of the defensive zone under the provincial (municipal) party committee’s uniform leadership, the authority’s management, military agency, public security and other local organizations’ counselling and implementation have been put in order and contributed to building strong defensive zones in each area and nationwide. However, the mechanism for coordination between provincial (municipal) offices and between these offices and higher authorities’ has yet to be provided with favourable legal corridor to mobilize resources for the building and operation of the defensive zones while the role of several departments, committees and sectors has yet to be promoted effectively. To deal with these issues, in the upcoming time, localities should grasp central directives, resolutions and decrees, particularly the Party Central Committee’s Decision 168-QĐ/TW, dated March 4th, 2013 on the Regulations for coordination between the General Department of Politics and central offices and organizations on the building and operation of the defensive zones as well as the Government’s Decree 02/2016/NĐ-CP on the defensive zones to adopt measures to ensure the smooth, synchronous, effective operation of the mechanism. Specifically, leadership and direction by the provincial (municipal) party committees must be expressed in resolutions and directives on the defensive zones which should meet the mission requirements in both peacetime and wartime and be opportunely adjusted and supplemented in accordance with realities. Focuses should be placed on uniformly, effectively operating the leadership mechanism at each level, especially the coordinated mechanism for leadership and direction by the Military Region Party Committee and the Provincial (Municipal) Military Party Committee over the Steering Board on the defensive zone at the same level as well as on concretizing the relationship between the Military Region Party Committee and the provincial (municipal) party committee, and between the provincial party committee and the party committee and military command of the province’s affiliates. The management and operation of the provincial authority, particularly the Steering Board on the defensive zone must be presented by directives, guiding documents and legal normative documents. Local military offices should closely cooperate with the Public Security at their level and local sectors and organizations in giving advice to the province while directly implementing the assigned tasks via action plans and regulations. As the core in coordination for the building and operation of the provincial (municipal) defensive zone, military and public security offices must only give instructions to departments, sectors and localities, not take on their responsibilities in this task. During the process of implementing the mechanisms, it is necessary to achieve a sense of unity between local party committees and authorities and encourage the involvement of the entire people in the building and operation of the defensive zones.

Continuing to promote the core role of the armed forces, especially the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) in the building and operation of the defensive zones. Grounded on directives and resolutions by the Central Party Committee and the Military Region as well as localities’ particularities, military offices and units should proactively counsel local party committees and authorities to combine socio-economic development with defence and security consolidation via the close appraisal of projects in each region and area, thereby providing a foundation for sustainable development of the defensive zone’s potential. At the same time, it is important to review the planning, step up the implementation of projects for economic-defence zones and dual-use works in key areas, and adjust and change the purpose of several projects which no longer square with the general defensive posture and the strategy for socio-economic development in each strategic direction. Local military offices – part of the Standing Steering Board on the defensive zone – should concentrate on counselling and building the military posture associated with the logistics posture in the defensive zone on a basic, systematic, inter-connected, focalized, in-depth, gradually solid basis in accordance with the art of operations by local and regular forces in the area. During the process of construction, it is vital to follow the procedure ranging from survey, planning, design, appraisal, and ratification to implementation, supervision, inspection, acceptance of each work and camouflage to serve both short-term and long-term tasks. To deal with the issues on the budget, localities should give priority to constructing essential works first, such as the Headquarters, combat base, key defensive area while gradually completing other works under the preset plan and roadmap. Moreover, provincial and municipal military offices should proactively make surveys and develop plans for defence mobilization and plans to satisfy defence demands of each locality in the first year of the war to include them in the exercises.

Besides, based on the particularities of each area, military regions should cooperate with and give instructions to local party committees and authorities in building comprehensively strong local armed forces to be really the loyal, reliable political, combat forces of the local party committees, authorities and people. Importance should be attached to renewing contents and measures for leadership and direction to ceaselessly improve the quality of training and defensive zone exercises at all levels; to organizing training courses on states of emergency regarding defence, defence mobilization, martial law, counter-terrorism, re-occupation of targets, and release of hostages. Due attention should be paid to closely combining civilian defensive, fire and explosion prevention and control, and search and rescue drills with provincial-level defensive zone exercises in each direction and area in order to enhance the capability in coordination between forces in performing defence and security missions and dealing with possible situations. In addition, it is necessary to adjust the civilian defensive projects and provincial and military region-level operational determinations to meet the requirements for building and protecting the area.

Building increasingly strong provincial, municipal defensive zones is a strategy and the responsibility of the whole Party, military, people and political system with the people’s armed forces playing the core role. Therefore, in addition to close cooperation with central and local offices, committees and sectors, military offices and units should continue to enhance the work of reviewing practice and theory as the basis for the successful fulfilment of this important task in the new situation.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Phuong Nam, Member of the Party Central Committee

Member of the Central Military Commission, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the VPA

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For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.
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