Thursday, August 13, 2020, 09:15 (GMT+7)

Thursday, July 09, 2020, 06:51 (GMT+7)
Several remarks about the Article X of the Draft Political Report for submission to the 13th National Party Congress

The Article X, which is entitled “Strengthening national defence and security and firmly protecting the Socialist Homeland of Vietnam,” refers to the Homeland protection as a strategic task of the Vietnamese revolution, thereby holding a very important position in the Draft Political Report. It includes 3 major issues on strengthening national defence and security and defending the Homeland, namely goals, tasks, and measures. In this piece of writing, we would like to comment on the contents of the Article X.

First of all, according to the Draft Report, national defence and security consolidation is aimed at firmly protecting the Socialist Homeland of Vietnam, with emphasis placed on “defending national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, the Party, the State, the people, the socialist regime, and the country’s culture and interests” as the centrepiece. This is a central part of the goals of national defence and security consolidation; therefore, it is essential to include this content in the Draft Report so that the entire Party, Military and people would be more fully and acutely aware of it and raise their responsibility for achieving it. To that end, the Draft Report once again advocates “bringing into fullest play the synergy of the whole nation and political system combined with the strength of the times and taking advantage of support from the international community.” This acts as a goal and a measure at the same time for national defence and security consolidation and the Homeland protection. This goal of national defence and security consolidation has become a fundamental viewpoint of our Party; hence, the Draft Report includes this content in itself, adding that our Party and State consolidate and enhance the strength of national defence and security for self-defence and national protection only and that Vietnam will not prioritise or threaten the use of force towards any country. More than that, our country will make significant contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world. When our national defence is strong enough, the country’s contributions to maintaining peace in the world will become useful or vice versa.

In addition, the Draft Report places emphasis on another goal of national defence and security consolidation and the Homeland protection, which is to “maintain peace, political stability, national security, and human security, build a disciplined, safe, healthy society, and develop the country towards socialism.” Human security as a new point here is proper and very necessary. The reason is that protection must be attached to development or vice versa, which is a valuable lesson of the Vietnamese revolution and an everlasting rule of our nation. The goal of national defence is to maintain peace and stability as the basis for developing the country. In return, rapid, sustainable national development will help firmly protect our country. That is a dialectical relationship. At the same time, according to the Draft Report, developing Vietnam towards socialism is necessary, which is a matter of principle. In addition to establishing the goal of maintaining “national security,” the Draft Report mentions “human security.” Man is the centrepiece of all activities and serves as the goal and motivation of national development, which proves the nature of socialism in our country and the “by the people and for the people” policy of our Party and State. It is clear to see from the Draft Report that the goals of national defence and security consolidation and Homeland protection are mentioned quite comprehensively and fundamentally. However, should we take “cyber security” into consideration? Or should we include this phrase in the Draft Report? In fact, the 4th industrial revolution has been profoundly impacting on our country and the world. The issue on ensuring “cyber security” is very important and will directly impact on national defence, security and protection both negatively and positively. Without “cyber security,” the country’s economic, political and cultural security will be impacted negatively. Fully aware of the importance of “cyber security,” in early 2020, our Government promulgated the Decree 15/2020/NĐ-CP on penalties for administrative violations against regulations on postal services, telecommunications, radio frequencies, information technology and electronic transactions.” Hence, we should include “cyber security” in the Article X of the Draft Political Report.

The tasks and measures of national defence and security consolidation and the Homeland protection make up the majority of the Article X. In this regard, major issues are clearly presented. More specifically, the Draft Report continues to affirm that consolidating national defence and security and firmly protecting the Homeland represent a central, routine task of the entire Party, State, political system and people, with the armed forces including the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security playing a core role. To satisfy those requirements, it is essential to accelerate the building of revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern People’s Army and People’s Public Security in which a number of services, corps, and forces will move forward to modernity. According to the 12th National Party Congress, “priority will be given to modernising several services, corps and forces.” However, the Draft Report of the upcoming National Party Congress states that those services, corps and forces will move forward to modernity. That reflects the qualitative development of the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security. Moreover, the Draft Report advocates “resolutely, persistently fighting to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity” and determinedly thwart all plots and artifices from the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy. Simultaneously, consideration is given to consolidating national defence and security, building the all-people national defence and the people’s security, and combining the building of all-people national defence posture with that of the people’s security posture and “the people’s hearts and minds.” Things mentioned above are all major contents; in other words, they are our Party’s basic, consistent viewpoints on the Homeland protection which have been confirmed in many previous National Party Congresses. Thus, those contents should be included in the Draft Report so that the whole Party, Military and people would continue to grasp and realise. Similarly, the Draft Report affirms the close, effective combination of the two strategic tasks, namely national construction and protection. There is a new development in this content. More specifically, that combination is mentioned in strategies for socio-economic development, in the country’s strategies, such as National Defence, Security, and Diplomacy, and in each task, programme, and plan. In other words, that combination must be concretised in every strategy, at any time, anywhere.

In order to consolidate national defence and security and firmly protect the Homeland, according to the Draft Report, “there should be mechanisms for mobilising local and social resources to build the potential of national defence and security.” Mechanisms are always indispensable. In the past, our Party only advocated mobilising resources; however, it now clearly states that there should be mechanisms for mobilising resources, which is entirely correct and necessary. To effectively mobilise resources for national defence and security, sound guidelines are not enough; there should be proper mechanisms. Over the years, we have fairly effectively mobilised resources from localities and sectors, but social resources have been still limited. Meanwhile, social resources have been increasingly enormous due to the country’s development. However, we all know that those are just internal resources. So, should we mention the exploitation of external resources for our national defence and security when our country is more deeply and widely integrating into the world? We suggest that in the Draft Report, there should be a combination of internal and external resources, internal resources should play a central role, and external resources act as an important part.

To consolidate national defence and security, we must develop national defence and security industry. Thus, according to the Draft Report, Vietnam should develop a “self-reliant, modern, and dual-use national defence and security industry.” In this regard, there is a new point of utmost importance, which is “self-reliance” and “modernity.” This is a development in our Party’s ideology and theory. In the previous National Party Congresses, particularly the 12th one, for many reasons, our Party only mentioned the development of a dual-use national defence and security industry. However, grounded on the global situation and the country’s practical conditions, the Draft Report of this Congress supplements “self-reliance” and “modernity” to ensure the comprehensiveness and proactiveness of the guidelines for developing our national defence and security industry.

It is a good thing that finally in 2018, we completed and issued national strategies for defence and security to meet the requirements set by the Homeland protection. Hence, the Draft Report states that it is important to comprehensively and synchronously implement those strategies as they are a coherent whole and directly impact on the outcome of the Homeland protection. Last but not least, the Draft Report underlines the Party’s absolute, direct leadership over and the State’s uniformed management of national defence and security and the Homeland protection, particularly the People’s Army and the People’s Public Security. This is a matter of principle and a determinant to the victory of the Homeland defence in the new situation.

To conclude, the Article X of the Draft Political Report refers to national defence and security consolidation and the Homeland protection quite comprehensively and sufficiently. It lays stress on important contents relating to the goals, tasks, and measures. Several major contents are our Party’s consistent viewpoints and combined with new ones. It correctly assesses the domestic and international situation and clarifies our Party’s basic viewpoints on national defence and security and the Homeland protection. Nevertheless, we should take recommendations on a number of issues mentioned above into consideration.

Maj. Gen. NGUYEN MANH HUNG, Sr. Col. NGUYEN VAN THANH*, PhD

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* The Infantry Officer College No.1

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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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