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Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 07:43 (GMT+7)
On the Party’s principle of defending the Motherland early and from afar

Throughout our nation’s history, the strategy of “defending the country before it is endangered” has been gradually shaped and refined and become the main guiding principle and method of national defence in all eras. With strategic thinking and vision, our Party inherited, creatively applied and developed this strategy of our forefathers into today’s principle of defending the Motherland early from afar.

The strategy of defending the Motherland early from afar includes all of peacetime preparatory activities implemented by the Party, the State, the armed forces, the entire political system and the People to develop national defence and security capabilities; proactively prevent, push back and eliminate any risks that can potentially become threats to our national independence, sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity and political stability, as well as peaceful environment to develop our country in a sustainable way and in accordance to socialist orientation, avoiding any unexpected contingencies.

Throughout our history of national construction and defence, our forefathers always attached great importance to the strategy of defending the country early and from afar. Most notable actions included: diplomat activities to maintain relations with neighbouring countries; investing into national defence capabilities, implementing the fundamental strategy of “relaxing the people’s strength” and “defending the country before it is endangered”, etc. Especially, with sharp thinking, strategic vision and extensive experience in revolutionary activities, President Ho Chi Minh always had correct and early assessment and understanding of risks that could threaten the peace of the country. He once said: “Regardless of peace time or wartime situation, we must grasp it, be proactive, foresee it, and be prepared for it in advance”. Based on the theoretical foundation of Marxism – Leninism, Ho Chi Minh thought, and national tradition, the strategy of proactively defending the country from afar and early since peacetime has been elevated to a new level by our Party with the following principles:

First, defending the Motherland early from afar, protecting the country before it is endangered is our Party’s consistent and constant viewpoint, the strategic orientation and the most important task in the cause of national defence in the new era. Since its foundation, our Party inherited and has always supplemented and constantly developed the principle of defending the Motherland early from afar, protecting the country before it is endangered. Since the initiation of Doi Moi Policy, from the 6th to 11th Party Congress, resolutions and documents have always determined to raise vigilance, and proactively prevent and defeat sabotaging plots of adversary forces, avoiding any unexpected contingencies. At 12th Congress, for the first time our Party determined: “We must have strategies to prevent risks of war and conflict early and from afar; proactively detect, deter and eliminate adverse factors, especially internal ones that can cause alterations”. In Resolution No. 24-NQ/TW, dated April 16, 2018 of the Politburo (Tenure XII) on Vietnam National Defence Strategy, for the first time, the phrase “defending the Motherland early from afar, before it is endangered” was officially introduced. The Resolution outlined many fundamental issues such as: objectives, tasks, forces, principles, methods, resources, etc. in defending the Motherland early and from afar. In 13th Congress, our Party continued to affirm: “We must have strategies to prevent risks of wars and conflict early and from afar; strive to deter conflicts and wars and settle disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international laws”.

Second, defending the Motherland early from afar is the common cause of our people, in which the Military and the Public Security Force play the key role under the absolute, direct and comprehensive leadership of the Party, the centralised and unified management of the State. Strictly maintaining and promoting the absolute, direct and comprehensive leadership of the Party, the centralised and unified management of the State over the People’s Army, the People’s Public Security Force and the cause of national defence and security is a consistent and constant principle of our Party. This principle affirms that the leadership of our Party is the decisive factor to the success of our cause of national defence and security. Without the leadership of the Party, it is impossible to mobilise the entire political system and the People to participate in building a strong and comprehensive foundation for all-people national defence and security.

The leadership of the Party over the People’s Army, the People’s Public Security Force and the cause of national defence and security always requires planning in military and national defence strategy, the identification of major objectives, tasks, principles and policies in national defence and security in accordance with the situation of each historical period; the determination basic orientations in developing national defence and security capabilities and strengthening the fighting power of the Military and the Public Security Force. At the same time, the Party must have the right policies to lead the successful implementation of the cause of national defence and security.

Third, proactively study, forecast and advise on strategic matters; maintain the strategic initiative; avoid being passive and surprised in any situation. The proactive and correct implementations of studies, analyses and forecasts on global, regional and domestic situations are some of the most important tasks, these activities provide scientific and practical reasoning in a timely manner for the Party and the State conduct planning on national defence, security and foreign policies to maintain strategic initiative and neutralising risks of wars and conflicts. On this basis, we must make early preparation on mentality, guidelines, human and material resources, methods, means, and plans for the early prevention and detection and the interception and elimination of risks and challenges from afar, especially internal factors that can cause adverse alterations, and for dealing with any threats that can undermine the stability of our country and the peaceful working life of our People. At 13th Congress, our Party affirmed: we must continue to study and develop theories on national defence and security, military art, and the art of protecting national security and public order in the new situation. We must also improve the ability to make strategic forecast to maintain strategic initiative to avoid being surprised and passive in any situations. In addition, we must strengthen the work of strategic study, forecast and advising on foreign affairs to prevent passivity in these matters.

Fourth, uphold the pioneering role of the foreign affair branch in creating and maintaing a peaceful and stable environment, mobilising external resources to enhance the position and reputation of our country. Historical practices have proven the effectiveness of the policy of “harmonious diplomacy” that our forefathers used to protect the country from the risks of wars. Inheriting and promoting that tradition and experience, today diplomatic activities (at all levels) are highly valued and considered by the Party and the State as a spearhead, a critical work that plays an essential role in the cause of building and safeguarding the Vietnam Socialist Motherland. Our Party determined that we must develop a comprehensive and modern foreign policy with 3 pillars: Party diplomacy, State diplomacy and People diplomacy. At 13th Congress, the Party clearly identified the role of defence diplomacy is pushing ahead and deepening bilateral relations, especially with strategic, comprehensive partners and other important partners to create conjoining interests and strengthen mutual trust. In addition, we must actively participate in multilateral defence and security mechanism in accordance to the new thinking in national defence. Therefore, Party diplomacy, State diplomacy, People diplomacy and defence and security diplomacy must closely coordinate to fulfill the task of defending the Motherland early from afar.

Fifth, constantly focus on strengthening the country in all aspects, creating material and mentality foundation to proactively defending the Motherland early and from afar. This is the new development of our forefathers’ policy of building “prosperous country, strong military”, which closely combined the “military work” and “agricultural work”, implement “relaxing the People’s strength” and “taking the People as the foundation”. According to this policy, the Party determines that we must proactively develop strong all-people national defence capabilities, force and posture, all-people security posture, and a strong “people’s hearts and minds” posture. In capability building, at 13th Congress, the Party emphasised that: we must strengthen our national defence and security capability; develop and enhance all-people national defence and security posture. In force building, we must build revolutionary, standardised, elite and gradually modernised People’s Army and People’s Security Force, in which a number of services and branches will be prioritised to advance straight to modernity. In addition, the reserve and militia forces must be built with extensive and aquedate number at all regions and maritime zones. Also, we must focus on building forces responsible for maintaining public safety and order in accordance to requirements of the task of maintaining local public order and security. In posture building, we must focus on building and strengthen all-people national defence in close coordination with all-people security posture. In particular, we must attach great importance to “People’s hearts and minds posture”, building strong provincial (or city-level) defence posture in accordance to “Villages defended by village forces, communes defended by communal forces, districts defended by district forces, provinces defended by provincial forces” to create a strong foundation for all-people national defence posture in peace time, ready to be transformed into people warfare posture in wartime.

Defending the Motherland early and from afar is the guiding thought, consistent view and action of our Party, our Army and our People; it is also our grand strategy and plan to defend the country today. Grasping and effectively implementing this strategy is realising the objective of defending the Motherland in peace time without having to wage war. This is also the ultimate strategy to safeguard Vietnam Socialist Motherland.

Associate Professor, Dr. PHAN TRONG HAO, Central Theoretical Council

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