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Thursday, August 17, 2017, 16:12 (GMT+7)
Positions of the Vietnamese Communist Party on proactively preventing and eradicating disadvantageous elements to national defence

Given the danger of both internal and external disadvantageous elements to national defence, the 12th National Party Congress has advocated promoting preventive measures to early identify and eradicate elements which potentially cause instability. This represents a new, fundamental content of Resolution of the 12 National Party Congress, which needs to be perceived and implemented.

Proactive prevention to early eliminate disadvantageous factors which are likely to cause sociopolitical instability in our country is a major breakthrough in our Party’s thought and realization of the task of national defence. In fact, it results from the Party’s development and awareness of the theory of protecting the Fatherland far ahead – safeguarding the country before it is in grave peril – on the basis of objective, scientific assessment of international, regional, and national situations in the context of increasingly deep and wide globalization and international integration. Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress emphasizes the need of “proactive prevention, early identification, and eradication of disadvantageous elements, especially the internal ones that are likely to cause sudden changes to national building and defence. The Party’s position clearly reflects the creative application of national experience and tradition to national defence in the new era.

A new point of our Party’s aforementioned position is that it mentions the mission of safeguarding the Fatherland in a more general, deeper, and more direct manner. If previous congresses mentioned the disadvantageous elements to defence and security, they only confined to propaganda and education to raise public awareness and responsibility. However, at the 12th National Party Congress, our Party clearly indicated the need for proactive prevention, early identification, and eradication of those elements to keep the country from passivity and unexpectedness in any situations. This is also the first time this issue has been clearly defined in connotation terms in the Party’s documents. The key point we need to perceive fully is that our Party emphasizes the internal elements – “peace at home and peace abroad.” This is of significant importance, demonstrating not only our Party’s sensible thought and strategic vision, but its scientism and practicality. On such a basis, there should be sound responses and measures to prevent and eliminate factors which potentially lead to disadvantage, particularly the internal ones, to keep the country from passivity and unexpectedness. Among the internal disadvantageous elements, special attention should be paid to the ones which potentially cause unexpectedness. If there were not any studies to accurately anticipate this type of elements, we would not be able to make timely and effective responses. Against the backdrop of our country’s increasingly deep and wide integration in the regional and global environments, which features both opportunities and challenges, especially the drastic opposition of hostile forces, the thorough grasp and good realization of this position are of significant importance in both theoretical and practical terms.

Over the past few years, the prevention and eradication of disadvantageous elements to defence and security have drawn our Party and State’s special attention aimed to create sustainable stability for our nation. Accordingly, apart from sound prediction of regional and international factors affecting Vietnam’s defence and security, we have identified relatively correct several risks to the stability of our country, including the risks of further falling behind other countries in economic terms, “self-evolution” and “self-transformation,” growing gap between the rich and the poor, etc., to make timely responses and ensure peace at home and abroad.

Apart from the aforementioned achievements, people’s perception at some levels, branches, and localities of the discovery and prevention of disadvantageous elements to national defence has shown limitations, particularly the manifestation of subjectivity. Some even consider it as the specific responsibility of the armed forces. Coordination and cooperation between various levels, branches, and forces on situation assessment and early discovery of potential seeds at grassroots level are insufficient, asynchronous, and so forth. Those issues would create unforeseeable risks to the stability of our nation if they could not be timely dealt with. Therefore, proactive prevention and early detection and eradication of potentially disadvantageous factors to national stability should be grasped and strictly implemented at all levels, branches, forces, and the whole people by means of many synchronous, practical solutions.

First of all, enhancing people’s awareness of the proactive prevention and early discovery and eradication of disadvantageous elements which potentially lead to sudden changes. This constitutes a difficult question since the disadvantageous factors are not fully exposed right from the beginning, and easy to detect, but are accumulated through consecutive processes. In fact, many newly emerged problems are thought to be simple. However, if they were not timely addressed, they would gradually pile up and become the source of contradiction and conflict in societies. Consequently, promoting education to raise the awareness at all levels, branches, localities, and of the whole people of this task represents a vital content. It is necessary to educate and propagandize every cadre, party member, and the whole society about the Party’s positions and guidelines on national defence, especially ideas of the Strategy to Safeguard the Fatherland. These ideas are reflected first and foremost in the all-people national defence and proactiveness in “defending the nation right in peacetime.” On such a basis, there is a need to clearly identify the nature and level of risks, and the root and relationship between those disadvantageous factors and national defence, while clearly defining the roles, responsibility, and need of joint participation in prevention, early detection and eradication of every seed and risk to social instability, especially factors leading to antagonistic contradictions, chaos, riots, armed conflicts, wars of aggression, and so on.

In light of current complex developments, if we lost vigilance, had manifestations of indifference, and lacked determination in the struggle against the seeds of sudden changes part of the hostile forces’ plots to undermine our nation, we would have to suffer unforeseeable consequences. Thus, educational work, on the one hand, must contribute to raising the determination and responsibility of  levels, branches, forces, and the whole people for implementing this important task. On the other hand, it has to help to surmount the conception that national defence is only committed to responding to wars, and pays little attention to improving people’s vigilance of hostile forces’ plots to create instability in each locality and nationwide, bringing about considerable changes in both perception and action to proactively prevent, early discover, and effectively eliminate disadvantageous factors right from local and grassroots levels.

Second, attaching importance to the maintenance of national stability to lay the foundation for national building and defence. In essence, this is the preparation and exploitation of internal factors in all fields of social life to, together with other elements, generate a source of synthesized, core strength to successfully fulfill the task of national defence in the new era. Consequently, apart from building work, prevention and early identification and eradication of disadvantageous elements in various realms must ensure comprehensiveness and concentration, as well as the importance of improving quality, subjectivity, and scientism aimed to attain the utmost goal of preserving national stability from inside the country.

Theory and practice have proved that, for a developing country with deep and wide international integration, positive and negative effects are often intertwined. This is a matter of subjectivity and immanence of any nations, in which Vietnam is not an exception. Nevertheless, as a result of both subjective and objective causes, or even local interests, shortcomings smouldering for long periods of time have aroused public concern and been exploited by hostile forces, making them become disadvantageous factors to the revolution. In general, it can be said that new complex “problems,” which emerged from the development process and were identified in resolutions of the 8th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (Tenure VIII) and the 12th Party National Congress, are totally correct. The most important thing is how to bring into play the positive factors while minimizing the negative ones during the integration and development process. This will require strengthening the Party’s leadership and state management over the whole society. Notably, special attention should be paid to the building of a law-governed state machinery, which is truly pure and strong, closely attached to the people and for the people, and possess increasingly perfect capabilities of macro management. At present, besides promoting economic development and social security, the most urgent tasks are to improve the effectiveness of the struggle against corruption and lavishment, and speed up administrative reform to create a transparent environment conducive to national development. At the same time, it is necessary to proactively struggle against wrong, hostile concepts and schemes to take advantage of loopholes and weaknesses in the management of authorities at all levels to sow suspicion and incite the idea of opposition aimed to implement the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy. Furthermore, there is a need to regularly perceive and anticipate ideological trends among cadres, party members, and the whole people, especially the young generation, to timely prevent and well resolve newly emerged problems.

Third, broadening diplomacy, particularly defence diplomacy; and proactively discovering and effectively dealing with external disadvantageous elements to national defence. To successfully fulfill this task, we have to continue to grasp and realize diplomatic guidelines and policies of the Party and Central Military Committee (CMC) in a correct, flexible, and creative manner. More importantly, international integration and defence diplomacy should be considered as strategic directions and expedients to firmly defend the Fatherland far ahead. Given the complex developments of current situation, defence diplomacy must be one of the most efficient and effective tools for early detection and optimal resolutions to external disadvantageous factors with a view to preserving a peaceful environment conducive for national building and defence. First of all, great importance should be attached to well performing strategic studies and anticipation, especially the general and enduring ones regarding major powers, which have a direct influence in the world, our region, and country. Throughout the research process, it is important to focus on new moves, their causes, development trends, and potential impacts on our national defence. There should be plans and measures to nip these impacts in the bud. At the same time, it is essential to take the initiative in studying and recognizing risks, armed and unarmed conflicts, and new types of conflict and warfare in the region and beyond, aimed to guide content reform and training methodologies, timely responding to potential situations. Continuing to deepen cooperation on trust building and preventive diplomacy while developing a strong defence posture in key areas in the border zones, at sea, and in islands so as to early detect and timely cope with emerged situations, eliminate factors that potentially lead to sudden changes, and resolutely safeguard our sovereignty over national borders, waters, islands, and space through appropriate measures.

Senior Colonel Ta Quang Chuyen

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