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Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:55 (GMT+7)
Military Region 1 builds strong defensive zone

Nowadays, to meet the demanding requirements of Homeland protection, the Military Region 1’s Party Committee and High Command have paid due regard to building defensive zone via synchronous, proper and effective measures.

The Military Region 1 is stationed in the area of strategic importance to economy, society, defence, security and diplomacy of the North and the whole country. This are is inhabited by ethnic minorities (accounting for 33.9% of its population); economic, cultural and social development is uneven; per capita income is low; localities’ capability to mobilize resources for defence is limited. Meanwhile, hostile forces have been stepping up their acts of sabotage via “Peaceful evolution” strategy, enhancing artifices of “self-evolution”, “self-transformation” and “depoliticalizing” the armed forces in the area. The complex developments of cross-border trade and the increase in natural disasters and accidents/incidents have greatly impacted on the implementation of military and defence missions in general, the building and operation of the defensive zone in particular. Perceiving the situation and grasping higher echelons’ resolutions and directives, the Military Region’s armed forces have promoted their role in building defensive zone and produced comprehensive results.

The Military Region has devoted a great deal of effort to building and consolidating the political system, mass organizations and sociopolitical organizations at all levels, particularly the district and provincial level Steering Boards for defensive zone, while flexibly operating the mechanism in which the Party leads, the authority manages, offices, committees and sectors give advice, and military offices play the core role in coordinating and implementing local defence and military missions. The work of defence and security education has been conducted in an orderly, decentralized, qualitative manner, thereby raising awareness and responsibility of cadres, party members and people from all walks of life towards the Homeland protection task. Social policies on hunger alleviation, poverty reduction, ethnicity, religion, etc., have been regularly, effectively implemented. People’s material and spiritual life has gradually improved, which has provided the basis for consolidating the “people’s hearts and minds” posture and bringing into play the strength of the national unity block in the area. Due regard has been paid to the work of defence diplomacy and people-to-people exchange, contributing to building a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development. It is noted that the combination of socioeconomic development and defence-security consolidation in each region and area has witnessed positive changes. The Military Region’s armed forces’ synergy and combat readiness level and capability have ceaselessly improved, thereby greatly contributing to defending national sovereignty and border security, facilitating localities’ rapid, sustainable socioeconomic development.

However, several party committees and governments’ grasp and implementation of resolutions and directives on the construction and operation of defensive zone have yet to be firm and comprehensive. The building of military posture of defensive zone has only served all-level defensive exercises, not dual-use, long-term purposes. The implementation of the Party’s line on combining socioeconomic development with defence and security consolidation in some localities has yet to be effective as due regard has yet to be paid to defence missions, while the requirements set by Homeland protection have been increasingly demanding. That necessitates the Military Region’s armed forces promoting their core role, proactively surmounting difficulties, resolutely making defensive zone increasingly solid, and successfully accomplishing the assigned task.

To that end, first, the Military Region’s armed forces have focused on grasping resolutions, directives and decrees by the Party, State and Government on building defensive zone, particularly the Resolution of the Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum (11th tenure) on the Strategy to defend the Homeland in the new situation, the Politburo’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW (10th tenure), the Government’s Decrees 152/2008/NĐ-CP and 02/2016/NĐ-CP on amending and supplementing several articles of the Decree 152 on building defensive zone. Those documents have been concretized into plans and programs to build defensive zone in each area and locality properly. The Military Region’s military agencies at all levels have actively advised local party committees and authorities on strengthening leadership and direction over the building of defensive zone in accordance with each area’s potential and particularities. The structure of the Steering Board for defensive zone at all levels and the Provincial Supply Council have regularly been perfected while their role in implementing the Military Region’s Directive 416/CT-BTL, dated March 7th 2015, on “enhancing the building of defensive zone in the 2015-2020 period” has been promoted. At the same time, the work of reviewing reality and developing theory about building defensive zone has been successfully carried out, thereby contributing to making the all-people national defence in the area strong.

Enhancing political and ideological education and defence-security education as the basis for building defensive zone’s political-spiritual potential serves as an important solution. Due to mountainous terrain, low population density and intellectual standards of the people, particularly ethnic minorities, the Military Region’s Party Committee and High Command have directed military agencies at all levels to strongly renew the content and method of defence and security education in a practical, intensive, effective fashion in accordance with the characteristics of each object and area. The content of education must be comprehensive but focused on grasping the Party’s defence and military guidelines and its policy to build defence zone, hostile plots and artifices, and the relationship between economy and national defence. During the course of implementation, it is necessary to flexibly employ forms and methods of education. In this regard, military agencies have actively counselled and closely cooperated with local party committees and authorities in taking advantage of mass media and press agencies of the Military Region and each locality to carry out the work of defence and security education. Significance has been attached to cultivating party cell secretaries, village patriarchs and religious dignitaries as they directly both implement and bring the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints to the whole people. At the same time, the Grass-Roots Level Democracy Regulations have been implemented in an orderly, effective manner; the work of mass mobilization has been successfully conducted; the internal unity and military-civilian bond have been consolidated in a bid to make the people believe and follow the Party, support the authorities, and devote human and material resources to the construction and operation of the defensive zone.

To increase the economic potential in the defensive zone, the Military Region’s Party Committee and High Command have determined to further combine economy with defence and vice versa while building safe, strong area. To do this, the Military Region has directed all-level military agencies to counsel and instruct local party committees and authorities to combine socioeconomic development with defence-security consolidation. In recent times, local party committees and authorities have concretized and implemented that direction right in the master plan for local development in an effort to ensure the balanced development of both economy and national defence. In the time to come, the Military Region will cooperate with localities in focusing investments on developing infrastructure synchronously and comprehensively, particularly for education and training, health, posts and telecommunications as well as the system of border belt road, new-type rural area constructions; on building border gate economic zones and groups of dual-use industries; on readjusting the disposition of residence in line with the local economic development planning and defensive operation projects at all levels. At the same time, it is important to design special mechanisms for localities in severe difficulty under the guidelines “prioritizing economic development but not affecting defence missions”; to effectively implement the Project “National Defence Support” in the area of three provinces, namely Lang Son, Cao Bang and Bac Kan according to the approved plan. Due attention shall be paid to improving the capacity and efficiency of business and production by defence enterprises and economic units in the area while significance shall be attached to building strong local political bases and maintaining political security and social order.

In addition, the Military Region has focused on building strong local armed forces and solid, intensive, flexible, interconnected military posture in order to create strong military potential for defensive zone. As for the active forces, the Military Region advocates making the active forces elite, lean, strong, manoeuvrable, flexible with the increasingly high synergy and combat readiness capability. Priority has been given to building combat readiness units and those stationed in the areas of strategic importance. Significance has been attached to making local forces comprehensively strong, particularly military agencies at all levels, to unceasingly enhancing their capabilities to give advice and implement local defence and military missions as the core in building defensive zone. The reserve forces have been made increasingly comprehensively strong and ready to be mobilized when necessary. As for the militia and self-defence forces, importance has been attached to improving political quality and credibility to maintain security and contribute to preserving sociopolitical stability right at grass-roots level.

During the process of building military posture, the Military Region has directed military agencies at all level to actively give advice to local party committees and authorities on self-balancing the budget to gradually complete the posture in the interconnected, solid, intensive, qualitative, effective, secret, safe direction in accordance with the terrain and positions of mobile forces of the Ministry of National Defence and the Military Region in the area and the defensive operation project at all levels. It is vital to both build and renovate works and caves to cut down the expenses but still achieve the purpose of use. By 2020, the Military Region strives to complete 70% of the building of provincial war-time Headquarters and 30% of district level ones. During the process of building the posture, it is essential to follow the motto “taking every step carefully”, combine the work of construction with the work of management and protection, and prioritize construction of vital combat works, contributing to making defensive zone in the area increasingly strong, meeting the requirements of Homeland building and defence in the new situation.

Maj. Gen. Tran Van Kinh, PhD

Deputy Commander, Chief of Staff of the Military Region 1

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