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Vietnam Table of Contents


Chapter 5. National Security


National here Ngo Quyen (A.D. 899-944), who defeated the Chinese fleet in A.D. 938 to end 1,000 years of Chinese domination

IN THE LATE 1980s, Vietnam's leaders continued to define national security in the same broad, all-encompassing terms used by other Marxist-Leninist societies. The basic precept was that any effort to alter the status quo was a threat to national security and was to be dealt with quickly and decisively. The threat could come from ideas as well as from invading armies. According to this doctrine, responsibility for maintaining security rested with all the people and was not simply vested in the police, armed forces, or other coercive elements of the system. Finally, the achievement of national security was regarded as a function of proper communication with, and motivation of, the people by various party and government organs. This approach, a careful mix of compulsion and persuasion, created in communist Vietnam a social discipline that contributed to the success of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP, Viet Nam Cong San Dang) in the North and was extended to the South after unification in 1976.

Data as of December 1987