Title: India: Defense Intelligence Agency to Start in February 2002  

Document Number: FBIS-NES-2002-0130
Document Type: Daily Report
Document Title: FBIS Transcribed Text 
Document Region: Near East/South Asia 
Document Date: 30 Jan 2002
Division: South Asia 
Subdivision: India 
Sourceline: SAP20020130000063 New Delhi The Asian Age in English 30 Jan 02 pp
1, 2 
AFS Number: SAP20020130000063 
Citysource: New Delhi The Asian Age 
Language: English 
N/A
Subslug: Report by Asit Jolly 

[FBIS Transcribed Text]     Chandigarh, Jan 29: India's Defense 
Intelligence Agency [DIA] has finally been formulated as part of an 
overhaul of the country's inadequate information gathering apparatus to 
meet new challenges posed by the 21st century. 

    Defense sources said the government would formally announce the 
setting up of the DIA later this week under the command of Lt. Gen. Kamal 
Davar, at present director-general (mechanized forces) at Army 
Headquarters. 

    The new organization has been created in accordance with the 
recommendations of the group of ministers (headed by Union home minister 
L.K. Advani) last year following the undetected Pakistani intrusions into 
Kargil in May 1999. 

    The DIA's structure is also believed to include suggestions made by 
the US military following high-level deliberations earlier this month 
with US Vice-Admiral Thomas R. Wilson, who heads the American DIA.   US 
and Indian military intelligence and counter-terrorism officials and 
undercover technicians met in New Delhi on January 21 and 22 to exchange 
information and share expertise in border management as part of growing 
bilateral defense and security relations.   Adm. Wilson, heading an 
eight-member team, also visited Kashmir to assess the security situation 
there following the deployment of over one million Indian and Pakistani 
soldiers along their 3,312 km border. 

    Other than sharing military intelligence, Adm. Wilson also offered 
India advice on establishing its tri-service DIA as part of overhauling 
its defense apparatus.   He also discussed ways of formalizing 
intelligence-sharing on Islamic terrorism with the director-general of 
Military Intelligence, Lt. Gen. O.S. Lochab. 

    The DIA is one of several changes in India's defense and security 
apparatus based on proposals made by four task forces established after 
the Kargil debacle.   They reviewed the country's intelligence, internal 
security, defense and border management and their recommendations were 
distilled to become the GoM report based on which the changes are being 
implemented.   The intelligence task force, headed by Jammu and Kashmir 
governor G.C.   Saxena, who is also the former head of Research and 
Analysis Wing [RAW], focused on upgrading the country's technical, 
imaging, signals, electronic, counter-intelligence and economic 
intelligence gathering capabilities.   They also suggested a 
"system-wide" revamp of humint (conventional human intelligence 
gathering) and assessment procedures. 

    Official sources said the DIA headed by Gen. Davar will coordinate 
the directorates of military (Army), naval and Air Force intelligence 
which have, for decades, been locked in inter-service rivalries and, 
rarely, if at all, share information vital to operational preparedness. 

    Under the prevailing system, the director-general of Military 
Intelligence [DGMI] receives intelligence inputs - which are limited and 
often of little real value - from various agencies including the 
Intelligence Bureau, and its overseas counterpart RAW.   RAW is the 
principal provider of information to military and paramilitary forces on 
any extraordinary troop movements in the region, drawing up projections 
for six-month periods with a 30-day warning of impending hostilities.   
These inputs are supplemented to some extent by local reports filed by 
the IB and the intelligence wings or the general branches of the BSF and 
the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.   At present RAW is reportedly providing 
weekly updates on the possibility of military conflict or skirmishes 
breaking out with Pakistan based on enemy troop movement and deployment 
patterns. 

    Within the Army, brigade intelligence teams and intelligence and 
field security units report directly to the director-general of Military 
Intelligence - the largest military information gathering establishment.  
 The DGMI also forwards its inputs to the relevant Army commands and 
forward formations.   But unfortunately, the Military Intelligence [MI] 
directorate is staffed largely by disgruntled officers with limited 
prospects of promotion who invariably gather information of limited or 
questionable value.   They also routinely attribute their inefficiency to 
a shortage of resources. 

    Another major reason for the MI directorate's shockingly poor 
performance is that Army Headquarters has often employed its services as 
a propaganda wing to "manage" the media in order to conceal its own 
operational failures.   This was most apparent during the Kargil conflict 
when the principal task of the MI directorate was to "organize" favorable 
coverage for the Army through pliable newspapers in order to cover up 
operational and intelligence failures. 

    Alongside the DGMI, the Directorate of Air Intelligence and the 
Directorate of Naval Intelligence are also engaged in acquiring 
information concerning their own spheres of operation.   But 
inter-service intelligence sharing has been highly selective on a 
"need-to-know" basis. 

    Meanwhile, the country's apex intelligence coordinating 
establishment, the Joint Intelligence Committee, re-christened as the 
National Security Council Secretariat in 1999, is responsible for drawing 
up assessments based on inputs provided from various sources.   But ever 
since its inception in the 1970s, the JIC, a sad victim of turf battles 
between RAW, Intelligence Bureau [IB] and MI, too has been rendered 
virtually ineffective.   While the overall intelligence restructuring 
proposed by the GoM also envisages major changes giving the IB better 
"eyes" and "teeth" and a substantially leaner though more focused role 
for RAW, the DIA is being armed with more powers than any past military 
intelligence setup. 

    Lt. Gen. Davar will act as the principal military intelligence 
adviser to both the defense minister and the newly established integrated 
defense staff raised last October to nurture "jointmanship" between the 
three single services and to reduce internecine skirmishes. 

    Defense sources said the DIA will also be given the responsibility of 
executing cross-border operations and collecting tactical intelligence in 
neighboring nations by running its own agents.   Notably, the DGMI's 
present writ to conduct intelligence missions is limited to a distance of 
only five km across the international border and the Line of Control 
[LoC]. 

    The DIA, sources said, is also being given control of both the 
Signals Intelligence Directorate and the Defense Image Processing and 
Analysis Center [DIPAC].   DIPAC conducts functions broadly similar to 
those of RAW's Aerial Reconnaissance Center but through satellite 
imaging.   The Sig Int Directorate decrypts foreign military 
communications and additionally monitors messages to and from terrorist 
groups operating in and around India.   The DIA will also be involved in 
"intelligence support groups" run by IB and RAW in a revamped 
intelligence setup to provide comprehensive information to various Army 
Corps HQ, particularly those located in terrorist-prone areas.   DIA 
field personnel will interact with RAW and IB operatives regularly as 
part of the new effort to formulate a hitherto absent "intelligence 
community." 

    While officials feel the establishment of the DIA is a welcome step, 
they said that much of its success will depend upon the concomitant 
restructuring of IB and RAW.   One officer felt a lot depends on the 
government's will and ability to provide requisite resources to complete 
the entire task of revamping India's intelligence setup. 

[Description of Source: New Delhi The Asian Age in English -- Independent 
daily with good coverage of military and security issues]