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US intelligence budget is double the size of Indian Defence budget: Ex RAW chief

Hyderabad: Former Head RAW Vikram Sood addressed a Seminar on External Intelligence for National Security here in the city at Administrative Staff College of India(ASCI) on Sunday.

Also a book “The Unending Game” authored by him was unveiled and Book Discussion on the same was held.

Both these events saw houseful audience and overwhelming response due to Phulwara Terror Attack. Well over 700 people from different walks of life heard him speak various aspects of the Indian Intelligence Bureau— RAW(Research & Analysis Wing)

It was organised by Social Cause, a city based not for profit organisation. We organise similar Seminars to create awareness among the public on subjects of great concern to them informed Dr. Somayaji Susheela, President of Social Cause.

Addressing the gathering immediately after the book was unveiled, Vikram Sood said RAW is an organisation of honour and it does what is asked to do. “We are known for our failures. We don’t mind for that. We don’t take it seriously,” he said.

He told how technology overpowering us. “The word privacy is losing its meaning because of the power social media wield and have access to public data. Technology is growing so also threats. Intelligence plays a major role. America has Intelligence budge double the size of the Indian Defence budget,” he told his audience.

Changing nature of threats, the targets of Intelligence have to be decided and pursued. Fortunately or unfortunately, machine is your target now, he added.

Terror groups are openly using Social Media tools like WhatsApp and Telegram so openly and securely, end to end. And it free, reliable, 24×7, you can speak and text. You and your data are now product to Facebook and you are no longer consumer to them as they use this data and shared with American Intelligence.

US predicts by 2030 technology will impact our Security majorly. Artificial Intelligence, Drone Survilance, IoT, Block Chain Technology will change Vikram Sood informed

By the year 2025, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be equal or better of human intelligence. If that AI goes into the hands of the rogues, what happens he asked the dumbstruck audience. Most possibly human mind will depend on AI. So human minds will be controlled, he explained much to the astonishment of audience.

It is US’s manifest that they rule the world, informed Vikram Sood. Biggest War in future if at all will be held, it will be held for water, he stated. China is going to be the biggest threat for us, he said.

Vikram Sood predicted that there would not be any peace talks in future. PAK doesn’t want them. They want us to be down and out.

He gave his idea of reforms. Despite technological Intelligence, human intelligence cannot be undermined Vikram opined. We need new skill sets. He cited an example of how USA uses services of 45,000 people for translation services.

The secret recipe for the success Vikram said will be the combination of diplomacy, Intelligence, Military Power, Economic Power, Technological Intelligence and Human Intelligence. If you want to counter Intelligence of other countries, you need more youth.

So held future policy makers to catch people young, treat them tough and make them perfect. At the end of his talk he took lot of questions of his audience answered them.

Replying to question on Media role, he told media to refrain from highlighting terrorist attacks, showing gruesome pictures. Such things will terrorise people and that is what terrorists wanted, he told. Greater the coverage, adverse its impact. Media has to be careful.

Had media not blown out of proportion of Khandhahar hijack, there wouldn’t have been so much pressure on government to release Maulana Masood Azhar, the man India freed after the 1999 IC-814 hijack, is now said to be behind Pulwama terror attack. American media refrains from showing such pictures, he reminded the media.

Earlier giving his open remarks, K Padmanabhaiah, who chaired the meeting said, there should be a national policy on Kashmir. Pak has one. And that one is to bleed India through 1000 cuts till they dir.

So keep on waging proxy war. Because of the absence of such national policy some say there should be talks and others say no talks. There is unanimous opinion on matters such as 372, 35 A. Intelligence gathering has be one more complex because of Fake News, Padmanabhaiah added.

Future will be nightmare for intelligence agencies he added. Government invest millions in buying weapons. But, what they want is smart and effective intelligence developed can prevent wars.

He asked Vikram Sood if India could have something similar to MI 6 in UK to handle covert activities.

The Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom, tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of the UK’s national security. US and Russia too have similar systems, he added.

Lt Gen K. Ramchandra Rao who spoke said future wars will be fought on virtual space and over internet and social media.

Vikram Sood, former chief of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, in the Book deconstructs the shadowy world of spies, from the Cold War era to the age of global jihad, from surveillance states to psy-war and cyberwarfare, from gathering information to turning it into credible intelligence.

Vikram Sood provides a panoramic view of the rarely understood profession of spying to serve a country’s strategic and security interests. As a country’s stature and reach grow, so do its intelligence needs.

This is especially true for one like India that has ambitions of being a global player even as it remains embattled in its own neighbourhood.

The Unending Game tackles these questions while providing a national and international perspective on gathering external intelligence, its relevance in securing and advancing national interests, and why intelligence is the first playground in the game of nations. (INN)

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