General Department of Military Intelligence (Vietnam)

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Tổng cục Tình báo or Tổng cục 2 or TC2 (translated variously as General Department of Military Intelligence or Second General Department) is an intelligence agency of Vietnam.


  • Forces Military Intelligence started from Military Intelligence Division and Hoang Minh Dao was the first director.
  • By decree of the President of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam No. 34 April 25, 1946, Article 10: "Intelligence Division is responsible for scouting the enemy situation, the situation of Vietnam's army, and collecting information useful for acts of war".
  • September 1946, Military Intelligence Division was trained by Japanese ex-soldiers who stayed in Vietnam after World War II.
  • March 20, 1947, Intelligence Agency was established, under the Ministry of Defense - General Command Vietnam National Army. April May 1950, the Intelligence Agency is dissolved.
  • July 15, 1951, Strategic Intelligence Agency of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under the name of "Communication Department" of Prime Minister (translated as Nha Liên Lạc) was established.
  • June 10, 1957, Communication Department and the Military Intelligence Department of General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army merged into Military Intelligence Agency.
  • In 1995, the Military Intelligence Agency was upgraded to the General Department of Military Intelligence under the Ministry of Defense (TC2)


The current Director of TC2 is Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Hung.

TC2 is an official department of the Ministry of Defense. However TC2 is directly responsible to the Communist Party of Vietnam and the President.[1]

TC2 is organised into:

  • Office
  • 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 Part 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".[2] It is responsible for both internal and external intelligence.

TC2 has been accused by some groups of human rights abuses and political interference.[3]

Famous Operations[edit]

During First Indochina War:

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.

Notable spies[edit]

  • Trần Hiệu (known as Vũ Văn Địch)
  • Hoàng Minh Đạo
  • Tạ Đình Đề
  • Vũ Ngọc Nhạ (known as Hai Long)
  • Phạm Xuân Ẩn (known as Hai Trung or X6)
  • Phạm Ngọc Thảo (known as Chín Thảo)
  • Nguyễn Thành Trung
  • Lê Hữu Thúy (known as Năm Thúy)
  • Đặng Trần Đức (known as Ba Quốc)
  • Đinh Thị Vân (known as Đinh Thị Mậu)
  • Nguyễn Văn Minh (known as Ba Minh or H3)
  • Nguyễn Trọng Lượng (known as Lê Minh)
  • Trần Đình Hiếu (known as Trần Minh or X9)


  1. ^ Ordinance on Intelligence Services, 14 December 1996
  2. ^ Decree 96/CP on Defence Intelligence, 11 September 1997
  3. ^ Que Me, 29 July 2004