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Research and Analysis Wing

RAW, along with Mossad, are believed to be operating within the UK. It is said that their advice as to the probable occurance of the London bombings went unheeded. RAW is understood to have infiltered many fanatical British Moslem groups – hopefully greater cogniscance of their reports will be observed by the UK authorities.  

The Cabinet Secretariat Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India's premier external intelligence body. It was created as an independent unit in 1968 from the Intelligence Bureau which at that time handled both internal and external intelligence. It's headquarters are on Lodhi Road in New Delhi. The current director of the organization is P K Hormese Tharakan, who was with RAW from 1989 to 2001, and is an IPS officer.

Profile, Structure and Funding
Activities - Scope and Limits
Organization Structure

Profile, Structure and Funding
Most available information about the RAW is largely speculative. Relative to other intelligence agencies of comparable size, the RAW maintains a very low media profile and is largely ignored by Indian writers, filmmakers and the general public. It reports directly to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and its operations and structure are not revealed to Parliament. Even its name and legal status are rather unusual - unlike the CIA, the RAW is not an "agency", but a "wing" of the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of India responsible for "research" (gathering of raw intelligence) and "analysis" (organizing information and drawing conclusions for presentation to the PMO).

The RAW's budget and funding are not discussed in public forums. According to some reports, part of its funding comes from "discretionary grants" provided to various government bodies, especially Indian embassies and representatives abroad. Estimates of its annual budget vary wildly among experts - from $16 million to $145 million.

One consequence of such a low profile is that it is very difficult to judge RAW's effectiveness and performance. Reports cover the entire range of judgements from "highly effective and professional" to "inadequate and riddled with internal politics".

The cadre for RAW is drawn by deputation from state police forces and other intelligence agencies. The Research Analysis Service instituted during the times of Indira Gandhi is the All India Level Service of RAW.

In the past several decades it is widely known that the Indian Research and Analysis Wing ("RAW") and Israeli Mossad have cultivated a deep and fruitful bond of collaboration against Islamic terrorism in the region,in particular Pakistan, while the American CIA and Indian RAW have joined forces with regards to the insidious threats and expansionist nature of Chinese Communism.

Activities - Scope and Limits
The RAW is rumored to have around 12,000 agents in neighboring countries. Countries that have had past hostilities with India are also watched. It also provides assistance to interest groups that are able to promote India's national interests overseas. The RAW does not determine foreign policy - that is the job of the elected government.

Initially, Pakistan was a primary focus of RAW's activities, though this is reportedly diluting in recent years, as India seeks an enlarged role in world affairs. There have been many anti-terrorist activities carried out by RAW in Pakistan to subdue its terrorist networks. This, together with India's attempts to "decouple" itself from Pakistan among world leaders, is said to have given RAW increased tasks beyond Pakistan. Pakistan, however claims that as many as 35,000 RAW agents were in Pakistan at point of time. Naturally, specific focus areas can at best be speculated by studying India's foreign policy pronouncements. An important outcome of the Gujral government in 1997 was the decision not to significantly increment and rather stop all support for separatists groups in Pakistan which in turn carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and government installation on behalf of the Indian government. The Indian security establishment had envisaged the support as in an in-kind response to Pakistani intelligence and special force operations in India since the 1980s. Subsequently, a large number of intelligence assets in these groups that had been cultivated during the earlier part of the decade decayed.

That said, RAW still closely monitors a large number of anti-India terrorist groups and training camps in Pakistani territory. Being an external intelligence agency, the RAW, however, does not operate in the troubled region of Kashmir - that comes under the purview of the IB.

An important element in India's external intelligence activities has been combating Terrorist groups in neighbouring countries and supporting pro-India groups. The depth of RAW's support in these activities, however, are not known and is under speculation.

As per convention, the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) under the Cabinet Secretariat is responsible for co-ordinating and analyzing intelligence activities between RAW, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). In practice, however, the effectiveness of the JIC has been varied. With the establishment of the National Security Council in 1999, the role of the JIC has been merged with the NSC.

The chief of the RAW is designated Secretary (R) in the Cabinet Secretariat, which is part of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Understandably, there is not a lot of information available about this position, or its occupants. Most of the occupants have been experts on either Pakistan or China. They also have the benefit of training in either US or the UK, and more recently in Israel.
The Secretary (R) reports on an administrative basis to the Cabinet Secretary, who reports to the Prime Minister (PM). However, on a daily basis the Secretary (R) reports to the National Security Advisor.

Past Secretaries:
Rameshwar Nath Kao, 1969-77 , First Director K. Sankaran Nair 1977-78
N. Santook 1978-80 S.C. Joshi 1980-83
Girish Chandra ('Gary') Saxena, 1983-86 A.K. Verma (1986-1989)
G.S. Bajpai (1989-1991) N. Narasimhan (1991-1993)
R.S. Bedi (1993-1994) A.S. Syali (1994-1996)
Ranjan Roy (1996-1997) Arvind Dave, 1997-1999, 12th Director
A S Dulat, 1999-2000, 13th Director Vikram Sood, 2001-2003, 14th Director
C D Sahay, 2003-2005, 15th Director P K H Tharakan, 2005-Present, 16th & Current Director

Organization Structure
Reporting to the Secretary are:

• Two Special Secretaries and one Special Director of the ARC, the Aviation Research Centre, which is responsible for topographic surveillance using aircraft and satellite imagery.

• Four Additional Secretaries, responsible for different geographical regions.

• A large number (above 40) Joint Secretaries, who are the functional heads of various desks.

Thought to be particularly active in Pakistan, the RAW is known to have gathered massive amounts of data on the Pakistani establishment and its military. Pakistan alleges that the RAW also sponsored sectarian and separatist groups in Pakistan, for example the Seraiki and Baluch nationalists movements in Baluchistan. However, the Pakistani government has not produced any concrete or credible evidence to back up this claim, and the Indian government has always denied any involvement. It is widely believed that Pakistan often exagerates or implies these involvements to de-legitamize actual grievances of minority ethnic groups.

It is often alleged by Pakistan that the RAW was instrumental in obtaining independence for Bangladesh. Covert operations against the ruling East Pakistan government were carried out by aiding recalcitrant groups such as the Mukti Bahini. This culminated in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, resulting in Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan.

Since 1981, the RAW was rumored to have actively played a role in Sri Lanka supporting Tamil separatist groups like the LTTE. There is controversy that RAW was helping and arming the LTTE even when Indian peace keeping forces where still fighting LTTE. This backfired as the LTTE became more engaged with separatist groups in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After 1986, following a policy change by the Indian government, this assistance was withdrawn and the RAW put the LTTE and similar groups under surveillance. Again, there is very little concrete evidence to support these speculations.

In 1996 a foreign diplomat was implicated in a scandal in the US for providing illegal funding to political candidates in the US.

In 1999, RAW came under heavy censure in India for its failure to detect the infiltration of a large number of foreign guerrillas into the mountains of Kargil, Kashmir.

The RAW has provided significant amounts of intelligence on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban to its American counterpart, the CIA, after the September 11 incident in 2001.

In 2004, the RAW uncovered a senior officer allegedly working for the CIA, but failed to prevent his defection to the US. This caused a minor media uproar in India, focussing on RAW's sluggishness in responding to signals and evidence of infiltration. There has also been criticism for its failure to detect the coup of General Musharaf in Pakistan (Oct 1999) and King Gyanendra in Nepal (Jan 2005). Although it is believed that it was able to foresee the intent of General Pervez Musharraf to become the president of Pakistan. This speculation is fueled by the fact that then Prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee had congratulated the general as the president even before taking the oath.

See also
Some information on the UK's Secret Intelligence Service SIS
Russian spy games
FSB - Russian state security organisation
Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence ISI