Democratic Kampuchea – Defence Against Vietnam (1978)

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Cambodia’s Strategy of Defence against Vietnam

Author’s Note: The geo-political situation in 1977-1978 saw Vietnam deploy its Army inside Kampuchea with the intention of destroying the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge (Vietnam was aligned with the USSR at the time). However, these Khmer Rouge radio broadcasts make it clear that ethnic Cambodians are a small minority and are having difficulty handling the much larger Vietnamese Forces. US disinformation would have us believe that this small minority – whilst being militarily pushed back and destroyed – inflicted a Hitleresque-type massacre upon a) the ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia and b) the invading Vietnamese Army. This story is doubtful considering the rapid disintegration of the Khmer Rouge. I would be interested to see how many Cambodians were killed by the invading Vietnamese Army as this document talks of the Cambodian race being wiped-out prior to the development of the inverted US propaganda claiming the opposite. Just as Western bookshops are full of fantasies about Soviet ‘gulags’, the same bookshops (and the internet) abound with piles of unburied skulls in Cambodia – supposedly ‘proving’ a massacre occurred. In fact, it is common for areas to be littered with such remains following major military engagements anywhere in the world – particularly if the battlefield is fluid and the countries not so well developed. It is a shame that the current Cambodian Authorities are willing to treat their own dead in this disrespectful manner just to assist US disinformation purposes! ACW (7.6.2019)
Cambodia’s Strategy of Defence against Vietnam
Phnom Penh home service 1100 gmt 10 May 78
Excerpts from broadcast on the national defence situation from April 1977 to April 1978:
What was our national defence situation during the past year? During this period, we fought vigorously and strenuously against all enemies. domestic and from outside, and won complete victory .
(1) The defence of the western border: This year there were some clashes, but we were in full control of the situation and there was nothing to cause us concern. We are now capable of defending this border, and in the future we shall be even more so.
(2) The defence of the eastern border: The defence of the eastern border has been a matter of vigorous and strenuous battle because to the east, Cambodia shares a border with Vietnam. The Vietnamese want to take our territory and turn Cambodia into their satellite, making it part of Vietnam. It was for this reason that during the past year, a- number of serious and violent battles were fought against the Vietnamese
During the period from 17th April 1977 to 17th April 1978, fighting took place continuously in small, medium and large-scale battles. The level of fighting actually increased this year. A special feature of the fighting against the Vietnamese is the fact that it has been even more serious than in previous years. This is because, not having their forces inside our country, the Vietnamese have to attack us from outside, and the launching of attacks from outside requires a larger number of troops. [Fighting last November and December] We smashed and drove the Vietnamese aggressive forces out of our territory on 6th January 1978, killing and wounding 29,000 of their troops and smashing five of their divisions. This was our opening victory in the first phase. At the time we attacked the enemy forces and won our first victory we had not yet properly organized our forces. Like the armed forces of the Party Central Committee (Cambodian: kamlang robas Kangtoap robas machempak), our forces in each region were not fully organized and prepared for such large-scale fighting, and the troops and weapons were not yet fully prepared. However, we succeeded in smashing the Vietnamese forces. ..
The Vietnamese forces then attacked us in the second phase. This phase of the offensive started towards the end of February 1978, and was designed to prepare conditions for smashing us in March and then occupying our Cambodian territory in April. That is why the Vietnamese engaged 11 divisions in this phase, two more than in the first phase. What happened then?
As soon as we had won our victory of 6th January 1978, we did not let the Vietnamese initiate further attacks against us, but kept launching attacks against them. We launched a series of attacks until the end of January .We also attacked them in February .The Vietnamese forces became weaker, losing a number of troops. They were then obliged to send more fresh troops, in order to launch attacks against us. In March, however, the Vietnamese did not have the strength to attack us: instead, we continued to attack them. In March, the fighting was serious and fierce, because on some fronts divisions of troops were engaged. As each front involved a number of divisions, this was by no means a small war. Whilst the Vietnamese suffered defeats in January and February, their defeat in March was even more serious. Because of their heavy defeat in March, in April the Vietnamese did not have the strength to attack us again… This is why they turned to guerrilla tactics, or engaged in smaller attacks. Because their large-scale offensive plan has been defeated, they turned to small attacks, but just as they were defeated in their large-scale offensives, so too they will suffer even more serious losses in their smaller attacks.
We absolutely must fight to defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cambodia. We need to live independently, and we need to live by ourselves. We cannot afford to live under subjugation. This is the stand of victory. This is not a stand of submission, but a stand of victory. This is the first point. On the basis of this stand, we draw up the lines of our fight, we implement people’s war, and we implement effectively the lines of combat in order to defeat the enemy. The Party has instructed that we must try to destroy as many of the enemy as possible, and try to preserve our forces to the maximum. We are few in number, but we have to attack a larger force; therefore, we must preserve our forces to the maximum and try to kill as many of the enemy as possible. This is our slogan. In terms of numbers, one of us must kill 30 Vietnamese. If we can implement this slogan, we shall certainly win. We shall defeat Vietnam, regardless of its size. Any country which dares to commit aggression against Cambodia will be defeated if we abide by this slogan. So far, we have succeeded in implementing this slogan of one against 30; that is to say, we lose one against 30 Vietnamese. Thus, our losses are one-thirtieth of the Vietnamese losses.
Using these figures, one Cambodian soldier is equal to 30 Vietnamese soldiers. Then how many Vietnamese are equal to 10 Cambodian soldiers? The answer must be 300. And 100 Cambodians are equal to 3,000 Vietnamese. And 1,000,000 Cambodians are equal to 30,000,000 Vietnamese. We should have 2,000,000 troops for 60,000,000 Vietnamese. However 2,000,000 troops would be more than enough to fight the Vietnamese, because Vietnam has only 50,000,000 inhabitants. We don’t have to engage 8,000,000 people. We need only 2,000,000 troops to crush the 50,000,000 Vietnamese, and we would still have 6,000,000 people left. We must formulate our combat line in this manner, in order to win victory. This is the combat line to be implemented on the battlefield. We absolutely must implement the slogan of one against 30. If we cannot implement this slogan, we shall not win victory. This matter does not concern the armed forces alone, The entire Party, army and people must be made fully aware of these lines, views and stand. Now, how well did we implement this combat line in winning victory? In brief, the target of one against 30 has been attained.
How are they [the Vietnamese] going to attack us in future, and how are we going to handle it? We have to foresee the prospects. In order to do this, we have to review past events and look into the future. Did the Vietnamese succeed in beating us? They have wanted to turn Cambodia into their satellite since 1930. In 1945, we joined in the fight against the French. The Vietnamese then wanted to conquer and annex Cambodia the easy way. Did they succeed then? No, they did not. Did the Vietnamese succeed in conquering Cambodia in 1950, 1960, 1970 and 1975? No, they did not. This is why we need not adopt a defeatist view. We must review our history. Have the Vietnamese succeeded in swallowing Cambodia. No. They wanted to swallow us in 1970, but they could not. They entered into negotiations in 1973 in an attempt to swallow us, but they did not succeed. They tried again in 1975. Their plan was to capture Prey Nokor [Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City] first, and then attack Phnom Penh, in order to impose their control over us. This time again, they were a step behind Cambodia. Cambodia won victory before them. After our victory, the Vietnamese wanted to stage a coup d’etat, and attacked us; again they were defeated. They were defeated in 1975, 1976 and again in 1977. Their April 1978 attack was also defeated.
So, we must read history and have full confidence, and we must not believe the lies and confusion of other people who wonder how we with only 8,000,000 people can defeat Vietnam with its 50,000,000 people. We must not believe that we cannot defeat Vietnam, just because we have about 100,000 troops against Vietnam’s 1,000,000.
What is the solution to the contradiction of using a small force to defeat a larger force? It is necessary for the smaller force to know how to use what power it has to defeat the larger force, as we mentioned earlier -that is to say, one against 30. If we can use one against 30, we shall certainly win, even if this fight lasts 700 years or more, but if we do not adopt this line, we shall not win. Therefore we must (1) Be resolutely determined to defend our territory. Defending Cambodian territory means defending the Cambodian race. If the Vietnamese succeed in conquering the country, the Cambodian race will be completely erased within about 30 years, so it is imperative that we defend Cambodia. (2) We must confident that we can defeat the Vietnamese. (3) How do we defeat them? We must understand and know how to use a small force to defeat a large force. We must use one against 30. This is just the number fixed by the Party, but in concrete deeds some of our comrades fought one against 10; we shall certainly win with one against ten or one against five. Some of our people have fought one against 20, and some have even tried to fight one against 50 or one against 100. There was no problem; they were still victorious. This is the combat line. To implement the combat line is to apply the science of people’s war, to solve the contradiction, for we have to use a small force to defeat a large force. We won victory because we solved this contradiction property. This is what happened in the past, and is happening at present.
What must we do in future? We must (1) Believe that we shall be able to continue to fight as successfully as we have in the past; (2) have confidence in the implementation of the same combat line-one against 30. Some of our unites must fight one against 40, and others must try one against 50…
During the past three or four months of fighting the Vietnamese aggressors, our armed forces have developed tremendously, increasing fourfold. This is the first change. The second change is the fact that the number of cadres has also increased. In order to develop the armed forces, it is necessary to have cadres. After one or two months of fighting, our cadres can handle battalions. After the same period of time those who were in battalions can handle regiments, and those who were in regiments can handle divisions. We have used our army cadres in the development of our armed forces throughout the country. That is why our armed forces are in control of the situation from (?Kantuy Neak) area [words indistinct], form the tip of Ratanakiri down to Ratanakiri, Mondolkiri, Kratie, Snuol, Memot, Prey Veng, Romeas Hek, Prey Veng again, Kandal, Takeo and Kampot. We can smash an enemy regiment attacking on one front in one or two days.
Why are our armed forces so powerful? Because we have powerful army cadres. Powerful army cadres make for powerful combatants, because combatants are under the guidance of the cadres. Why are these cadres so powerful? Because they are army cadres who have been properly selected in accordance with the lines set by the Party and who implement the line of pure army cadres. These cadres are extremely powerful. They are powerful, but they never engage in battle without serious planning. They are powerful and can fight effectively. They have success in preserving their forces to the maximum, and in destroying a large number of enemy troops… Our forces fight like thunderbolts. Our comrades have never hesitated. In order to attack the enemy like thunderbolts, they have adhered first to a strong and resolute stand, second to the correct combat lines, and third of the concept of the permanent presence of commanders in their units and on the battlefield such as on the battlefront in Kampot, Takeo, and the eastern front. The commanding officers must always be present, so that whenever the enemy attacks, we can detect them immediately and order the units to counter-attack the enemy, and so that after the enemy forces are smashed, we can assign the units to pursue them immediately. When the enemy forces continue to run, we can order our groups and units to follow them. We follow and attack the enemy forces until they are routed and run across the border. This is what we call the thunderbolt attack.
All forces are permanently on the alert. The enemy cannot resist, because our command operates in this manner. When this system of command is in operation, orders from the divisional command to regiments, to battalions and to companies are not needed. If we had to wait for reports from platoons to companies, from companies to battalions, form battalions to regiment and from regiments to the divisional command, and then if orders from the divisional command had to go through the same number of level, we would give the enemy forces time to prepare attacks against us. While we were drawing up plans, the enemy forces would be ready to attack us again…
We must have firm belief in our masses of people, our armed forces, our Party, our line of people’s war and in our combat lines. Whenever the enemies, far or near, conduct propaganda campaigns to deceive us, to intimidate us and make us fear the enemy, we must counteract them. We must not allow these germs to attack the masses, our Party or our armed forces.
We must purify our armed forces, our Party and the masses of people in order to continue fighting the enemies in defence of Cambodian territory and the Cambodian race, for if we do not do so, our race will disappear. Do we want to see the end of the Cambodian race? If we do not try to defend our territory, we shall lose it, and then our race will also disappear. The Vietnamese will bring in one or two million of their people into our country every year, and then we shall lose our territory and our race will be completely swallowed up.
The Vietnamese thought that they would gain from what they have done, but in fact their acts have only served to heighten the flames of anger among our people and our armed forces, thus strengthening our revolution. They could not weaken our revolution. They would have weakened our revolution if we had surrendered, but instead of surrendering we have become even stronger. We have been able to defend our country and we shall be able to do everything. However, we can only carry out our construction task provided that Cambodia is preserved. If we lose Cambodia, what will become of our national construction work? Thus, as we have succeeded in defending Cambodia, we shall certainly be able to do anything.

JSP Delegation in North Korea

(a) Abstract of reports:
A Japan Socialist Party delegation has left for Pyongyang via Khabarovsk for a week’s goodwill visit to North Korea. This is the fifth delegation to be sent to North Korea by the JSP and the first time in four years that the Chairman of the Party will be visiting Pyongyang. (Kyodo in English 0349 gmt 11 May 78)
The delegation arrived in Pyongyang on 11th May for a visit to North Korea at the invitation of the KWP Central Committee. It is led by Ichio Asukata, Chairman of the JSP Central Executive Committee, with Noboru Akune, Vice-Chairman of the JSP Central Executive Committee, as deputy leader and Tamio Kawakami, member of the JSP Central Executive Committee and Director of its International Department, as its general secretary. Other members include Tetsu Veda, member of the JSP Central Executive Committee and Director of its Education and Propaganda Department; Togo Yoneda, Chairman of the JSP Special Committee for Measures on Korean Affairs; and Shigeyuki Funabashi, member of the JSP Central Executive Committee The delegation was cordially greeted at the airport by Comrades Pak Song-chol and Kim Yong-nam and personages concerned Kim Kwan-sop, So Yun-sok, Kim Pong-chu, Chi Chae-yong, Hyon Chun-kuk, Cho Chung-sam, and Chu Chang-chun (KCNA in English 0338 gmt 12 May 78)
The KWP Central Committee arranged a banquet in honour of the delegation on 11th May. Pak Song-chol and Ichio Asukata made speeches [for details see below]. The banquet proceeded in a cordial atmosphere overflowing with friendship (KCNA in English 0342 gmt 12 May 78)
On 12th May, the JSP delegation had talks with a North Korean delegation consisting of Comrades Pak Song-chol and Kim Yong-nam and personages concerned Kim Kwan-sop, Hyon Chun-kuk and Chu Chang-chun. They exchanged views on developing the friendly and co-operative relations between the two Parties and two peoples and; steadily strengthening the mutual support and solidarity and on questions of mutual concern. They reached identity of views on the questions discussed. The talks proceeded in a cordial and friendly atmosphere (KCNA in English 0342 gmt 13 May 78) They discussed the present situation in Asia (Kyodo in English 10l9gmt 12 May 78), The Japanese delegation later saw a performance of “The Song of Paradise” at the Mansudae Art Theatre (KCNA in English 0345 gmt 13 May 78).

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