India must spend more on intelligence, says Ex-RAW chief Vikram Sood

Vikram Sood says social media, AI pose threat to security.

Hyderabad: The terrorist attack in Pulwama district in the Kashmir Valley that killed 44 CRPF personnel indicates a lapse on the part of the intelligence agencies as there was intelligence that the Jaish-e-Mohamaad was in active mode. An attack like that is not the job of one man; a team is involved in smuggling in and loading the explosives, said the former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, Vikram Sood.

Speaking on ‘External Intelligence for National Security’ in the city on Sunday, Mr Sood said: “Most Pakistan Army recruits are from the southern parts of Pakistan Punjab, which is more radicalised. One person in a family is recruited in the Army and another sibling joins an extremist group.”

Mr Sood said Pakistan is in no mood to hold peace talks with India. “They want India to bleed from a thousand cuts but they know they can’t win a war with us.”

Focusing on the important role of intelligence information in the scheme of things, he said India was spending millions of dollars in buying weapons but was failing in intelligence gathering. “Human intelligence is being ignored,” Mr Sood said.

Pushing for greater support for the spy agencies Mr Sood said, “India’s intelligence agencies are known for their failure because we cannot boast about our achievements. India needs manpower on the ground to gather intel. America’s intelligence budget is double the size of the entire Indian defence budget. This is where we stand,” he said.

“China is playing on behalf of Pakistan and is protecting them at the United Nations. But China is not doing it for free; they know what Pakistan can do with the Islamic extremists based in China. Pakistan is a useful ploy to China,” he said.

Mr Sood said that Pakistan denies any link to the Pulwama attack. “Is the Jaish-e-Mohammad the new Lashkar-e-Tayyaba? India may hold diplomatic talks with China and initiate friendly talks but there is no way China will break its links with Pakistan,” he said.

The defence top brass and the DRDO bat for technology-based systems, seeing computers and artificial intelligence as the fourth war space, but the former RAW chief called them a threat.

“Technology is overpowering us. The word privacy is losing its meaning because of the power social media wields, and has access to public data. The terror groups based in the Valley are using social media tools like WhatsApp and Telegram, as text and calls are untraceable. Internet is available 24x7. Customers are indeed products as your data is being sold or shared with American Intelligence.”

According to the US Central Intelligence Agency, technology will impact the security environment by 2030. AI, drone surveillance, the internet of things, blockchain technology, will become a threat. By 2025, artificial intelligence will be equal to or better than human intelligence and could pose a grave risk if it falls into the hands of anti-socials, Mr Sood said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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