Monday, August 06, 2018, 16:16 (GMT+7)
The development of the Party’s thought on Homeland protection in Vietnam’s National Defence Strategy

To meet the requirements for Homeland safeguarding, our Party and State have focused their leadership and direction on building and issuing the Vietnam’s National Defence Strategy (NDS). This is an important document that reflects the development of the Party’s thought on Homeland protection and should be seriously grasped and implemented.

Grounded on the Party’s line on Homeland protection and the analysis of the situation of the country, the region and the world, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence have studied, developed and submitted the NDS to the Politburo for approval. This not only expresses the Party’s acute intelligence and strategic vision on national defence but also represents a breakthrough in its thought and implementation of the Homeland protection task in the context of the country’s deep and wide international integration. This is the first time we have had a complete NDS in the system of legal normative documents on national defence, providing a solid legal foundation for leading, directing, operating and successfully fulfilling the military and defence tasks in the new condition. It is worth noting that at present, the regional and global situation has had complex, unpredictable developments; many countries worldwide, particularly major powers have been formulating and adjusting their own national security strategy. Meanwhile, the defence situations and the traditional and non-traditional security challenges to our country have been on the rise, particularly hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy and their plots to enhance “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. Thus, the birth of the NDS becomes more important, and its new developments should be carefully studied for the successful implementation.

First, it is necessary to be more fully aware of the NDS’ position and role and the relationship between the NDS and the Strategy to defend the Homeland. For many years, Vietnamese defence experts have raised questions: Did we have a NDS? If we had it, when was it released? And there have been various answers to these questions. Even some believed that Vietnam had never announced any NDS. However, in fact, although the NDS has not presented in the form of a document yet, its contents have been presented in resolutions and directives by the Party and the CMC on the military and defence tasks and concretized into guidelines and national strategic plans. Thanks to that, our Party and State have led our country to great victories and achievements in defence missions in each revolutionary period, even in both the wars for national liberation and our cause of national protection. Therefore, the NDS must be grasped and implemented comprehensively and ensured its historical, objective and scientific character. Most notably, it is important to fully aware of the position, role, importance and basic contents of the Strategy and thoroughly understand that national defence acts as the cause of defending the country by the strength of the whole nation with the inheritance and development of national traditions, valuable lessons learnt from the country’s resistance wars, and defence and military quintessence of the world.

Besides, it is necessary to fully understand that the NDS is a strategy to defence the country by the synergy, to protect the Homeland from a far, to be based on the Party’s sound political guidelines as the determinant, the defence power as the key, the military power as the feature, and the armed forces as the core. On such basis, it is important to clarify the necessity to strengthen national defence regularly, carefully, synchronously in peace time in order to achieve the objectives of maintaining peace, stability, and favourable condition for the country’s rapid, sustainable development. In this regard, the principal objective is to prevent, repel and defeat every plot and act of sabotage in the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy; to maintain readiness to defeat all forms of war of aggression (if occurred), safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, protect the Party, the State, the people and the socialist regime; to take part in peacekeeping operations in the region and the world. Moreover, it is vital to comprehend that the nature of Vietnam’s national defence is the all-people national defence based on the combined strength of forces and political, economic, cultural, social, defence, security and diplomatic fields. Thus, in addition to being fully aware of the role and position of the NDS, it is important to put the NDS in the relationship with strategies for other fields and consider it as the core element in the Strategy to defend the Homeland.

Second, grasping and concretizing the basic connotation of the NDS into military and defence objectives and missions in the new situation. This is a matter of utmost importance to the effectiveness of translating the Party’s guidelines on Homeland protection into life. Based on the guidelines on Homeland protection presented in the Party’s resolutions and directives, particularly the Resolutions of the 12th National Party Congress and the 11th Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum as well as the analysis of the situation of the country, the region and the world, the NDS has made a forecast about strategic situations and defence challenges to the country in the current situation.  At the same time, it has concretized core contents of the Strategy to defend the Homeland into defence area in accordance with the particularities and requirements of Vietnam’s national defence mission in the new era.

Concerning the viewpoint, the NDS continues to confirm and concretize the viewpoint on maintaining the Party’s absolute, direct leadership over the cause of national defence; on promoting internal strength as the determinant; on closely combining elements to create the synergy for Homeland protection. It advocates persistently maintaining the guidelines on the all-people national defence and people’s warfare in combination with  the acceleration of the diplomatic policy of openness, multilateralization, diversification, and both cooperation and struggle; proactively preventing and repelling the risks of conflict and war to defend the Homeland from afar; resolutely defeating every war of aggression by employing the synergy and taking the people’s armed forces as the core, avoiding letting the country fall into strategic passivity.

The NDS upholds the motto of “pitting the unchangeable against the changeable” with the national interests as the unchangeable. At the same time, it advocates “persistently settling disputes and differences by peaceful means, on the basis of international law” as the fundamental method of struggle in defence field, closely combining armed struggle with unarmed struggle, and actively preparing the country’s defence power to readily defeat every war of aggression on any scale and in any form.

Regarding tasks and solutions, the NDS has elaborated the Party’s guidelines on the all-people national defence and defence struggle. It has emphasized the building of the Party, the State and the “people’s hearts and minds posture” associated with the consolidation of defence and security power. At the same time, it has advocated continuously building strong people’s armed forces, developing defence industry and military science and art, and being active in defence international integration and diplomacy. These are the core elements of the NDS which should be thoroughly studied and grasped theoretically and practically as the basis for the implementation. Notably, when the situation of the region and the world always changes rapidly and unpredictably, the grasp and implementation of the Strategy must be in line with the motto of “pitting the unchangeable against the changeable” and the strategic objective of national independence and socialism.

Third, correctly identifying the main foundations for directing the Military Strategy and the arts of campaign and tactics, and successfully fulfilling the task of Homeland protection. The system of strategies in general, the NDS in particularly, at any time and in any form, all carry out the basic function to concretize the Party’s guidelines and direct the implementation. To fulfil that function, theoretically, the NDS has identified the prime foundations for directing, supplementing and perfecting the system of fundamental theories on national defence to serve the armed forces’ training and combat readiness tasks as well as the work of defence and security education for objects. Practically, the NDS is the legal document to direct, command and operate the defence mission, the building of the all-people national defence, the defence struggle and the coordination between defence and security, diplomacy, politics, economy, culture and society in the cause of national protection. In this regard, the main foundations for directing the Military Strategy are the most important.

Accordingly, the NDS has focused on directing the Military Strategy to provide forecasts about forms of future warfare and identify the opponents, the method to conduct the war, the method of operations and types of strategic operations in the wars to defend the Homeland. At the same time, it has directed the organization, use and disposition of forces nationwide to form the posture of strategic operation with importance attached to improving the military power whose core must be the strength of the People’s Army, in order to create the deterrent and win victories in defence and military situations (if occurred).

Besides, the NDS has directed matters of campaign and tactics in the war to defend the Homeland. Particularly, it has directed the study on types of campaigns and forms of new tactics, the supplementation and development of the methods for campaign-level operations and tactics in a hi-tech war. It has also directed the building of defence forces and people’s armed forces, particularly the building of the People’s Army in political, organizational, equipment and training terms in accordance with new condition for operations.

To conclude, the NDS has not only included fundamental, comprehensive theoretical issues but also directed the cause of national defence. That represents both the objectives of the NDS and the central task of the entire Party, military and people in the cause of Homeland protection. Therefore, fully understanding the NDS, we should adopt synchronous, proper measures to implement the NDS, contributing to developing the Party’s theory on the Homeland protection in the current era.

Lt. Gen. Assoc. Prof. Dr Tran Thai Binh

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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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