There cannot be and there has never been an apolitical military, affirmed Major General Nguyen Ba Duong from the Institute for Military Social Sciences and Humanities under the Ministry of National Defence.

In a recent article, Assoc. PhD. Dr. Duong clarified the nature of the viewpoint on “apolitical military” and confirmed that the absolute, direct and comprehensive leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) over the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) is the decisive factor for all of the VPA’s successes.

Duong noted that the concept of “apolitical military” has appeared a long time ago with the aim of separating the army from the leadership of the Communist Party or limit its “intervention” and “involvement” in political fights.

At present, some people suggested that the armed forces must maintain political neutrality and put people’s interests above that of any organisation and individual. They said the armed forces should be loyal only to the Fatherland and the nation, not to any political organisation or party, or the military and police only need to obey the law, and the army should stay out of politics.

Some even go as far as saying that the armed forces in Vietnam need not to be loyal to the CPV.

The nature of the above-mentioned viewpoints is to depoliticise the army and detach it from the leadership of the Party towards negating the leadership of the Communist Party, neutralizing the role of the People’s Army and People’s Police and weakening the combative strength of the armed forces so as to easily realise ill intentions aimed at eliminating socialism and revolutionary achievements the Vietnamese people have made.

Those allegations run counter to Vietnamese law and are completely out of line with the moral standards and dignity of the Vietnamese who always respect the fine values of the national culture and history as well as the revolutionary achievements that they have gained at the cost of their own blood and bone, Duong said.

According to him, the authors of such recommendations ignore the established Marxist-Leninist viewpoints which clarify the scientific foundation of the birth of classes and armed forces. The viewpoints make it clear that there cannot be and there has never been any armed force or military that neither involve in politics nor belong to any class as well as stands neutral and only abides by law.

Duong wrote, “The politics of the army actually is the issue of its class nature, it is the answer for the questions “which class organizes, nurtures, uses and leads that army, which class does the army serve and protect the interest for, and for whom does that army’s fighting goal serve.”

He went on to say that the politics of the proletarian military and people’s armed forces is to realise the political guidelines of the Communist Party and Socialist State as well as to serve the Party, country and people, fighting for national independence and socialism as well as a free, happy life free from want for the people. The new-style army of the working class is founded, organised, educated and trained by the Communist Party, the vanguard of the working class.

In a country with one-party rule, the military not only abides by the Constitution and law but also obeys the leadership of the Party and strictly follows the Party’s political platform, guidelines and policies.

Therefore, maintaining and enhancing the absolute, direct and comprehensive leadership of the Party as well as improving the efficiency of the State’s concentrated and unified management of the State are prerequisite conditions for the army to successfully fulfill its entrusted political tasks, he noted.

Dismissing the Party’s leadership and neglecting the building of the army in terms of politics will inevitably make the military lose political orientation, go away from the nature of the working class, and give up its fighting objectives and ideals for national independence and socialism.

In humanity’s history, the founding of the military always closely associates with the birth of the State and war.

The military, in its nature, is the armed tool of a class, a state and a political party that nurture and use it to conduct their armed struggles and realise their political goals.

Under a capitalist regime, the army is the armed tool of the bourgeoisie class and its task is protecting the capitalist state and the interests of the bourgeoisie.

In developed capitalist countries like the UK, the US and France, the military is used not only to safeguard national independence and sovereignty and the nation, but also for other activities such as invasion, overthrowing and intervention in other countries with the political aim of erecting pro-Western governments.

It can be seen in the world history that the armies of capitalist countries are never “politically neutral”. In countries with multi-party politics, any political party in power always tries their best to control and use the military to protect its own interests.

A bloody lesson from the collapse of the socialist regime in the Soviet Union and East European countries is that in any circumstance, the Communist Party must not drop the Marxist-Leninist principle of building a politically strong military, nor commit the mistake of abolishing the leadership of the Party over the military and letting its army be “depoliticised” and “neutralised”.

Major General Nguyen Ba Duong stressed that the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) was organised, trained and led by the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh. It came from the people, fights for the people and bears the nature of the working class as well as deep people-ness and nation-ness. It is always a sharp armed tool of the Party, State and people.

The VPA’s 70-year history of development attests to a historic fact that the leadership of the Party is the decisive factor for the growth and various victories of the army over the past seven decades.

The VPA now serves as the key force to, together with the entire nation, firmly safeguard national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity; protect the Party, State, people and the socialist regime; maintain peace, political stability; ensure national security, social order and safety; and actively prevent and defeat all sabotage schemes and actions of hostile forces.

As conclusion, Duong quoted President Ho Chi Minh as saying that “Our army has unbeatable strength as it is a people’s army built and led and educated by the Communist Party of Vietnam”.-VNA