^^^ PC's latest missive is a HUGE red herring. While parts of the proposal make sense, most of it is simply jockeying for turf rather than doing any serious thinking along national security lines..
to start with, the mandate of ARC, NTRO and JIC are far wider than CT, though CT would be a very big and important peice of the pie today. (that brings me to another question, as per PC's speech, the ARC now reports to the NSA, when did that happen?)..Even more so for RAW and esp. CBI - CT is an infinitesinally small part of the latter's mandate, more so with the advent of NIA..
Setting up of the NCTC is inspired by the American experience - PC repeatedly refers to that..The American NCTC is a joint CT plannign and operations setup, staffed by personnel from various intel agencies..Its head reports directly to both the President as well as to the new Director of National Intel..In that respect, it seems farily close to the MAC that is now being activated in India..It has no reporting oversight over CIA, NSA or any of the indv intel setups..It is a "coordinating" body, to streamline CT related intel, not an intermediary intel czar..
Trying to subsume a bunch of different setups under a Home Ministry office is making a bad situation worse..It is bad enough that the current NSA has been allowed to beceom the de facto intel czar, with a plethora of intel agenceis reporting to him..The chief executive, the PM in our case, should have a direct oversight into matters of strategic importance and not have intermediary layers to filter the information...Successive PMs over the years have had direct oversight of RAW (and ARC) - the late RN Kao in a letter to ABV had strongly advised that this scenario be maintained...
Strategic intel has multiple factes - scientific, espionage, foreign policy, econmic etc - to bring them all down to a singular CT mission shows complete ignorance of the basics..I am pretty sure PC is too sharp to miss it - he is probably throwing a maximalist gauntlet so that he gets something that is "substantial"..
More perplexing is his insistance of having "operations" under the NCTC, basicaly a euphemism for NSG reporting to the NCTC (today NSG sort of has dual oversight of Cab Sec and HM, with the former wielding the greater say)...Now what does "operations" efffectively mean? That NCTC will be going after all sorts of terrorists everywhere, home and abroad? But CT/CI is primarily a state govt job, they are closest to the ground with sons of the soil personnel..Does PC intend to send NSG troopers to every NAxal hideout, even Kashmiri militant den? Will NCTC now be tasked with sending covert operatives outside the borders? NSG is a specialised SWAT team, it simply cannot be everywhere and its not even their training/mandate....
There is a need for a super coordinating agency that is staffed by people from RAW/IB/MI etc, that can sift through multipl layers of info and arrive at trends, threats and alert the most relevatn govt setup closest to the ground to neutralise the same..In that respect, things like setting up of the Crime Database is a welcome initiative...Current terror grups are a highly decentralised force (LTTE was the last of the centralised terror setups)...They cant be fought by creating a centralised bureaucracy...A well coordinated decentralised option is a viable response, especially in a large and diverse country..