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December 15, 1980

Resolution on Policy Guidelines and Missions for the Struggle against American Spies in the New Situation

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Ministry of Interior, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Independence - Freedom – Happiness

No. 02/BNV

Hanoi, 15 December 1980



on Policy Guidelines and Missions for the Struggle against American Spies in the New Situation

I-Situation and Missions

1) -After the defeat of their war of aggression against the three nations of Indochina, the American imperialists were forced to withdraw from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, but they have not given up their plan to “come back” through the use of espionage warfare, psychological warfare, and counter-revolutionary peaceful evolution.

They have allied themselves with the Chinese reactionary expansionists to attack the revolutions of the three nations of Indochina, focusing their attacks on Vietnam by attacking us on the political, economic, military, diplomatic, cultural, social, and human fronts.  Today, as it was in the past, the CIA is the primary tool that the American imperialists use to carry out their plans of aggression against our country, to seek ways to sabotage our effort to build socialism and to attack the security of our Socialist Vietnamese Fatherland.

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Under the enlightened leadership of our Party, together with the people of our entire nation, our People’s Public Security forces aggressively attacked and defeated all of the American espionage schemes.  After North Vietnam was liberated, we uncovered and arrested a large number of American stay-behind spies, we confiscated a large number of weapons, radios, and other types of espionage equipment. We hunted down and arrested almost all of the spy-commando teams that the Americans and the puppets sent into North Vietnam and crushed the enemy’s plans to disrupt and destroy our Socialist North Vietnam, the great rear area of our entire nation.  South Vietnamese Security forces fought intelligently and courageously, killing enemy thugs, shattering the enemy’s apparatus of repression, captured or killed many spies and many commando teams, and successfully protected our leadership agencies, our resistance base areas, and our people.  The Public Security service of our entire nation made a positive contribution to the liberation of South Vietnam by quickly seizing and occupying the American and puppet espionage agencies, intelligence agencies, and police offices; camouflaged [covert, undercover] CIA offices and organizations, arrested and sent to reeducation camps more than ten thousand spies and intelligence officers of various types, confiscated a massive quantity of files and documents that the enemy left behind, identified and arrested many CIA stay-behind agents, quickly restored law and order, and maintained security and public order in the newly liberated areas.

During recent years, our People’s Public Security forces have aggressively  blocked and wrapped up many plots by former puppet soldiers, puppet government officials, and reactionary political parties to commit acts of violence, and we have defeated the campaign instigated by the American imperialists to incite our people to flee the country and to accuse us of violating human rights.

Those are tremendous accomplishments by our Public Security forces in its struggle against American spies.

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However, the results of our operations have been limited, we have been guilty of many mistakes and shortcomings, and we have failed to meet the requirements for successfully accomplishing our mission in the new situation.

We did not fully, profoundly understand the American “post-war plan” and the new types of operations conducted by the American spies, and we did not fully comprehend the dangerous nature of the alliance that has been formed between American spies and Chinese spies.  Many of our cadres and enlisted personnel, including even senior leaders, were subjective [over-confident, self-satisfied], they lacked vigilance, they did not display a revolutionary offensive spirit, and their spirit of responsibility was weak. In some places and at some times we did not fully digest and understand Marxist-Leninist class concepts, the Party’s policies, or the laws of our State when we were forced to deal with difficult, complex political issues involving our religions and ethnic minority groups that were being secretly incited and encouraged by the secret hand of the CIA.

We did not have a firm grasp of the situation.  We did not concentrate the correct number of forces or focus sufficient guidance on the work of interrogating captured CIA targets [personnel, individuals], captured puppet regime intelligence and police personnel, and other enemy personnel being held in reeducation camps. We did not quickly exploit the files and documents that the enemy left behind.  We did not resolutely hunt down American and puppet spies and intelligence officers who were in hiding.  Almost a thousand American-puppet intelligence personnel and secret informants who are in hiding still have not been located.  Our operations to combat underground spies [sleeper agents], and especially moles inside our ranks, have been very weak, and our efforts to combat the enemy’s sabotage of our economy and the enemy’s ideological sabotage operations were inadequate.

Our guidance of the struggle against American spies has not been focused or unified.  We failed to link the struggle against American spies with the struggle against Chinese spies and with the struggle against domestic reactionaries in order to form an integrated, solid struggle posture to combat counter-revolutionaries.  The requirements of our reporting system were not strictly addressed.  Our reconnaissance forces specializing in the struggle against American spies were too weak [inadequately staffed]; we did not fight with sufficient intelligence and creativity, there has been inadequate cooperation between our different forces, and there have been many cases of divided authority and disagreements.

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Our cadre, political, logistics support, etc. operations did not closely support our combat [operational] forces or provide timely support to requirements of our struggle against American spies.  The guidance issued by the Ministry and of local [City Public Security] Bureaus and Provincial Offices has been too bureaucratic and it lacked focus and sharpness.  We did not provide additional personnel and equipment to our reconnaissance forces, and we did not devote sufficient time and attention to providing guidance and direction to the struggle against American spies.

2) -During coming years the three revolutionary tides around the world will continue to grow and gain new victories.  Imperialism and the international reactionaries are in a state of serious crisis and contradiction, so they will be constantly under attack, while the revolutions of the three Indochina countries will be increasingly strengthened and will constantly advance.

The American imperialists, the Chinese reactionary expansionists, and other international reactionary forces will increasingly work together to increase their efforts to destroy the revolutions of the three countries of Indochina, with the focus being on attacking Vietnam.  The American imperialists will continue to implement their “post-war plan” through the use of espionage warfare, ideological sabotage, economic sabotage, and the implementation of counter-revolutionary “peaceful evolution” targeted on our nation.

-With regard to Vietnam: The American imperialists will continue to implement their embargo policy aimed at isolating us; at sabotaging our economy, our currency, our prices, our markets, and pur material and technical installations and organizations; and at our forces of production in order to obstruct our effort to build socialism in our country.

The Americans will strive to deepen and exploit our short-term difficulties, our shortcomings, and the mistakes we have made in managing our economy and our society in order to slander and distort the policies and programs of our Party and our State. They are plotting to sow seeds of suspicion, ideological suspicion, among our people with the goal of weakening the faith of the masses and of our cadres in the leadership of the Party Central Committee and of the Government; to incite our people to flee abroad to become refugees in order to besmirch our reputation on the international stage; and to create splits and divisions in the solidarity of the three nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and between Vietnam and the Soviet Union and the other fraternal socialist countries.

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The American imperialists are cooperating with Chinese spies to establish bases in a number of imperialist and capitalist countries, especially in Thailand and the other ASEAN countries and in recruiting Vietnamese reactionary exiles and training them to become spies and commandos to be infiltrated into our country and to penetrate deep into our country’s interior in order to recruit more spies and to direct their stay-behind agent network and their agents who were left behind to conduct launch operations directed against us.

-With regard to Cambodia: The American imperialists are strengthening their cooperation with the Beijing reactionary expansionists in using extreme right-wing Thai reactionaries to carry out their four-step plan aimed at expelling Vietnamese Army forces from Cambodia by scheming to internationalize the Cambodian problem; by forming a “coalition government” to “neutralize” Cambodia in a manner that ensures support for their reactionary policies; by scheming to maintain the presence of the reactionary Cambodian faction in the United Nations; by using the “humanitarian aid” card to infiltrate Cambodia; by inciting narrow-minded anti-Vietnamese nationalist thinking inside Cambodia; and by reassembling the remnants of Pol Pot’s Army and using the forces of Son Sen and Sihanouk to conduct “guerrilla warfare” and to instigate riots, violence, and a coup against the Government of Cambodia.

-With regard to Laos: The American imperialists are pushing the Thai reactionary clique to institute an economic embargo in order to put pressure on Laos. In addition, they will use economic aid and consumer goods to entice and try to win over Lao cadres and the Lao people in order to implement their counter-revolutionary “peaceful evolution” scheme and to overthrow the Lao government.  They will incite divisions and splits between Laos and Vietnam, and they will use Thailand as a base to train and support counter-revolutionary Lao citizens to conduct ethnic bandit operations, to incite violence; and to create conditions that will enable American and Chinese spies and commandos to conduct harassment attacks along the Vietnamese-Lao border.

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The CIA is working feverishly to assemble increasingly large numbers of forces from among Vietnamese exiles, Vietnamese refugees, and those who have betrayed the Fatherland and have fled abroad in order to form many different reactionary organizations and to train armed forces while waiting for an opportunity to send these forces back to Vietnam to conduct sabotage and attacks. The CIA is using former puppet leaders and reactionaries within the different religions to support the American imperialist plan to “return to Vietnam”, primarily by conducting espionage warfare and infiltrating forces into our country so that when conditions permit they can overthrow our government, restore the old capitalist, feudalist regime, and eliminate our socialist economic organizations and structures by using various phony political “cards”.

American spies usually use material incentives to sow the seeds of a depraved life-style in order to transform and corrupt individuals as well as our entire society. They devote special attention to luring in and corrupting our intellectuals, former regime artists and entertainers, students, and even a number of our own cadres who have become depraved, dissatisfied, unhappy, and lazy, and who just want to enjoy the “good life”, etc.

The CIA is focusing its attention on recruiting and on recontacting and using spies they planted inside Vietnam or that were stuck here; reactionaries within Vietnam’s religions, especially within the Catholic religion who operate using the Church’s policy of “adapting to the times”; members of the Protestant, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, and Buddhist religions whom they had supported and trained; reactionary leaders of ethnic minority groups; former Chieu Hoi’s; pro-American political figures; former members of the puppet army, puppet government, puppet intelligence and police officers who have refused reeducation; etc.  They also are seeking every possible way to bribe and to win over a number of our scientists and intellectuals whose ideological stances are not solid and who feel they are unable to endure our current temporary difficulties and hardships.

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The CIA is paying special attention to the following areas: our capital city of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the Vung Tau area, Con Son, Haiphong, Danang, the border crossing areas along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, other areas that are important for our defense and our transportation and communications sectors, areas where there are large concentrations of reactionary Catholics, key, vital areas along our ocean coastline and our offshore islands, etc.

The defeat suffered by the American imperialists in Vietnam was America’s greatest defeat in its entire history and was also a humiliating defeat for the CIA.  The results of this defeat will also have long-term effects of many different types.  The CIA previously had an apparatus that directly commanded operations in our country, but now it must try to conduct operations by directing them from outside our nations, and we have ben able to block their communications so they are facing many problems.  In addition, our constant detention and reeducation operations  have disrupted the organizations and agents that they rely on inside our country, the confidence and trust that their lackeys have in the CIA have greatly deteriorated, and their ability to conduct operations is decreasing steadily.

          4) -In order to totally defeat the plans and operations of the American spies and to solidly protect the security of our Fatherland, we must always understand that the plans of the American spies toward our country are just a part of their worldwide counter-revolutionary strategy and that the struggle against American spies is in fact one part of a difficult, complex, ferocious, and long-term class struggle and nationalist struggle.  The struggle against American spies is the duty of our entire Party and our entire population under the absolute, direct leadership of our Party committees at all levels, and our People’s Public Security forces are the backbone assault force that conducts this struggle directly and at the same time they also provide staff advice and recommendations to our Party committees in all areas that involve the protection of security and law and order.

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II -A Number of Issues regarding Policies and Policy Guidelines in the Struggle against American Spies

A. -General Policies and Policy Guidelines

1) -Struggle aggressively to destroy the sources of sources for American spies and to constantly disrupt their plans in order to keep them from being able to attack us easily and freely.

Correctly implement professional measures in order to effectively combat the new American spy tricks and tactics.  Continue to use reconnaissance to detect and arrest American spies who have been instructed to stay behind, newly-infiltrated American spies, and American spies who were left behind, who are in hiding, who have concealed their backgrounds, or who have moved to other areas. Quickly suppress and detain those who are currently opposing us.  Launch waves of political attacks against spies and their networks of secret informants in order to demoralize of the American spy organization, cause it to disintegrate, and encourage the spies to turn themselves into the revolution and reform themselves to become honest workers.  Focus guidance on the effort to combat the infiltration of American spies from abroad.

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2) -Strengthen our efforts to protect our own internal security, paying special attention to combatting penetration agents within our ranks and to protecting State secrets.

Strictly implement Party Secretariat Directive No. 236 CT/TW, dated 18 September 1974 and Ministry Directive No. 17 BNV/NG6, dated 21 July 1977, on the work of combatting penetration agents within our own ranks.  Coordinate with the Party Central Committee’s Organization Section in a resolute effort to purify our ranks, to strictly follow the Party’s policies, and to prevent enemy agents from worming their way into our ranks.  When we detect an enemy penetration within our ranks, we must immediately report this to the responsible Party Committee so that it can come up with the correct method for handling the case. However, we must also be vigilant against enemy efforts to sow divisions and suspicion within our ranks.  Pay special attention to detecting and identifying American spies within the intellectual class, in pro-American organizations, among people who have returned from abroad after having been trained by the Americans, among our cadres and soldiers who defected to or were captured by the enemy, among escapees from reeducation camps, and among those Vietnamese exiles returning home from abroad.  Strictly implement Party Secretariat Directive No. 94/BBT, dated 30 June 1980, on internal security involving cadres and students that have been sent abroad to work or to study, with primary focus on those returning home from capitalist countries, and also involving cadres of all sectors who have regular contact with individuals and organizations from imperialist and capitalist countries who are working in or visiting our country.

Pay special attention to the work of preventing the enemy from stealing secret Party and State documents and from eliciting information about our Party and State secrets.  Take corrective action to close loopholes, and be vigilant against and actively combat efforts by American spies to collect intelligence information.

3) -Take active measures to purify counter-espionage areas, strengthen our security front line efforts in border areas, and combat all effort by American spies and their lackeys to infiltrate into our country, to sabotage our nation, or to flee our country.

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Under the leadership of our Party committees at all levels, People’s Public Security forces must work closely with the relevant agencies, and especially with the People’s Army, to correctly implement the resolutions of the big cities, of our southwestern border and our northern border conferences, of our FULRO conference, and other such conferences that were organized by the Party Secretariat.  Survey and gain a firm understanding of the situation in each area in order to detect and identify enemies who regularly travel back and forth across our borders and implement plans to catch them.  Local Public Security forces must coordinate with border defense troops and militia/self-defense forces in conducting regular patrols and in manning guard posts in order to detect, hunt down, and arrest enemy infiltrators and enemies trying to flee.  Pro-actively deploy combined forces to carry out counter-espionage plans along our southern coasts and along the Vietnamese-Laotian and Vietnamese-Cambodian borders.  Police forces working along the border and along our coast need to receive political and professional training so that they can correctly implement four missions, proselytize our ethnic minority compatriots and incite mass movements to protect the Fatherland’s security, carry out administrative measures on internal security, especially focusing on family registration, build networks of recruited agents and secret informants, provide guidance for the work of forming and training village Public Security forces, and ensure good coordination with all forces in order to effectively carry out the struggle to combat the activities of American spies in our border areas while at the same time they can also correctly implement our policies on detaining and reeducating reactionaries, enemy lackeys, and other elements that are dangerous to our political security along the border.

4) -Strictly implement our Party and State policies, especially policies on religions and on ethnic minorities, in order to eliminate factors that could be used to incite violence and disorders

Take resolute action to prevent American spies from exploiting the different religions, especially the Catholic and Protestant religions, and to prevent reactionaries within the different ethnic groups from carrying out opposition activities.

Be especially vigilant against and resolutely struggle to prevent infiltrated American spies and commandos from making contact with domestic reactionaries, former puppet troops, former puppet governmental officials, former puppet intelligence and police officers who have refused to report for reeducation, dissatisfied elements, elements who hate our regime, etc., who are planning to take actions aimed at attacking the revolution.

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Correctly implement the Party’s ethnic policies, paying special attention to the ethnic groups in the Central Highlands and to the Cham and Khmer ethnic minority groups, paying special attention to protecting our efforts to expand production and stabilize the lives of the people living in ethnic minority areas.  Identify and train ethnic minority cadres and build up a corps of hard-core supporters and a network of secret informants in order to ensure that we are able to successfully carry out our revolutionary mission in ethnic minority areas.  Maintain  high vigilance and quickly detect and combat efforts by American spies working in cooperation with Chinese spies to contact FULRO in order to direct FULRO to attack us in the Central Highlands and also to detect and combat similar efforts to pull together reactionaries members of our ethnic Khmer community who live in the provinces along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border. 

Ensure that we have a firm understanding of and correctly implement the Party’s policies toward religions in order to neutralize the efforts of the leaders of the different religions, and especially of the Catholic and Protestant leaders.  Be vigilant against activities being conducted that are part of the Catholic policy of “adapting to the times”.  Take aggressive action to divide and isolate radical reactionaries inside the church. Strive to reform Catholic church organizations, educate the religious masses, and struggle to prevent spies from exploiting religion to carry out counter-revolutionary actions.

Work with the other sectors to correctly implement our policies toward prominent figures and intellectuals and to prevent American spies from contacting, bribing, and persuading these individuals to undertake opposition actions or to try to flee abroad.

5) -Combat the CIA’s efforts to sabotage our ideology

The American imperialists rely primarily on religion, and especially the Catholic religion, and on former puppet soldiers, puppet government officials, reactionary political parties, intellectuals and artists from the former regime, and traitors and defectors from our cause to spread propaganda aimed at besmirching the socialist regime, at promoting capitalism and the Western lifestyle, and at promoting decadent, debauched culture in order to destroy our nationalist spirit and to corrupt our youths, intellectuals, artists, and cadres as part of a plot to stimulate a “wave of refugees”.  Their goal is to be able to accuse us of human rights violations in order to besmirch our reputation on the international stage.

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The scale of the CIA’s efforts to sabotage our ideology is vast - they use vast quantities of equipment and money to carry out these actions.  The struggle against the CIA’s ideological attacks must be based on a coordinated effort by our different propaganda agencies, by our press, and by the Party’s propaganda and training organizations in order to strengthen our work of educating the masses, to strengthen our political and ideological efforts, and to mobilize the combined strength of the dictatorship of the proletariat to carry out uniform measures in a resolute, all-out, and continuous struggle conducted in all sectors.

We must continue to struggle to eliminate the last vestiges of the American neocolonialist culture, especially in South Vietnam. We must coordinate with our cultural and communications agencies and organizations in working to totally eliminate all forms of depraved, reactionary culture, to build a clean, pure cultural life style, and to combat depraved, decadent life styles.

We must properly employ our different professional methods and our various types of Public Security operations, especially our reconnaissance and recruited agent operations, to detect and quickly suppress and arrest those who produce reactionary poems, songs, publications, and jokes, those who specialize in spreading psychological warfare themes, who illegally traffic in decadent publications smuggled in from abroad, or who try to smuggle reactionary documents out of the country to be published abroad.  We need to study and effectively conduct large operations and formulate concrete strategies as part of our professional program to counter the enemy’s ideological sabotage efforts in order to defeat all of the enemy’s plots and schemes.

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6) -Strengthen the struggle to combat all plans and actions of American spies and of the spies of other imperialist countries to sabotage our economy.

Strengthen our efforts to investigate and quickly detect CIA efforts to sabotage our economy, paying special attention to correctly carrying out the work of preventing and combating these efforts in order to prevent them from sabotaging our economy.  Public Security agencies at all levels should help our economic sectors, and especially our ports, our oil and gas production sector, our electric power sector, and our other spearhead [key] economic facilities, to properly carry out the work of protecting our internal organizations, paying special attention to protecting our cadres who are members of delegations that negotiate and sign economic contracts and who are assigned to our commercial representative offices in imperialist and capitalist countries.  We must strengthen our counter-espionage operations targeted against imperialist and capitalist technical specialist delegations working in our country in order to protect the safe implementation of economic and technical cooperation contracts, to provide guidance for the use of technical equipment, to counter enemy efforts to bribe and recruit our cadres and to carry out sabotage, especially sabotage of technical equipment.  We must conduct careful investigations in order to be able to arrive at accurate conclusions about suspected enemy acts of economic sabotage in order to avoid being guilty of the crimes of subjectivism, laxity, and a lack of responsibility in making assessments about these cases, or of simply ignoring them.

B. -Concrete Policies

1) -With Regard to Underground Spies/Spies in Hiding

Quickly uncover and identify the CIA’s network of intelligence agents, secret informants, and collaborators.  Clearly identify those whom the CIA has planted as stay-behinds, those who got stuck [were left behind], and distinguish between those who have registered and turned themselves in and those who have remained recalcitrant and who have moved and are in hiding, between those who continue to oppose us and those who have been successfully reeducated in order to take the appropriate actions.

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For those targets whom, for one reason or another, we have had to continue to utilize in State [governmental] agencies, and for targets who have social standing within one of the religions or ethnic minority groups, we must establish investigative cases against all of them and we must simultaneously report them to the Party in order to come up with the appropriate policies for dealing with them, such as secretly calling these individuals in to conduct self-criticism, to educate them, to ask them to give us confessions and information, etc.

With regard to those who previously were found guilty of crimes against the people and who are now opposing the revolution, we must quickly collect sufficient evidence to send them to forced reeducation [reeducation camps] or to prosecute them in court.

For those whose arrest would not benefit us politically or whom we have arrested but have been forced to release for political reasons, we must exploit these individuals to the maximum in order to be able to neutralize their actions, and then, depending on the individual situation, decide whether to give them “reeducation in place”, to send them to a different area where they will be forced to live, or to place them under house arrest.  In some cases we might even send them abroad after we have come up with a plan to isolate and neutralize them.

With regard to former CIA agents, if they are not currently opposing us, in general we should use measures designed to educate them, reform them, win them over, and gradually transform them into honest, conscientious workers, while at the same time we also prevent the enemy from being able to contact and exploit them or to incite them to oppose the revolution.

With regard to all of the above target categories, we need to carry out concrete, detailed studies of each individual case so that, if it is possible, we can turn these individuals into our own agents to support our work of attacking the enemy.

2) -With Regard to Spy-Commandos and Other Types of Infiltration

Provincial and city public security offices should organize specialized forces  to provide guidance to districts and villages along our borders and our coastline, and they should quickly perfect and implement plans to combat enemy efforts to infiltrate spies and commandos and should regularly conduct practice exercises on capturing spies and commandos.

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When we detect indications that spies and/or commandos are being infiltrated into our country we must quickly organize forces to hunt them down, arrest them, capture and collect all of their equipment, and then secretly detain and interrogate them to obtain the following types of information: who they are working with, the identities of their commanders, their methods of communications, their infiltration places, their hiding places, the locations where the equipment, radios, and weapons they brought with them are cached, their specific missions and assignments, and their assigned area of operations. We must then quickly arrest all of their comrades who are still in hiding.  We must conduct detailed research on the routes they use to move across the Cambodian border into our southwestern provinces and to determine the location of the reception points used to meet spies and commandos infiltrating from Thailand across Cambodia to our country. We must deploy reconnaissance forces and resources to detect and arrest them and to discover their lines of communications and the locations of their letter boxes [dead drops, accommodation addresses] in order to be able to pro-actively establish an effective, integrated counterespionage posture that extends from the border into our interior.

We need to pay special attention to spies who mix in with groups of Cambodians crossing the border, or among the crewmen of Thai vessels or of ships from the other capitalist countries to infiltrate our country in order to conduct operations directed against us.  In every single instance in which a foreign vessel violates our territorial waters we must carry out all of the necessary legal procedures and deal with these cases in accordance with the State’s laws and policies and with our public security professional methods.

3) -With regards to the CIA use of spies working in the permanent missions of imperialist or capitalist countries or in international organizations to conduct operations in our country:

We must have a firm grasp of our Party’s and our State’s foreign policy toward each individual country and each individual organization in order to avoid taking harsh, crude, blatant actions that would have negative political effects. However, we must be very vigilant and we must employ tight counterespionage reconnaissance [surveillance] measures against each individual capitalist or imperialist foreign mission, utilizing the formula of “appearing normal from the outside but tight on the inside” and we must avoid making any mistakes or shortcomings that the enemy might be able to exploit in order to conduct operations aimed targeted us.  Public Security should cooperate with the other sectors, and especially with our diplomatic service, to update and amend the procedures and the regulations for movement, residence, and contacts to suit the new situation but still consistent with established diplomatic immunities and privileges in order to provide good support to our diplomatic activities while at the same time we are able to protect our own sovereignty and to support our counterespionage operations.

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Update and perfect counterespionage plans for each [foreign] permanent mission and the area around the mission.  Step up our efforts to recruit intelligence agents, secret informants, and hardcore supporters among the masses in addition to conducting patrols and tightly guarding key permanent missions.  Establish investigative files on CIA targets and on permanent missions that the CIA uses to conduct its operations.  Properly implement reconnaissance [surveillance] coordination plans to ensure a high level of effectiveness and support our local counterespionage and intelligence efforts.  Deal decisively and resolutely with individuals who violate our laws, violate our sovereignty, and who disrupt our country’s political security.

4) -With regard to CIA targets who are mixed in with temporary [visiting] groups (tour groups, crewmen of foreign ships, ethnic Vietnamese from abroad who return to visit our country):

Public Security should coordinate with the Party’s and the State’s external relations [foreign affairs] agencies, with the Central Overseas Vietnamese Committee, with the General Department of Tourism, with our civil aviation authorities, with the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, etc. to discuss and agree on policies and to gain the help of these agencies and sectors in our counterespionage operations. The Intelligence Department and the different Counterespionage Departments need to implement plans to collect and maintain documentation on targets before we allow them entry to our country.  Targets who are CIA or suspected CIA and who are members of one of these temporary groups must be carefully investigated to determine their missions, their agents, agents they are assigned to check on and establish contact with, and we must carry out tight counterespionage reconnaissance [surveillance] measures during the time that they are in our country.  Depending on the type of target involved, we could deploy reconnaissance personnel to contact them and to skillfully limit and restrict their activities.  With regard to those who violate our laws by doing such things as delivering letters and gifts, making secret contacts, buying or selling things illegally, etc., depending on the level of the crime and the nature of the specific case we must take the most appropriate action.

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If the violation is not serious, the agency that is responsible for the visitor, or the consular services, protocol services, or external affairs elements of our diplomatic service could meet with the individual and criticize him or her for the violation.  In the event of a serious violation, the Ministry of Interior’s element responsible for handling foreigners should draw up an order for the individual to be expelled from our country.  Entry Point [border crossing, airport, seaport] Public Security should coordinate with Customs to draft the necessary paperwork to confiscate documents, books, newspapers, photographs, movies, and letters that can provide us with the necessary legal evidence of the individual’s crimes (espionage, psychological warfare, damaging our country’s security and public order).  Some of these cases we may place on “hold” so that we can deploy long-term reconnaissance measures to identify the individual’s agent network and his or her intentions and plans.  For those targets who are ethnic Vietnamese from abroad, we should try to educate them, win them over, appeal to their patriotism, and clearly demonstrate to them that we know about their wrongful actions.  If it is a serious violation, we must handle the violator in accordance with the Party’s and the State’s laws and policies for overseas Vietnamese. In the event that conditions are suitable, we should consider recruiting the individual to become one of our agents in order to support our long-term battle against the enemy. 

We need to pay special attention to the CIA’s use of letters, money, and packages sent in from abroad through international postal channels and to the CIA’s use of various forms of [international] aid to provide funds and goods to their agents operating in our country.  We must compile lists and categorize those who receive money, packages, or goods from abroad in order to spot and identify suspects so that we can investigate them to determine their goals, their plans, and their lines of communications and so that we can conduct reconnaissance [surveillance] and investigations to block the enemy’s efforts or to study the possibility of running the operation back against the enemy [of “doubling” the operation to use it against the enemy].

We recommend that the Party Secretariat and the Prime Minister issue an order to funnel all sources of aid and assistance from abroad into one central agency that will unify the handling and administering all such aid and assistance.  Individual sectors and individual localities/local authorities should not be allowed to make their own arrangements to receive aid from any foreign organization or individual. 

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III -Operational Methods for Use in the Struggle Against American Spies

1) -Launch a powerful movement among the masses to protect the Fatherland’s security specifically aimed at the struggle against American spies

Based on the foundation of utilizing the collective socialist control and mastery of the working class, launch a mass movement to combat counter-revolutionaries and to identify and combat American spies, with the focus being on our large cities, the provinces in the southern half of our countries, areas where large numbers of Catholics live, the Central Highlands, and key, vital areas along the border and along the coast that American spies and commandos regularly use to infiltrate forces, hide, and conduct operations. …The American Counter-Espionage Department [Cuc Chong Gian Diep My] and the other counterespionage offices should cooperate closely with the Mass Movement Department and offices in determining the content and measures to be used to mobilize the masses for the struggle against American spies and the spies of other imperialist and capitalist countries to ensure that the struggle achieves practical results.

2) -Conduct investigations and research to gain a grasp of the situation and conduct investigative struggles against American spies

- Conduct investigations and research to gain a grasp of the enemy situation

The specialized professional forces of the Public Security service (intelligence and counterespionage) will coordinate with the other sectors, and especially with military intelligence and the Party and State external [foreign] relations sectors, to conduct deep, timely, and systematic investigations and research into the status of U.S. spy operations.

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Focus on detecting and obtaining information on the new plans and new operational schemes of the American imperialists that are targeted against the revolutions of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; the operational schemes of American spies in the political, economic, military, and cultural spheres during different periods, with special emphasis on collaboration between the CIA and Chinese intelligence and between the CIA and the intelligence and spy organizations of nations in the NATO and ASEAN blocs that are allies and lackeys of the U.S. and China, and especially with Thailand.

Investigate and quickly detect all efforts by hostile elements to assemble forces from the “refugee” population  to form the so-called “Indochina Peoples Front”, which includes Hoang Van Hoan, Truong Nhu Tang, etc. and to ally this front with the Khmer Rouge and Sihanouk and with the Lao reactionary exiles, and then work to quickly and pro-actively disrupt and defeat this enemy’s scheme.

Identify, combat, and quickly block the CIA’s instructions to their network of secret agents in our country, especially those within our own ranks, in order to block their efforts to sabotage our economy, attack our ideology, and incite domestic reactionaries to assembly to cause riots and disruptions of public order.  Gain a firm handle on the location and activities of the CIA’s centers for recruiting and training intelligence agents and spy-commandos to be sent into the three countries of Indochina.

Constantly conduct studies, analysis, and assessments and recommend policies to deal with both strategic and tactical issues in the struggle to combat American spies and at the same time to improve the level of Vietnamese People’s Public Security’s professional counter-espionage theory.

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3) -Step up basic specialized professional operations

a) -Conduct research and investigations to identify suspects

Based on the Ministry’s guidance on implementing Investigations Resolution No. III, the local City Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices should review and assess their investigations at the local level and submit recommendations to the Ministry on supplementing and revising the list of targets for American counter-espionage investigations to adapt them to the situation in each individual locality, especially in those provinces along our southwestern border and in Ho Chi Minh City, which are places where there have been many developments and changes in the targets of American counter-espionage investigations.  Those areas that have completed their basic round of investigations should continue to collect evidence, update and revise their investigative reports and documents to make them more accurate and to put our investigative work on a solid foundation.  Utilize the documents and information during research to conduct deeper investigations in order to detect and identify American spies.  Those areas that have not yet completed their basic round of investigations must concentrate their efforts to resolutely complete this task.

We must quickly conduct investigations to reconstruct the former American and puppet intelligence agencies, and especially that of the CIA.  We need to obtain solid knowledge on the precise numbers and types based on the specifications we have established for our different investigative targets.  We must constantly investigate and review those investigative targets that the CIA is now trying to contact, especially focusing on former intellectuals, members of former pro-American organizations, artists and entertainers, those individuals whom the U.S. trained overseas and then brought back to Vietnam, those individuals who had contact with the CIA or with individual CIA officers, and those who worked in American governmental offices or for American private citizens.

During the investigations, pay special attention to identifying dangerous suspects and to stepping up our investigations in order to verify suspicions.  Suspect American spies must be firmly verified - conclusions must be reached quickly, those who do not deserve suspicion should be dropped from our investigative lists, and we must establish investigative cases against those suspects for whom we have a solid basis for concluding that they are enemy spies.  With regard to important suspect targets, especially suspect targets who work inside Party and State agencies, the City Bureau Directors, Provincial Office Commanders, and Department Directors must personally oversee the investigations and personally verify or refute suspicions in order to be able to quickly reach accurate conclusions.

[Page 96]

b) -Conducting investigations

Local areas should summarize their investigations of American spies in order to develop plans to develop and improve their investigations.  Those cases for which we have not yet detected any current activities (perhaps because the enemy has not yet been able to establish communications with them or because their mission is a long-term, sleeper mission) must be carefully reviewed and reported to the Ministry - we must not end them too hastily  We must categorize and recruit intelligence agents to “line the nest” [be ready] so that we can pro-actively “hook the enemy fish” when the enemy does make contact. We must develop plans to conduct investigations of American spies who are members of visiting foreign groups or who are traveling to Vietnam under some other auspices.  Conduct good investigative cases targeted against infiltrating spies and commandos in order to lure them in so that we can capture or kill them in order to crush the American effort to infiltrate spies and commandos into our country.  Pay special attention to identifying and gaining control over the communications networks used by American spies to send messages into and out of our country.  The Department responsible for combating American spies must deploy specialized professional forces to conduct these cases and to investigate leads and suspects, and at the same time the Department must also constantly dispatch personnel to monitor local Public Security and provide guidance to them on the work of verifying and initiating investigative cases as well as on how to conduct these struggle investigative cases.

In order to establish and conduct formal investigative cases there must first be sufficient basis for such investigations, all regulations must be followed, and these investigations must truly be offensive campaigns aimed at attacking enemy spies using all of our intelligence and creativity, and they must be carried out using our Service’s professional methods and equipment.  We must resolutely eliminate all instances of launching investigative cases but not employing specialized professional reconnaissance forces, cases that do not reach preliminary conclusions, and cases that just “sit there, going nowhere”.  Professional struggles [investigations] must involve the use of effective recruited agents and penetration agents, and during these investigations we must constantly make sure to create favorable conditions that will help to stimulate and strengthen our intelligence operations.  When conducting investigative cases targeted against reactionaries, we must pay special attention to detecting any contacts they have with American spies and what directions they are provided by the American spies so that we can employ the appropriate investigative struggle measures.

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c) -Intelligence agent and secret informant operations

City Public Security Bureaus and Province Public Security Offices should boldly use enemy personnel to attack the enemy, and to pay special attention to the work of recruiting intelligence agents and deploying a network of high-quality intelligence agents in sufficient numbers to ensure that we can cover all targets and all areas. Pay special attention to recruiting intelligence agents who can be used against new enemy targets and new types of enemy operations designed to support the requirements of our immediate and long-term struggle against the CIA, both inside Vietnam and abroad. 

Public Security Bureau Directors, Province Public Security Commanders, and Ministry Department Directors must personally review their networks of intelligence agents targeted against American spies; they must direct the reassignment or termination of those who are no longer useful; and they must personally select, recruit, and build networks of high-quality agents, paying special attention to recruiting well-known political figures, intellectuals, artists, entertainers, and journalists, religious leaders, leaders of ethnic minority groups, and agents who are citizens of foreign countries in order for us to be able to collect a large amount of information on the enemy and also so that those officials can gain practical experience in directing the operations of intelligence agents. 

Select targets from among former puppet army soldiers, puppet government officials, puppet security, intelligence, and Police Special Branch personnel who are currently being held in reeducation camps and work to control them, win them over, and recruit them as intelligence agents. We need to recruit a number of intelligence agents who are foreigners assigned to permanent foreign missions in Vietnam or who are members of groups making temporary visits to Vietnam, and we should place special focus on recruiting ship’s officers and crewmen of ships from the imperialist countries that visit our country.

We need to pay particular attention to recruiting “honored collaborators” - foreigners and cadres who have scientific or technical skills, who are well-known inside Vietnam and abroad, and who are able to contact and meet with targets who are members of permanent missions and visiting groups from the imperialist and capitalist countries.

All streets, blocks, collective housing compounds [apartment complexes], villages, hamlets, neighborhoods, bus stations, train stations, ports, etc. must have effective secret informants who are able to spot actions and individuals that might provide evidence of activities damaging to our security and law and order, with special emphasis on detecting the activities of American spies.

[Page 98]

District, precinct, and city Public Security leaders must direct the intelligence agent operations in their local area of responsibility; they must personally recruit and direct a number of effective intelligence agents; and they must direct, train, and manage secret informant networks under the guidance of  the leadership of local City Bureau and Province Public Security chiefs.

All reconnaissance personnel must be capable of conducting good, effective intelligence agent operations. Do not retain as members of our reconnaissance forces any individual who is not capable of carrying out reconnaissance work and who does not know how to conduct and manage intelligence agent operations.

When conducting intelligence agent operations, we must be careful and cautious, we must ensure secrecy, we must tightly manage and educate our agents, and we must not allow our intelligence agents to commit bad acts or to betray us.

The Ministry should finalize and quickly promulgate new regulations about intelligence operations. We need to study our system for motivating and rewarding secret agents, including both spiritual and material rewards.

4) -Exploiting and studying enemy documents and enemy personnel

We are currently detaining thousands of American and puppet spies - these individuals constitute an extremely important source of intelligence information. We must properly detain, administer, educate, and exploit them in order to be able to provide timely and outstanding support to our struggle against American spies. Under no circumstances must we allow these spies to commit suicide or to escape; we must not allow them to die because of our own shortcomings [lack of food, medical care, etc], and we must not simply imprison them without educating them, winning their sympathies, and exploiting them for information. 

The exploitation of enemy files and documents is an important part of the work of investigating, studying, and attacking the enemy. We need to handle these files and documents and utilize them properly; under no circumstances can we allow them to be damaged or lost, nor can we allow the enemy or bad elements to steal or destroy enemy files.  We need to provide additional personnel to carry out this effort and we must focus our leadership efforts in order to be able to quickly exploit the files of the different types of spies in order to uncover the enemy’s plans and to expose the networks of CIA intelligence agents and secret informants that the CIA planted as stay-behinds, and we especially need to uncover any enemy moles operating within our own ranks.

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The Files Department is responsible for maintaining and exploiting enemy files and documents. 

We need to closely combine our exploitation of the enemy’s files with our interrogations of U.S. and puppet spies.  The Cadre Department is to assign cadres who speak foreign languages, and especially those who speak English, to the groups working to interrogate American spies.  The American Counter-Espionage Department is responsible for administering and utilizing the information we obtain to support the work of combatting American spies.

The Intelligence Department should personally study the American spies whom we currently hold in prison to see if we can turn them into intelligence agents who will work for us to support our own intelligence operations.

All of this work needs timely guidance so that we can implement these measures in a concerted, unified, tightly-organized manner, and so that we can organize and oversee counter-espionage campaigns.  This work must be basically completed by the end of the third quarter of 1981. 

5) -We must gradually, step by step, provide technical equipment to carry out this work and we must exploit the effectiveness of scientific and technological methods in the struggle against American spies

We must tightly link the use of scientific and technological methods with our entire range of counter-espionage operations and our counter-espionage network. We need to ensure that there is close cooperation between our scientific and technical agencies with our counter-espionage reconnaissance units and we must avoid any divisions or conflicts that could obstruct our struggle against American spies.

We must properly administer and successfully exploit to the fullest extent the equipment that we currently possess and we must avoid damage, breakdowns, or letting the equipment go to waist.  We must conduct vigorous research and we must cooperate with our foreign friends to conduct research into producing equipment that has been “tropical-ized” and that is suitable for use in Vietnam’s actual conditions.

We must supplement the training and education of our scientific and technical counter-espionage scientific cadres in all areas - in political subjects, in specialized public security subjects, and in applied science and technology in order to meet the demands and requirements of the struggle against American spies in the new situation.

[Page 100]

We must gradually, systematically build up and strengthen our technical reconnaissance offices and other components that conduct technical reconnaissance operations in order to support the counter-espionage operations of our local Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices.  We need to make bold but rational decisions on the assignment of cadres to different specialized professional duties and functions in addition to providing additional cadres and technical equipment to our Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices in order to ensure that they are able to conduct increasingly better technical reconnaissance operations, initially in those areas that are focal-points of our efforts.

6)-Strengthen our administrative security operations, especially our administration of identity registers, of family registration lists, and of special business [commercial] professions to ensure that these measures provide outstanding support to our counter-espionage operations. We must steadfastly and quickly carry out a program that gives us a solid picture of every single family and every individual person, especially in our large cities, in the provinces along our western border, in areas where large numbers of ethnic minority people live, and of Cambodians, and also we must also carry out a program that gives us tight control of special trades and business professions.  We must build a corps of hard-core members of our mass movement, and we must select, recruit, and train intelligence agents and secret informants to uncover enemies and bad elements who are in hiding or who have infiltrated into our country to conduct operations.  We must strive to basically complete the work of gaining a firm picture of every family and every individual citizen in our big cities and in key, focal-point areas in our different localities.

7)-Maintain close cooperation between People’s Public Security forces and People’s Army forces, and especially with border defense troops and militia/self-defense personnel, in conducting armed patrols to identify and capture American spies who are being infiltrated across our borders or by sea.  Deploy forces in ambush in areas that the enemy frequently travels through to capture them.  We need to have plans that are coordinated between military and public security forces in specific, individual locations and conduct practice exercises in order to update our plans.  As for infiltrated enemy spies and commandos who are captured by soldiers or militia/self-defense forces, after quickly obtaining information and documents so that we can capture their colleagues, we request that these individuals be turned over to Public Security for systematic exploitation [interrogation] in order to support our efforts against the enemy.

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Public Security will be responsible for receiving, handling, and interrogating them and for turning information related to military affairs over to the Army.  Cooperative efforts between Public Security and the army in manning guard posts, protecting targets, conducting armed patrols, and hunting down and sweeping away counter-revolutionaries need to be conducted in the spirit of Joint Ministry of Defense-Ministry of Interior Directive No. 01 dated 08 May 1980.  The Ministry will hold discussions to reach an agreement on the issue of having enemy spies who have been captured by the Army or by militia forces turned over to Public Security.

Intelligence operations play an important part in the work of investigating and understanding the enemy at long range so that we can be pro-active and provide outstanding support to our counter-espionage operations.  In the future we must expand our organizations that specialize in conducting intelligence operations at the Ministry level, in Ho Chi Minh and Haiphong Cities, in Quang Nam-Danang, and in a number of other localities where it is possible to conduct intelligence operations and we should develop a specialized, in-depth organization to carry out intelligence operations to meet our current political mission requirements.  We are responsible for conducting intelligence operations in the political, economic, scientific, and technical fields, but our most immediate requirement is to support our counter-espionage mission.  We need to work with the Army’s Intelligence Department and with our different external relations [foreign relations] sectors to study plans to block, render ineffective, and disrupt the enemy’s efforts to assemble Vietnamese exiles, refugees, and those who have fled abroad in order to use them to combat the revolutions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.  We must first concentrate our intelligence operations on the United States, Japan, and the ASEAN countries, and especially on Thailand, and then gradually expand our operations into other areas.  Public Security forces at all levels need to be given priority in obtaining cadres who are capable of conducting intelligence operations to reinforce our [Public Security] intelligence service.

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IV-Consolidate and Strengthen Our Organizations and Build Forces That Specialize in Conducting the Struggle Against American Spies

1) -Based on the implementation of Politburo Resolution 31, we must quickly consolidate and strengthen our organization that specializes in conducting the struggle against American spies.

We need to select cadres with political skills and professional reconnaissance capabilities, cadres who speak foreign languages, cadres who have the necessary knowledge and experience to reinforce our American Counter-Espionage Department.  The other specialized professional departments, based on their individual missions and functions, need to develop concrete plans to participate in the struggle against American spies.

The Ministry has reconnaissance forces that can be sent to focal-point areas where important investigations of American spies are being conducted, where there are investigations of moles [internal spies] within our ranks, where there are cases that involve a number of different provinces and cities, or where there are cases that involve the three nations of Indochina in order to coordinate with and assist the efforts of the reconnaissance personnel of the local Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices.  The reconnaissance forces of the local Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices are the primary counter-espionage forces of our local areas, and they are responsible for providing guidance and help to district, precinct, and city reconnaissance forces and also to city ward and village public security forces to ensure that they are able to obtain a solid picture of the enemy situation at the grass-roots level.  Alongside our main force [regular, professional] reconnaissance forces, we must also have a secret network consisting of intelligence agents, honored collaborators, secret informants, along with personnel detailed from other duties and with the efforts of our mass movement for defending the Fatherland’s security.  All of these elements provide combined strength and power for us in our struggle against American spies.  Reconnaissance forces must receive deep, profound political education and careful, meticulous professional training; they must be deployed in depth and be given in stable [long-term] assignments; and we must have a policy to provide for their material and spiritual needs in order to avoid any disruptions.

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2) -We must organize specialized American counter-espionage training classes for our reconnaissance forces and for a number of the other forces that are involved in this effort. Initially, we must conduct English language training classes for our American counter-espionage reconnaissance forces in order to ensure that within the next five years that our reconnaissance forces assigned combat American spies and the spies of other imperialist and capitalist nations have sufficient reconnaissance personnel who are proficient in English and French.  The Training Department is to work with the American Counter-Espionage Department in developing concrete plans and in carrying out this task.

3) -We need to improve our working procedures and methods to ensure that our work is effective and fruitful.  All documents and information involving American spies must be immediately reported to the Ministry and should be sent to the organization specializing in combatting American spies [the American Counter-Espionage Department] in order to prevent any dispersal of our efforts, provincialism, and a lack of unified, concentrated guidance and direction.  The local Public Security City Bureaus and Provincial Offices must ensure that their organization and their guidance is focused and unified in accordance with the Ministry’s assignment of specific responsibilities for each individual component. 

4) -We must ensure good cooperation when conducting counter-espionage operations with the Soviet Union and the other fraternal socialist countries based on the agreement that we have signed with them.  We must cooperate closely with the security agencies of Laos and Cambodia in the struggle against enemy spies in the spirit of our concept that the three countries of Indochina are one single battlefield.

5) -Update, perfect, and strictly implement our reporting system for operations involving our struggle against American spies in this new situation.  We need to revise and reorganize our service’s communications network to ensure that communications are timely, accurate, and secure.

The Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices and the American Counter-Espionage Department should conduct preliminary as well as overall reviews of our operational methods and of other aspects of American counter-espionage operations and they should conduct specialized studies of previous and current investigations, suspects, investigative cases, intelligence agents, technical reconnaissance, interrogations, and other subjects in order to improve quality, to improve operations, and to improve the effectiveness of the methods we use in our struggle against American spies.

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V -Implementation

Arrange to conduct training seminars for cadres and enlisted personnel on Politburo Resolution 31 and organize specialized American counter-espionage training seminars in order to create a powerful transformation in our concepts, programs, ideological knowledge, operational methods, and revolutionary actions for conducting the struggle against American spies in the new situation.

The Cadre Training Department and the People’s Security and People’s Police high schools and universities should include the subject of combatting American spies in their 1981-1982 study curriculums and in the 1981-1985 five-year plan.

The Political Operations Department, the Public Security Scientific Research Institute, the Public Security Scientific Research magazine, the People’s Public Security newspaper, and the “For the Security of the Fatherland” radio program need to develop plans for propagandizing and educating both our own personnel and the civilian population on these issues.  We must make sure that secrecy is maintained when conducting these propaganda efforts.

Depending on their own specific duties and responsibilities, our Bureaus, Departments, Institutes, Schools, etc. need to come up with concrete plans to implement this specialized resolution.

The American Counter-Espionage Department and the Staff Operations Department of the General Security Department are responsible for helping the Ministry’s leadership to provide guidance to our Public Security Bureaus and Provincial Offices in drafting plans and setting concrete goals for carrying out operations and for monitoring the results of the implementation efforts of our different local organizations.

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The Public Security City Bureaus and Provincial Offices are to brief their local provincial and city Party Current Affairs Committees on the spirit and the content of this specialized conference  in order to request their guidance and to arrange for the implementation of this resolution beginning in April 1981, and then report the results of your discussions back to the Ministry.


For the Minister of Interior

Deputy Minister


Tran Dong

A resolution on combatting “American spies." The document calls for Public Security to re-interview all confirmed or suspected “CIA” agents being held in re-education camps and to conduct careful reviews of the enormous volume of documents captured by Communist forces when they took over South Vietnam in 1975 in order to identify and arrest any “stay-behind” agents of the Americans as well as former “CIA” agents who had still managed to evade detection and arrest.

Related Documents

December 1980

Trần Đông, 'Key Issues in the Struggle against Chinese Spies and American Spies and in the Struggle against the Enemy’s Ideological Attacks' [Excerpts]

In a speech, Deputy Minister of Interior Tran Dong makes it clear that the Ministry of the Interior’s goal is to develop a massive network of secret informants throughout Vietnam’s civilian population, a network that would be every bit as extensive and intrusive as was the informant network established inside East Germany by the Stasi, or the East German Ministry for State Security.

December 15, 1980

Resolution on Policy Guidelines and Missions for the Struggle against Chinese Spies in the New Situation

A resolution on combatting “Chinese spies” in Vietnam. The resolution directs Vietnam's Public Security to establish a special interrogation center to which all known and suspected “Chinese spies” who had been arrested would be sent for detailed interrogation by trained professionals. The interrogations would help Vietnam to identify existing Chinese espionage operations and to obtain information on the Chinese intelligence organizations, their plans, and their targets. 

December 15, 1980

Resolution on the Status and Mission of Combatting Enemy’s Ideological Sabotage Efforts During This New Period

This resolution on combatting “ideological sabotage” lumps Chinese ideological propaganda, Western propaganda operations, international human rights and humanitarian relief activities, and religious radio broadcasts and religious missionary activities all together with the spreading influence of Western culture and music in Vietnam as part of a vast, insidious effort by Vietnam’s enemies designed to corrupt Vietnam’s society and to weaken its “revolutionary” spirit in order to cause the overthrow or collapse of the Vietnamese Communist Party and government. 

The over-the-top rhetoric used in this resolution illustrates the widespread paranoia that infected the upper ranks of Vietnam’s Party and security apparatus during this period of the Cold War.  It was not until six years later, in December 1986, that the pressures of growing internal dissension (even within the Party), the country’s desperate economic situation, and reductions in Soviet military and economic to Vietnam resulted in the decision by the Communist Party’s 6th Party Congress to shift to a policy of reforms, called “Renovation” [Đổi Mới] reforms and to new Vietnamese efforts to normalize relations with China and the United States.

December 15, 1980

Speech Given by Comrade Le Duc Tho to the Leaders of Public Security’s Departments, Bureaus, and City and Provincial Offices during the Conference to Discuss the Three Specialized Drafts and to Implement Politburo Resolution 31 [Excerpts]

A speech given by Party Politburo Member Le Duc Tho during a three-day conference of the Ministry’s top Public Security officers along with the Directors of Public Security of all of the nation’s provinces and major cities, where the attendees received instructions on three new Ministry of Interior Party resolutions - one on “the struggle against Chinese spies”, one on “the struggle against American spies”, and one on  “the struggle against the enemy’s ideological attacks.” At the time of the speech, Le Duc Tho was viewed as Vietnam’s second most powerful leader, second only to Party General Secretary Le Duan. 

Le Duc Tho commented that while recruiting Americans would be easy, requiring only “money, women, and drinking and carousing”, recruiting Chinese would require a careful process of political education of the target

December 2, 1980

Politburo Resolution No. 31-NQ/TW on the Protecting Political Security and Maintaining Law and Order in Our Society in the New Situation

In response to this perceived growing threat against the regime, on 2 December 1980 the Vietnamese Communist Party Politburo issued Resolution 31-NQ/TW on maintaining internal political security and law and order in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with a specific focus on increasing the power and the responsibilities of Vietnam’s Public Security and Police forces, which were subordinate to the Ministry of Interior. 

Document Information


Những Vấn Đề Trọng Yếu Trong Công Tác Đấu Tranh Chống Gián Điệp Trung Quốc, Gián Điệp Mỹ và Chống Địch Phá Hoại Tư Tưởng [Key Issues in the Struggle Against Chinese Spies and American Spies and in the Struggle Against the Enemy’s Ideological Attacks] (People’s Public Security Forces Document, Printed by the People’s Security University, Hanoi, 12 September 1981), 76-105. Contributed and translated by Merle Pribbenow.


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