Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense is considered a place of dispute between the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Prime Minister. In the previous newsletter, Thoibao.de analyzed that, between the party chief and the government leader, each of them has their own advantages. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has the advantage of being the head of the Central Military Commission, so has the advantage of granting titles. As for the Prime Minister, he has the advantage of holding the ministry’s financial line, so he can tie many generals to the common interests. But both title and money are important to officials. So the dispute is quite tense in the Ministry of Defense, it determines whether the game is over or not?
Everyone can see that the General Secretary’s advantage is arresting and punishing, he caught a lot, however, not all financial lines are related to the incumbent PM. The PM’s corruption would not be easily detected if there are any.
In order to cut down the old trees hidden deep in the forest, the General Secretary had to cut down the small trees to clear the way into the forest to cut large logs. That is the principle that Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong often applies in his kiln burning campaign. To cut down Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, Minister Chu Ngoc Anh, and two Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam and Pham Binh Minh, and recently the great tree State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, a whole year before that, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong had to cut down dozens of provincial officials, especially many CDC directors. That was the case of Viet A, and the rescue flight was the same, Mr. Trong arrested a lot of “small” officials and then came to Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh.
After the Tet holiday, the Communist Government apparatus has now gone into normal work, the work of “fighting” for power has also started. The CPV has up to 5 million party members, even a tenth of which are officials, the number of official is a very large. Therefore, Mr. Trong cannot deal with all different fractions so he has to be hurry.
On February 2, the state-controlled media reported that Mr. Nguyen Van Son – former Lieutenant General, former Commander of the Coast Guard – was accused along with 4 other generals under his authority of embezzlement of VND50 billion from equipment purchase budget and then shared the amount.
It can be said that for a Lieutenant General, corrupting VND50 million is not too large so for five generals the amount is even small thing. In the Ministry of Defense there are kickback packages that, according to some analysts, could reach $500 million with the previous contract to buy Kilo submarines from Russia. However, not everyone has a large tray to eat, so they have to eat snacks.
Usually, in order to eat well, people form a strong interest group to cover for each other, and do it very closely to avoid “hostile forces” breaking through the stronghold of corruption. And safely retire later. When in office, people did not do such kind things, so when they retire, they had the desire to “be a good person.” It is unclear whether Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong dares to attack this fortified citadel or not?
In addition to the Kilo submarine project, currently in the Ministry of Defense, there are bidding packages to supply weapons from Israel, especially those related to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan. At the beginning of the year, Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong had to bring snack generals to trial, whether Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong had any intention or not? Before Tet, the head of the Central Commitssion for Internal Affairs Phan Dinh Trac made a statement aimed at the army general, which was a declaration of war by Nguyen Phu Trong although it was said through the mouth of Trac.
The Ministry of Defense is very rotten, many generals eat a lot, but still using old training plane making soldiers to lose their lives. This is an opportunity for Mr. Trong to make a sweeping battle in the Defense Ministry. By targeting the ministry, Mr. Trong must have made the army of generals tremble.