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Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)

The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was created in March 2002. The new agency combines the intelligence networks of all three armed services of India (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and is the product of long-standing demands by the armed forces for such an organization and the recommendation of the Group of Ministers's report investigating the intelligence failures leading to the Kargil incident of 1999.

According to Defence Ministry officials, the DIA, unlike the previous Directorate of Military Intelligence, is to benefit from ample resources and manpower to allow it to fulfil its role.

The agency's primary task it to track troop movement in countries neighbouring India. The agency, unlike the Directorate General of Military Intelligence, is also assigned the mission of monitoring terrorist groups operating both within and outside of the country and is to have a section dedicated to gathering intelligence on terrorist groups and monitoring the internal security threat. The agency's mission is to be accomplished using satellite and high-altitude aerial reconnaissance imagery.

The creation of the DIA significantly reduces the reliance of the Indian Armed Forces on civilian intelligence agencies such as IB and RAW for information and enemy troop assessments, as was the case during the conflicts of 1948 with Pakistan, 1962 with China, 1965 and 1971 with Pakistan and during the Kargil intrustion of 1999. During these operations, intelligence products were often found to contain discrepancies.

Prior to the creation of the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Armed Forces' military intelligence capability was limited to a few Field Intelligence Units (FIU) tasked only with gathering intelligence during ongoing operations and with maintaining liasion with foreign military forces.

The head of the Agency is the Director General; the first of which was Lt Gen Kamal Davar, an armoured corps officer and former Director General of Mechanized Forces. The Director General reports to the Defence Minister and, should the position be created, to the Chief of Defence Staff. The post is to rotate among all three of the armed services.

The Director General of the Agency is assisted by the Deputy Director General. The first to hold that position is Air Marshal S C Malhan.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:52:56 ZULU