Since its birth on October 25, 1945, the defense intelligence sector has always accompanied the nation in both wartime and peacetime. Over the past 75 years, the sector has achieved a large number of great victories, contributing significantly to the past national liberation wars against foreign invaders and the current national construction and defense cause.

Back to the time when the sector was newly founded, the defense intelligence sector quickly developed its force and deployed defense intelligence networks in nearly all provinces and cities across the country to gather information about the enemy military and eliminate reactionaries to protect the fledgling revolutionary governments at both central and local levels. The sector also built intelligence bases and collaborators, put spies in enemy organizations and successfully collect top secrets on the enemy’s conspiracy to oust the young revolutionary government.

Offering incense to Uncle Ho

In the national resistance war against French colonialists, the revolutionary clandestine service made a vigorous development in terms of organization, force and espionage network. Military secret agents were deployed throughout battlefields, in both urban and rural areas and from mountainous areas to deltas, helping the Party, Government and General Headquarters of the Vietnam People’s Army outline correct military strategies to defeat the enemy.

After the resounding Dien Bien Phu Victory in May 1954, the military intelligence service early learnt the U.S. plot to replace the French in Vietnam by setting up a pro-U.S. government and step by step deploying its military forces to South Vietnam. The service sent a number of excellent secret agents and espionage equipment to the South. The secret agents from the North in collaboration with the on-spot revolutionary intelligent force in the South created a widespread espionage network to collect intelligence on the U.S.’s strategies and their lackeys’ military plans against the revolutionary force in the South. Several revolutionary spies successfully entered the enemy’s governmental and military organizations and held important positions, including advisor to the president of the Saigon government, politicians and general-rank officers. The revolutionary espionage network in the South collected a good deal of valuable intelligence on the enemy’s military strategies and operations, contributing to the victory of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, South Vietnam liberation and national reunification.

Apart from its main task of collecting intelligence, the defense intelligence service conducted several special military operations and attained large victories.

After the two national liberation wars against foreign invaders, the Vietnamese defense intelligence service accompanied the nation to rebuild the country. During the period, the service entered a new struggle against various domestic reactionary and overseas hostile forces attempting to sabotage the Party, Government as well as all aspects of life. Later, the service went along with the military and people in the Southwestern border war and Northern border war. The defense intelligence service also sent its excellent officers to Laos and Cambodia to help the two revolutionary governments to fight reactionary forces in their countries.

During the hard times of the nation, the defense intelligence service thoroughly grasped the situation at home and overseas and collected strategically important intelligence information, helping the Party, State and Ministry of National Defense craft policies and plans to defeat hostile forces’ multi-faceted sabotage war, “peaceful evolution” strategy and insurgence attempt against the nation. Especially, the defense intelligence service detected a number of spies that the U.S. and the old Saigon regime had planted in Vietnam to implement espionage against the nation in post-war times as well as uncovered various plans of defeated U.S.-backed lackeys along with other domestic reactionary forces to undermine the State of Vietnam. 

Over the past recent decades, the defense intelligence service has made a lot of innovations in its organization, operational methods and targets, meeting the requirements of the national construction and defense missions in the new context. The service has grasped the situation, collected and analyzed intelligence, made correct predictions on situational developments, given strategic advice to the Party, State, Government and Ministry of National Defense to issue appropriate policies and successfully address issues arising in the country. Furthermore, it has also gathered and analyzed information about regional and global situations as well as foreign countries’ policies and moves toward Vietnam. Thanks to its foreign affairs analyses, the Party, State, Government and Ministry of National Defense have crafted appropriate policies toward other countries and responded effectively and properly to international issues, contributing to safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and interests, facilitating national socio-economic development as well as to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region and world.

At present, although the country is enjoying peace, the defense intelligence service is still responsible for a wide range of areas. As a special force of the military, the defense intelligence service focuses its operation mainly on defense and military spheres, assisting the Party, State in issuing a proper defense policy, defense and military missions as well as helping the Ministry of National Defense craft national defense strategies, build the all-people defense posture, station military units, train armed forces, develop both forces and weapons. Further, it supports other sectors ranging from culture, society, science and technology, economy, internal politics to foreign affairs.

In a current complex and changing world, the first and foremost requirement of an intelligence officers is a firm political stance. In other words, all defense intelligence officers should be absolute loyal to the Party, its ideology and goals.

Therefore, the leadership of General Department II has attached much importance to building politically powerful Party organizations in its affiliated agencies and units while continuously conducting political education for its defense intelligence officers and improving their professional expertise. General Department II also encourages its affiliated units to continuously innovate their operational tactics and working methods as well as to develop human resources and increase scientific, technological research and application so as to meet their missions at present and in the future. 

Over the past 75 years, the defense intelligence service has always excellently completed all assigned missions. For its great achievements, the service has been presented by the Party, State with many noble awards, including a “Golden Star” order, two “Ho Chi Minh” orders, a first-class “Independence” order, two “Victory” orders of first class, and entitled “Hero of Armed Forces” twice. This year, the Party and State has rewarded the general department a first-class “Fatherland Protection” order on its 75th founding anniversary.

Translated by Thu Nguyen