Securing homeland: India must upgrade counterintelligence as its geopolitical environment becomes complex

Source: The post is based on the article “Securing homeland: India must upgrade counterintelligence as its geopolitical environment becomes complex” published in The Times of India on 29th December 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Security challenges and their management.

Relevance: About counterintelligence capabilities.

News: Recently, a Russian businessman-politician, a known critic of Putin, and his friend died in Odisha under mysterious circumstances. This should alert India’s intelligence and security apparatus.

About foreign country operations in other countries

Various intelligence agencies occasionally target individuals in other countries. Americans call this an extreme rendition.

The developed countries try to raise the cost of such back operations by foreign agencies through superior counterintelligence.

How vulnerable India is to foreign operations in India?

The increase in India’s strategic profile makes it a key player in geopolitical issues. From the Ukraine conflict to the Taiwan Strait tensions, there is a danger of foreign agents bringing their battles to India.

Past instances: When Israel and Iran were reportedly targeting each other’s diplomats and scientists through covert operations on foreign soil, India also witnessed an attack on New Delhi.

Present threats: China has been setting up secret police stations in other countries to coerce or intimidate Chinese nationals. Apparently, more than 100 such overseas Chinese police stations have been established in countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US among others. The same modus operandi could be used by China in India too,

How India can improve India’s intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities?

So far, India’s security apparatus has been largely geared towards fighting and preventing terrorism. a) India should prepare for far more sophisticated threats, b) India must have well-resourced, highly trained espiocrats (a professional spy), and c) India should upgrade its counterintelligence.

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