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Tổng cục Tình báo, also called Tổng cục 2 and TC2 (English: General Department of Military Intelligence) or (English: Second General Department) is a military intelligence agency of Vietnam.
The current Director of TC2 is Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Hung.
TC2 is an official department of the Ministry of Defense. However, TC2 reports directly to the Communist Party of Vietnam and the President.
TC2 is organised into:
- Inspector of Military Intelligence
- Bureau of Finance
- Bureau of Military Science
- Bureau of Criminal Investigation
- Bureau of Information
- Bureau of Economy
- Bureau 72
- Bureau 73
- Bureau B
- Bureau C
- Bureau E
- Staff of Military Intelligence
- Department of Politics
- Department of Logistics
- Department of Technique
- Department 11
- Department 12
- Department 16
- Department 25
- Department 71
- Department 72
- Department 80
The Communist Party of Vietnam exercises its control through the Military Intelligence Commission of the Communist Party.
Besides there is a separate Office of Intelligence in the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Border Guard and Coast Guard.
Despite its naming as a military intelligence body, its work covers a broad range of interests — by law, it is permitted to "be active in the fields of politics, defence, security, foreign relations, economics, science and technology, industry and the environment, society and culture". It is responsible for both internal and external intelligence.
TC2 has been accused by some groups of human rights abuses and political interference.
During First Indochina War:
- Campaigns against opposing political groups (1946): prior to the start of First Indochina War, the military intelligence of Vietminh was active in collecting anti-Vietminh evidence of Vietnamese Nationalist Party (Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng), Vietnamese Revolutionary League (Việt Nam Cách mạng Đồng minh Hội) and Nationalist Party of Greater Vietnam (Đại Việt Quốc dân Đảng). Those opposing political groups were later disbanded in 1946 by government of Democratic Republic of Vietnam under Vietminh leadership.
- Case of H122 (1948): a French spy was thought to have entered Vietminh forces, however it was later found that the spying was a fake information given by French
During Vietnam War a significant number of spies were sent by North Vietnam and Vietcong into government of South Vietnam and Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Some notable spies were Pham Ngoc Thao, Pham Xuan An, Vu Ngoc Nha etc. Some famous operations by North Vietnamese and Vietcong spies were:
- Case of Phạm Ngọc Thảo (1965): Phạm Ngọc Thảo was a communist spy who infiltrated the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and served as a colonel. He was appointed by Ngô Đình Nhu as a director for the Strategic Hamlet Program which aimed to eliminate communist agents in South Vietnam. He deliberately destabilize the Program, causing protests against South Vietnam government and America among villagers. He also deliberately initiated and participated in a coup d'état in 1963 that removed and killed Ngô Đình Diệm - the first president of South Vietnam. Thảo was later suspected and killed by South Vietnamese government in 1965.
- Case of A.22 (1969): a team of 42 communist spies who infiltrated as officers in South Vietnamese government and even as an assistant of the President of South Vietnam were discovered by CIA. The team was later sentenced to jail by the government of South Vietnam.
- Theft of UH-1 helicopter (1973): Hồ Duy Hùng, a dismissed pilot of Republic of Vietnam Air Force who actually was a communist spy, stole a UH-1 helicopter in Da Lat City and flew to the area controlled by Vietcong in Tay Ninh.
- Bombing of Independence Palace (1975): Nguyễn Thành Trung, a pilot of Republic of Vietnam Air Force who actually was a communist spy, flew an F5-E fighter and bombed the Independence Palace on 8/4/1975. After the mission he flew and landed at the area controlled by Vietcong.
- Activities of Phạm Xuân Ẩn: Phạm Xuân Ẩn was probably the most notable communist spy of Vietnam War. He worked as a journalist for Time magazine, Reuters and New York Herald Tribune stationed in Saigon during Vietnam War. He had a wide network with many senior officers and commanders of South Vietnamese government and military. He also made friends with many senior American officers and commanders, hence allowing him to access top secret documents of South Vietnam and America. His spying activity was not discovered until the end of Vietnam War.
During Cambodian-Vietnamese War and Sino-Vietnamese War, the Military Intelligence played essential role in gathering information from Khmer Rouge and Chinese.