An IDC Analysis


New Delhi, 14 December 2001  

The last NSAB which had chalked out India痴 draft nuclear policy, helped in the Kargil war and carried out a strategic review under K Subrahmanyam 末 lapsed some months ago. There was no move to revive it 末 till criticism and lobbying started 末 as the members get allowances, visits and status. The previous members suffered from a debility 末 they did not have clearance for briefings from intelligence and other agencies, as is the case in other countries, so each member thought he knew more than the other and there were disagreements. Of course, cooperation for Indians is difficult at most times.

At about the same time that NSAB was completing its tenure, the JIC was disbanded and its Secretary cum Chairman and former Ambassador, Satish Chandra got a new assignment. The JIC became the Secretariat for the National Security Council in one sweep and the new Intelligence set up was yet to be announced. There were some snippets in the press saying that Intelligence needed a revamp after the Kargil war, but nothing seemed to be happening. It may be recalled that the GOM痴 had also decided that a combined Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) should be constituted.

An example of how deep ISI of Pakistan has spread its tentacles in India, was the media report of the arrest of LCdr Raj Kumar, Security Officer of Naval Armament Depot, Vishahapatnam and LCdr B S Panwar. In any case, foreign Intelligence Agencies in India are poorly guided as they look for even innocuous military details, which are of no consequence. In the Indian case, RAW has civil operatives who are not well versed with Navy, Army or Air Force details and their interaction with military agencies is poor. They had thrown out all service personnel but have now taken some from those who could not make it higher in their own Service.

IDC has learnt that the GOM report on intelligence had made the IB somewhat responsible to the Home Minister and RAW to the MEA, in the new set up, which will make MEA even more powerful.

This opinion is prompted by the editorial piece of 5 Sep 2001 in Hindustan Times by Keki N Daruwala. Keki is a writer, poet, former RAW operative and was Chairman of JIC. He had proved in hindsight that despite many leading intelligence inputs, which he claims were on the dot, the Government goofed up on Kargil. However as an ex leading light of Indian intelligence for over three decades, with opportunities to change the way Indian Intelligence functions, he had put all the blame on the inanimate Government, which makes no sense at all. It is the two premier intelligence agencies RAW and IB who have access to all reports and strangely he had not mentioned that the same the incumbent headed both these organizations prior to the Kargil intrusion. In his words 田oordination in intelligence has seldom been our strong point.

IDC fully agrees and this is the bane of most of our problems. It is now clear that MEA will lead the external Intelligence; and we should have known as EAM Jaswant Singh called the ex Ambasadors for discussions. The result is the new NSAB.

National Security Advisory Board

  1. CV Ranganathan Convenor        

  2. General VP Malik (Retd)  

  3. Vice Admiral KK Nayyar (Retd)

  4. Air Marshal Vinod Patney (Retd)

  5. Nikhil Kumar ex IAS

  6. ST Devare ex IFS

  7. B Raman ex RAW

  8. Arun Bhagat ex IB

  9. K Santhanam 末 Dir IDSA

  10. Charan Wadhwa 末 Dir CPR

  11. Amitabh Mattoo, 末 JNU 

  12. MR Srinivasan, SRO

  13. Kalyan Banerjee 末 Biowarfare expert

  14. RK Ahuja ex Civil Servant

  15. Jagdish Shettigar 末 BJP Ideologue

This NSAB will have a term of one year 末 20012002. The Convenor Ranganathan a former ambassador in China, is a serious person who has done a lot to get India to understand China and now is seeing if Russia, India and China can get together. He recently went to a seminar in Russia. The 15-member Board includes former secretary (Economic Relations) in the ministry of External Affairs S T Devare who is a seasoned bureaucrat, former Army Chief Gen Malik of the 14th NDA Course who steered the Kargil war and is now a Director with Hero group, Air Marshal Patney who retired as the VCAS and works for Help Age as its head in Delhi, Vice-admiral K K Nayyar former VCNS and close to the Thapar group and Chief of BJP Economic Cell Jagdish Shettigar as its members. Others are Dr Charan Wadhwa, director Centre for Policy Research, Dr Kalyan Banerjee, a biowarfare expert, nuclear and space physicist Dr Srinivasan, B Raman ex RAW senior officer and now settled in Chennai, K Santhanam, ex RAW and DRDO痴 Chief Adviser and now the head of IDSA , former Delhi Police Commissioner and IB head Arun Bhagat, Jawahar Lal Nehru University Professor Amitabh Mattoo, who is well versed in Kashmiri matters as he hails from there, the former special Secretary in the ministry of Home Affairs Nikhil Kumar the former police Chief of Delhi and R K Ahuja an ex civil servant. As the term of the reconstituted NSAB would be for a period of one year from the date of its first sitting, they will have some six sittings as most of them have lecture tours and other jobs. IDC will closely monitor the Board, activities.

IDC feels it its very timely that a multi experienced NSAB has been formed and M R Srinivasan, for whom we have great regard (we have quoted his lecture at USI in detail), will bring a wealth of NUCLEAR KNOWLEDGE to the NSAB as now the Prithvi and Agni missiles are both nuclear capable. IDC has in the past explained the nebulous state for their deployment and operational readiness. GOI is hoping the new CDS structure will sort out the various dilemmas and we now give below the latest on the Prithvi 末 as AGNI 2 has already gone into production

On 12th December India tested an improved version of its nuclear capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi missile from the Balasore test range on the East coast. The improved version of the medium-range missile was fired over the Bay of Bengal from this high class testing range at Chandipur, South of Calcutta. The five-ton liquid fuelled missile means ``earth'' in Hindi, has a range of up to 155 miles and can be fitted with a nuclear warhead. The test was flawless and the missile impacted at the intended target point accurately. It has now been provided with homing facility and this model was a more advanced version than the one tested in March with a range of 93 miles.

IDC feels the NSAB should tackle the nuclear policy on their own as there is very little expertise in the Services, who because of turf wars keep much knowledge to themselves, whilst the NUCLEAR POLICY needs coordinated thinking and the CDS is the panacea as far as the GOI is concerned.

Back to Top

Disclaimer   Copyright