Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 10:07 (GMT+7)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 08:15 (GMT+7)
Upholding “determination to fight and determination to win” spirit of 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising in the current cause of defending the Homeland

50 years sharp ago, on the eve of 1968 Mau Than lunar new year, under the leadership of the Party, headed by President Ho Chi Minh, our armed forces and people launched the General Offensive and Uprising (also known as the Tet Offensive) across the South battlefield, with Saigon, Gia Dinh, Da Nang, and Hue as core battlefields, directly attacking the enemy’s military bases and nerve centres to the US ruling elite and South Vietnam puppet government’s astonishment. This served as the boldest, fiercest, largest-scale, and most influential offensive ever up to that point in our resistance war against the American imperialists. For the first time ever, following many years of invading Vietnam, the US and South Vietnam government’s urban defensive system in its entirety was attacked, and the foe’s rear bases were disrupted. In particular, seizing 25-day-and-night control of Hue city truly bore out the strength of three-category armed forces, contributing greatly to the victory of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising by southern heroic military and people.

In this strategic offensive, we not merely annihilated the enemy’s troops and war materiel, brought “local war” strategy to failure, but defeated the American imperialists’ will of aggression, leading them to realize that it was impossible to win by using expeditionary forces in the Vietnam War. The victory forced the American imperialists to make concessions and enter into the conference table on sufferance in Paris, thereby creating a turning point in the anti-American resistance war. In addition, the triumph of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising also provided a significant foundation and momentum for the entire Party, people and Army to unanimously implement the strategic policy “driving the Americans away, then toppling the puppet government” with a view to complete liberation of the South and resultant national reunification as anticipated by the whole peoples and beloved Uncle Ho “There is no happier spring than the time when the North and the South are reunited”. The resounding victory resulted from multiple elements with determination to fight and determination to win spirit by the entire Vietnamese peoples under the leadership of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh coming first as evidenced by the Party’s clear-sighted leadership line and creative strategic directions on the General Offensive and Uprising in the face of overwhelming odds.

Since mid-1965, facing the inevitable failure of “special war” strategy, the American imperialists passively shifted to the “local war” strategy, widely deployed expeditionary and allied troops directly to the Southern battlefield while launching Operation Rolling Thunder with air and naval forces on the North Vietnam. Against this backdrop, our Party advocated “encouraging the nationwide forces to be determined to defeat the American war of aggression in any circumstances”. In particular, by late 1967, when battlefield complexion and international situation (pertaining to the Vietnam war) had seen rapid favourable developments to the Vietnamese revolution, our Party decided to “...encourage maximum efforts by the entire Party, military and people to develop our revolution to the fullest...for the sake of a decisive victory”. This demonstrated our Party’s clear-sighted and bold strategic thinking and vision for leading, directing and bringing anti-American revolutionary war and people’s war in the South to a new stage of development. The “determination to fight and determination to win” spirit by our armed forces and people were profoundly expressed in the Letter in celebration of New Year 1968 by beloved Uncle Ho “North and South, rushing heroically together, shall smite the American invaders. Go forward! Certain victory is ours”. That determination of steel not merely incentivized the great rear in the North to fervently provide physical and material support for the South fronts, but encouraged armed forces and people in the southern front line to thoroughly grasp strategic offensive guideline; to combine offensive with uprising and military struggle with political struggle; to attack the enemy on various combat scale throughout three strategic regions. The determination to triumph over the American aggressors was concretized by the entire Party, military and people through accurate analysis and evaluation of situations and force comparison; seizure of opportunities, elaborate timing, and surprising and bold offensive targets for the purpose of gaining the strategic victory of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising which served as a brilliant landmark in the national anti-American resistance war. This victory marked a pivotal stage in the development of Vietnamese military theory and art and offered various invaluable experience and lessons in which the lesson on determination to fight and determination to win spirit remains intact nowadays amongst the entire Party, military and people.

General Ngo Xuan Lich delivers speech at the forum on the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising

In the coming years, regional and global situations will be incrementally characterized by unpredictable and complicated developments, latent instability, and growing territorial, sea, and island disputes in the East Sea impacting greatly on the cause of building and defending the Homeland by our people. Domestic situation has seen stable sociopolitical climate, robust economic growth, consolidated defence and security, expanded foreign relations, and Vietnamese enhanced status and prestige. Yet, national economy still experiences some difficulties; sociopolitical situation in some of key, remote, boundary, and island areas still witnesses potential instability; hostile and reactionary forces step up sabotage activities via strategies of “peaceful evolution” and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. Against this backdrop, it necessitates the entire Party, people and Army upholding a sense of unity, proactively and accurately evaluating situations, and applying precious lessons of national resistance wars, particularly the lesson on determination to fight and determination to win spirit of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising to the cause of building and defending the Homeland with a focus on key measures as follows.

First, the Party’s leadership line should be firmly grasped and creatively applied to the successful implementation of the cause of building and safeguarding the Homeland in the new period. As a source of national inner strength and triumphal willpower and confidence and aspiration for peace, national independence and reunification by our armed forces and people, the Party’s clear-sighted leadership line and insightful strategic direction serves as a determinant to the victories of the national anti-American resistance war in general, and the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising in particular. The sound guidelines enabled the Party to arouse and bring into full play the national determination to fight and determination to win spirit as well as the strength of the North and South regions to triumph over the enemy.

In order to apply the aforementioned lesson to the cause of defending the Homeland in the new conditions, it is essential to firmly grasp and successfully carry out the Party line, and steadfastly pursue the goal of national independence and socialism with a focus on the Party’s directives and resolutions, especially Resolutions of the 12th National Party Congress and the 8th Plenum of the Central Party Committee (11th tenure) on strategy for safeguarding the Homeland in the new situation as a basis for closely combining socioeconomic, cultural, defence, security and diplomatic missions; ceaselessly promoting military power and potential; opportunely dealing with all contingencies in order for the Homeland not to be put in passivity strategically. Defending the Homeland is a routine and long-term cause by the entire Party, military and people with armed forces as the core. Amidst extensive international integration, while fostering constant vigilance, we must be fully aware of partners of cooperation and objects of struggle; closely combine military activities with security and diplomatic ones for the sake of the ultimate objective of national interests. During the implementation process, it is necessary to fully comprehend the Party’s guidelines on defending the Homeland from afar, resolutely safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and maintaining a stable and peaceful environment for national development.

Second, great importance is attached to accurate situational analysis and assessment for the purpose of ensuring strategic proactiveness and effectively dealing with all contingencies. In the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising, our Party conducted accurate research and assessment of situations and force comparisons to work out the sound strategic guidelines for the sake of strategic proactiveness, thereby launching an accurate, bold, and surprising offensive, and achieving the victory. The realities has shown that the comprehension of situation as well as the foe’s strengths and fatal weaknesses and the law of war enabled our Party to bring into full play the power of people’s war in specific context of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising for the sake of strategic objectives, thereby generating a turning point in the national anti-American resistance war.

In response to the new requirements for the current cause of Homeland protection, it is vital to properly execute the work of situation research, evaluation and prediction with direct respect to national defence and security as a basis for proactively giving counsels and recommendations to the Party and the State on guidelines and strategy for Homeland protection while devising flexible countermeasures to adequately deal with complex and touchy issues in the international relations; simultaneously, it is pivotal to make proactive preparations pertaining to combat forces and plans so as to firmly defend national independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity under any circumstances. Armywide offices and units, especially strategy-level offices, need to closely cooperate with other relevant branches, sectors, forces, etc particularly security and diplomatic forces in properly executing this mission which requires a close coordination in grasping situations and effective countermeasures to foil artifices and stratagems of “peaceful evolution” by reactionary and hostile forces and acts of violating national territorial sovereignty.

Third, inheriting the quintessence of military art of people’s war in building strong all-people defence. This demonstrated our Party’s unique and creative application of military art of people’s war to the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising as evidenced by a close combination of military and political struggle and diplomatic struggle; attacking the enemy on all three fronts (political, military, and agitation and propaganda work amongst the enemy troops) in three strategic regions (mountainous, rural and low-lying, and urban ones). The victory also manifested the art of the buildup and employment of the three-category armed forces (made up of regular troops, local troops and militia-guerilla forces), and the art of combining the offensive of regular forces with the uprising of the masses as well as the blend of secrecy, surprise and boldness with surprise assaults on the enemy’s strongholds on the basis of widespread and strong people’s war posture.

At present, we should continue to creatively apply the lesson of military art of people’s war to the cause of building strong all-people national defence, contributing to firmly protecting the Homeland of socialist Vietnam in the new situation. Accordingly, implemented by the whole people, the building of all-people national defence with people’s armed force as the core must be based upon the comprehension of the Party’s military- defence line and viewpoints and the State’s uniform direction and governance alongside the motto comprehensively strong; focalized in strategic areas; meeting defence-security requirements and missions in peacetime; precluding threats of war and conflicts and defeating wars of aggression in any shape or form. To this end, in addition to promoting the efficiency of defence-related state governance, it is vital to strengthen the work of defence and security education for the whole people, especially key cadres at all levels, thereby creating profound transformation in awareness and sense of responsibility towards the task of Homeland protection amongst cadres, party members and people. Offices and units within the Ministry of National Defence must regularly cooperate with other ministries, and central and local branches and sectors in actively building strong all-people national defence posture in alignment with people’s security posture and widespread provincial and municipal defensive areas under Resolution No. 28-NQ/TW, dated 22-9-2008 by the Politburo (10th tenure); Decree No. 152/2007/NĐ-CP by the Vietnamese Government on provincial defensive areas and Decree No. 02/2016/NĐ-CP by the Vietnamese Government on amending and supplementing Decree No. 152/2007/NĐ-CP with emphasis placed on “people’s hearts and minds” posture at grassroots level as a basis for constructing all-people national defence and people’s security postures.

Fourth, building strong people’s armed forces, particularly constructing “revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modernized people’s army with its core role in implementing the task of Homeland protection. Fully aware of the significance of armed forces in revolutionary war, our Party and President Ho Chi Minh paid due attention to building three-category armed forces, particularly increasingly powerful regular force. Subsequently, by late 1967, the strength of regular force throughout the South increased up to 278,000 troops who were organized into 190 combat battalions and deployed secretly across the battlefields. This acted as a determinant to the victory of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising and was indicative of our Party’s insightful strategic vision and direction on building people’s armed forces in the struggle for national liberation. This venerable lesson needs to be continuously applied to build powerful three-category armed forces with emphasis devoted to building “strong and widespread” militia and self-defence forces and massive reserve force. In particular, it is necessary to concentrate on constructing “revolutionary, regular, elite, and gradually modernized people’s army with priorities given to modernizing some of its forces pursuant to Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress. It is a must to build the Army politically, ideologically, and organizationally strong with enhanced overall strength and combativeness and its core role in carrying out the mission of Homeland safeguarding. To this end, it is crucial to booster the work of political and ideological education in line with the Project “Innovating the work of political and ideological education in military units in the new stage”; build strong and pure Military Party Organization in accord with Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (11th and 12th tenures) on Party building and rectification in alignment with the execution of Directive No. 05-CT/TW by the Politburo and Directive No. 87-CT/QUTW by the Standing Board of the Central Military Commission on accelerating the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle” and the Campaign “promoting traditions, devoting talents, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers”. The strict implementation of those significant matters enables the Army to take a firm grip on its nature of working class, steadfastly pursue the goal of national independence and socialism, retain absolute loyalty to the Homeland, the Party, the State and people, and willingly undertake and accomplish all assigned tasks. Armywide offices and units need to thoroughly grasp and stringently implement directions and resolutions by the Central Military Commission and Ministry of National Defence, especially Resolution of the 10th Congress of Military Party Organization while paying due attention to renovating and improving the quality of the works of logistics, technique, defence industry and diplomatic defence, etc with emphasis placed on enhancing the quality of wide-ranging training and combined arms drills.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising is a session of widespread political meeting within the entire Party, military and people aimed at reflecting on heroic historical events, “determination to fight and determination to win” spirits and aspiration for peace, national independence and reunification in the national anti-American resistance war. In addition, it enables us to better understand realistic and historical values and precious lessons and experiences drawn from the realities in order to apply to the cause of Homeland building and safeguarding in the new situation.

General Ngo Xuan Lich, Member of the Politburo, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Minister of National Defence

Your Comment (0)

New development of Vietnam’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations
By 2017, Vietnam has sent 20 military officers to peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and Republic of South Sudan, including a female officer. Vietnamese officers have been highly appreciated by the UNOP for their professional qualifications, ability to organize independent work and group coordination, and compliance with regulations in relation to relevant agencies and organizations and local people.
Weather

City