India’s Covert Action Capabilities Stymied By CIA, MI6 Pressure

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by DFI_COAS, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. DFI_COAS

    DFI_COAS Regular Member

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    The biggest question that is on every Indian’s mind even as the messy details of the Pathankot operations gradually come to light is why our intelligence agencies have never had the stomach to resort to covert action to cripple terrorist infrastructures in Pakistan.

    What is alarming – and this is based on long and searching conversations I have had with a few covert operation specialists in our intelligence agencies – is that the security organisations have allowed their Western counterparts to control them.

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    Indian army soldiers climb up the stairs of a residential building outside the air force base in Pathankot, Sunday, January 3, 2016. (Photo: AP)
    Last evening, as the Pathankot mess unfolded, one former specialist revealed that as far back as 1993-94, the American CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) literally forbade the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from launching covert operations in Pakistan. These meetings, which were part of the liaison arrangement that the RAW had – and continues to have – Western intelligence agencies have been to the detriment of India and its ability to strike back clandestinely across the border.



    Western Agencies’ Control
    “Their argument was that Pakistan being a rogue state does not mean that you too stoop to its levels,” a former top RAW officer said, quoting his American counterpart at one liaison meeting, adding that “we have been forced to fight but with our hands tied behind our backs just because one of the Western agencies’ stakes in Pakistan are far too deep.”

    We have been forced to fight but with our hands tied behind our backs just because one of the Western agencies’ stakes in Pakistan are far too deep

    Former top RAW Officer

    The pressure exerted and the control exercised by the two Western intelligence agencies continues. The only difference now is that there is an additional foreign security organisation (which worked closely with the RAW to train the LTTE) which has been able to establish a stranglehold over our intelligence community.


    Snapshot
    Click here to collapse
    India’s Covert Action Experience
    • What is alarming is that the Indian security organisations have allowed their Western counterparts to control them.
    • Till 1993-94, the CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) literally forbade the RAW from launching covert operations in Pakistan.
    • Not just the executive is to be blamed, the IB is known to resort to puerile means to ‘catch spies’
    • Covert action could also involve mobilising political forces across borders the way it was done with near precision in Bangladesh in 1992

    Incapable of Artful Subtlety
    Even as the same forces that have repeatedly attacked India have grown in West Asia, the commonsense wisdom should be that it must rest on our ability to know, to understand, to predict and – when the moment is opportune – to act. But India has never had the capability of acting with artful subtlety or, in other words, undertaking covert operations in our neighbourhood.

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    French President Jacques Chirac (L) talks with the then Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral in New Delhi, January 25, 1998. (Photo: Reuters)
    Ever since the then Prime Minister Inder Gujral issued unwritten orders to wind up RAW’s modest covert action capabilities, the agency has found itself crippled and wanting in raising the cost of the clandestine war for Pakistan.

    But it is not just executive orders – and cold feet among India’s political class – that have forced the RAW or even the IB to turn to conventional or benign methods of gathering intelligence. It is no secret that the intelligence agencies, especially the IB, have resorted to underhand, and sometimes puerile means, to “catch spies”.


    Past Covert Operations
    There indeed was a time – in the 80s and early 90s – that the RAW could act with near-total freedom when covert action would be carried out in India’s neighbourhood. Covert operations need not involve sending in special forces across international borders to create mayhem and large scale disturbances in neighbouring countries where governments or non-state actors have been inimical to Indian interests.

    [​IMG]
    Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stands along with army officers for the national anthem during the celebration of the country’s 45th Victory Day in Dhaka, December 16, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
    Covert action could also involve mobilising political forces across borders to bring down governments and this was done with near precision in Bangladesh in 1992 when the RAW was able to bring together the two warring begums – Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia – to run a pro-democracy movement that finally led to the toppling of Lieutenant General H M Ershad.

    Specialists have also undertaken covert operations in Afghanistan around the time the Taliban was gaining ground there, clandestinely meeting an Uzbek warlord in European capitals. Others have secretly moved huge consignments of weapons to ethnic insurgent groups in Myanmar.


    Narasimha Rao’s Foresight
    Former RAW and IB officers recall that the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao has been the “only PM” who understood the foreign policy value of covert operations. When brief unsigned proposals would be taken to him, Rao would, as was his wont, simply nodded to give executive approval to individual covert ops. “That executive authority and decisiveness to sanction covert action has since been sorely lacking,” a former RAW special secretary said.


    [​IMG]
    Indian soldiers stand guard outside the besieged airbase in Pathankot, Monday, January 4, 2016. (Photo: AP)
    Lack of Commitment
    Critics at once assault the RAW and the IB for incompetence and omnipotence. But it is when the country is faced with national security crises that they are exposed as blundering fools who otherwise manage to deviously manipulate information and events to claim success.

    After a series of unpardonable failures and blunders, Pathankot has now thrown up questions that have been asked before. Why didn’t we know? Why didn’t we act more aggressively to prevent the attack? Why were we so unprepared to respond quickly? Why did/do we lack the skills of stealth and deception, contacts/sources/agents and the ability to infiltrate/penetrate the deadly jihadi groups in Pakistan?

    The one answer to the clutch of questions is: historically, members of our so-called intelligence community, have been inert with no sense of security first and incapable of the derring-do, expertise, specialisation and commitment that the job of collecting and analysing intelligence demands.

    http://www.thequint.com/opinion/201...mied-by-cia-mi6-pressure#.Vqb_c79pRgM.twitter
     
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  3. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nice try to balme americans or british

    Fact is Indian leadership is not prepared for any loss of such attcaks.

    I mean why use inaidn resouces and why not outsource it others i am mean we can use ex-isreali/americans/or others i am sure there must be people willing do their dirty work if good money is beging thrown

    How does CIA gets its job done ,
     
  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its not blame on Americans or British..There's truth in it.post Gujral messup.
    If RAW is given a free run in pakistan..many of the US and its allies scheme for South Asia wont work.
    If Indian leadership was able to sanction covert op back in 80's and 90's they can very well do it now. Its just that after the Gujral screwup..RAWs capability was crippled and political machinery in India cant rely on half baked intel nor rely on foreign intel completely...foreign intel may force us to fly into a shit storm.. Curveball theory at large!!!

    Restarting such covert capabilities in a foreign land is not easy too..it takes decades to build bases and assets.

    Trusting foreign agency with to perform covert ops is dangerous..that can drag India into bigger political and diplomatic mess. Every nations works for their own interest. We have read loads on the intel on WMD's in Iraq and how CIA peddled it to install democracy in Iraq. :D

    How much money can INdia throw if certain parties in pakistan is bend on controlling the treasury of pakistan?
    There are some things money can buy for everything else there is Coercive diplomacy backed by intel which can be leveraged against them.


    In a foreign land, a lot of nations propaganda, ideas and competitions converge or are in conflict. This is when such proposal of reliance on foreign intel to do dirty jobs become extremely dangerous for India.

    CIA gets it job done..its backed by the American political Hegemony. What we see is the political clout behind CIA and nothing more. CIA will be doing zilch without US political muscle and weapons industry.

    India has amazing clandestine capabilities and.."RAW knows what its doing" . India should restart the deep assets inside pak and India has every right to protect itself.

    India should use the current regional ambiance and lack of pak cooperation on fight against terrorism to achieve what it needs inside pak. and never care for what US or western nations say.

    POTUS can baby sit the press at the white house and woowieee audience with Youtube video interviews.
     
  5. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    With OP in Burma ,the present govt. knows the value of covert op ,but it will take 5 -10 yrs for us to capability like MOS SAD. Just hope there is no deviation.
     
  6. indiatester

    indiatester Regular Member

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    I also stopped working hard at my studies because CIA and MI6 told me so.
    Infact I dropped my facebook because Zukerberg told me to lay off. :scared2:
     
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  7. aditya g

    aditya g Regular Member

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    Putting my arnab goswami hat:

    "Nation wants know what is raw doing with all the taxpayer money"

    Ultimately it was the military with tsd which had to do the hard work these guys are supposed to.
     
  8. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    1) i never asked for foregin country inetlligence to be involved .I asked for outsourcing work to other nations people but not their intelligence agency.

    How can ISI in india gets indian people to work for it . we can even get any single pakistani ??? cannt pakistani people be honey trapped.

    2)Is this story true that gujaral handed over operatives list .I donot believe in it Any link to support your claim .If its true then Who was head of R&AW when gujaral was PM.How did he handed over list of operatives to PM to be handed over to PAK.Bloody hell didnt he knew that he works for state and not any political party or PM.how can he so unprofessional.Any intelliency agency head worth his salt wont had over names of operatives to his reporting political head.That men should had been punished by next PM of country.

    3)Gujarl was PM in 1996 .It almost 2 decades now in between country saw 3 Prime minster and 4 govs and you want to say none of them retied to established operatives networks in pakistan thats fooloishness of them

    When 26/11 happened IE reported that that time NSA told MMS that we didnt have any strong R&AW wing in pakistan. What kind of NSA he is who after four years of his appointment to post says to PM we donnot have robuts R&AW operatives in pakistan.If i had been PM i would had fired him at that moment itself .

    now its almost 7 years plus 2 decades if you count from 1996 , Even after 26/11 if we donot have good info about pak and its state/non-state actors then shame.

    And Last but not least if country political leadership has guts then it can gets its job done irrespective of foregin nations pressure/power.

    Any big powerfull nation would only respects us only if our leaderships show little guts/confidence and self respect
     
  9. raja696

    raja696 Regular Member

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    I doubt we have lost raw capability for co ops in Pakistan. The only thing stopping raw is that top heads and operatives should be protected or left with full degree of freedom by enacting a national security law which prevents interference like cbi ect which become political tool and hunt raw for past doing due to changing governments. Raw should be extended internally also for its basic input gatherings like who is politician providing base for anti national activities .
    It should be independent and only answer to pm and rest on the need to know bases.
     
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  10. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    May be thats how stuffs are when it comes to establishing deep assets. and thats the capability any nation will lose when you shut down assets inside another sate.
    Honey trap..money trapp...wish that stuffs were easy in realworld.


    When did I ever say that anything about OPERATIVES LIST. Where did you get that idea.
    What I said was Gujral, in order too show how serious India is in working towards peace with pakistan decided to shut down deep assets as a show of gesture. How can you even consider/assume this as handing over Operatives list to the enemies of this nation?

    Can you go back and read the previous posts before you get trigger happy with the keyboard!!!
    What exactly are you trying to esablish with this response(2)?



    This is the whole point of this article(Post #1)... post year 2000 we were relying heavily on intel from foreign agencies and this has to change. THe socio-political condition is just right for India to push for reestablishing covert capabilities inside pak..now that we have a proactive GoI which is meaning to getting thigs done.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Blaming foreign agencies does not cover up the root cause political failures ,corruption lack of policy and no strategic vision of any kind


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Bahamut

    Bahamut Senior Member Senior Member

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    First remove the fifth column NGO from India.Defeat the enemy within and then go for enemy outside the border.
     
  13. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ohh yeh you never said about operative list . i just type in just based on info available on net but still R&AW cheif at that time should never had stopped its operatives even if head of state demands it .R&AW chief should have never implemented such order .And what gujaral get in retrun ???

    And PM after gujaral should had started opertions back.But it was still not started and we get 26/11.

    Continous attacks us through proxy only shows nothing has changed on ground.

    Our political , militraliy , intelliengcy leadership has never any thing..,And they wont learn anything because they never lost anything and had became too thick skined fact that nothings affect any thing

    Actors of various inetlligence agency depends upon each other on info .IT just that they passed only those info which they deemed necessary to pass

    And still i say it has been 2 decades and stiil we haven`t established good opertions in pakistan ???
     
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  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    After Mumbai USA was actively sharing intelligence with India. I always wondered how USA a country 12000 miles away has intelligence about a country next to India that India does not even have?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    “Their argument was that Pakistan being a rogue state does not mean that you too stoop to its levels,” That's like saying to a policeman that don't punish a criminal because that would be stooping criminal's level. :laugh: A regime that can't wield a stick is not really respected anywhere.
     
  16. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oh, please, do you see any foreign intelligence agency making their covert action in a foreign country publicly, which they are not in the war with. If they do so, that is an act of declaring war.

    We all know Indian intelligence is doing covert action as much as CIA, M16.
     
  17. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Just the way PLA/CCP use to do in North East states of India. One of these days CIA might start in your land as well.
     
  18. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    i guess i might understand haw you feel and i dont blame you at all ...my only hope is we differentiate between the real ones and the fakes .


    exactly ! most interesting

    even worse than corruption is ( i hope i can now say WAS ) the absolute lack of strategic policy

    yeah ! well put

    my take is that IF donald J gets to the oval office and replaced the taleban rep currently in there ... we ARE going to see a radical change in alignments ...i have little doubt about that

    for a season ( like years ) th eusa is going to give up exotic and "refined " involvements with packland ....donald is the kind of guy who thinks straight and hits hard and if people like senator roarbacher also raise their voices we are going to see more direct alignments and less complications

    the people of the usa from who the military are drafted will also want to see less overseas involvement other than immediate direct action and less loading assets and pampering packland but rather telling pack's generals what one usa senator once told a pack general that we will bomb you back to the stone age ....

    i think we are gonna hear more of that kind of direct talk

    depending o how the iowa polls and the rest of it goes , if donald is seen to be winning watch for signs of big time panic in packland

    it will be the beginning of the end for their pampered status which they have been unduly enjoying for far too long ....so watch for signals of panic from there

    Britain my want to advocate for the packs but i think donald wont give them time of day especially as the talebs in uk had raised a few hundred thousand signatures against him ....plus usa wants to bolster itself first before going around to bail out the brits

    only question that raises doubts for me is how long can donald gain the confidence of the military industrial complex and if something untoward happen to him

    i feel confident india can have great dialog with donald , we will need good usa -based communicators and diplomats and lobbyists to get the job done ....we cant send a robe clothed saint to communicate with him , and i think even modi should not communicate directly too much

    we will seriously need better communicators and usa based lobbyists who already know the system and have great contacts in the oval office and pentagon etc

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  19. aliyah

    aliyah Regular Member

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    R&AW is lacking 40% strength from its estimated work force. coz all new recruitment were stopped after 1992. alleging some ppls corruption R&AW secret funds were also stopped. they were degraded n humiliated in every possible way by our leadership.
    talking about 26/11 R&AW given specific intelligence 8 months before the incident. even on 26/11 night R&AW opratives pick up telephone conversation of terrorists n alerted the top brass but then NSA didn't give any importance to that news.and few hours later terrorist stormed mumbai.
    who arrested bhatkal,waqas,tunda etc ??? CIA??
     
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  20. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    i dont know the reason why we keep reading that RAW capabilities were clipped by IK Gujral and after. It is being mentioned too openly like a justification and even part of a negotiation pact. It is a critical area of a agency - sometimes it also makes one think it is the indian thinking (nixon used words like sly and others outgoing terms) to announce something that is being done by denouncing it because sure not the opponents are doing crazy stuff.
     
  21. Nuvneet Kundu

    Nuvneet Kundu Senior Member Senior Member

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    I didn't understand a word of what you said.


    If the west wants India to cease covert actions against Pakistan, in simple terms it means that we are at war with western agencies.
     

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