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Relations of RAW with the CIA

Relations of RAW with the CIA

  • The CIA assisted in the creation of RAW, says South Asia expert Stephen P. Cohen of the Brookings Institution. However, India’s intelligence relations with the CIA started even before the existence of RAW, note experts.
  • After India’s war with China in 1962, CIA instructors trained Establishment 22, a “covert organisation raised from among Tibetan refugees in India, to execute deep-penetration terror operations in China,” writes Swami.
  • But the CIA’s operations with the ISI to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s made RAW very wary. However, it did not stop RAW from seeking the CIA’s assistance in counterterrorism training.                                                            Relations of RAW with the CIA
  • Raman writes: “One had one more bizarre example of how international intelligence cooperation works.” The CIA trained the officers of the ISI in the use of terrorism against an adversary, and at the same time, he writes, it trained RAW and IB officers “in some of the techniques of countering that terrorism.”
  • India’s intelligence agencies also feel the lack of an equal relationship with the CIA, say experts. Swami says RAW’s grievance is that there is little information they get on Pakistan from the United States; however, Washington expects New Delhi to provide it with intelligence on Afghanistan.
  • In 1997, Prime Minister I.K. Gujral shut down both the CITs aimed at Pakistan on moral grounds. Before Gujral, Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had ended RAW’s eastern operations in the early 1990s, as part of his efforts to build bridges with China and Myanmar, say analysts.                              Relations of RAW with the CIA
  • Successive RAW leaders attempted to gain fresh authorization for deterrent covert operations, but without success, says Swami. Siddiqa writes: “The Indian government probably realized that encouraging covert warfare would not only destabilize bilateral relations but was also dangerous for the peace and stability of the entire region.”


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