The INF treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, originally banned land-based missiles within the range of 1,000 to 5,000 kilometers. Trump’s proposal, however, opens the door for a broader agreement that could involve India, considering some of its Prithvi and Agni class missiles, as well as Pakistan’s Babur, Shaheen, and Ghauri missiles, falling within the potential scope of such a treaty.
During his address on Tuesday night, Trump defended the withdrawal from the INF treaty by citing Russia’s repeated violations of its terms. He emphasized the option of negotiating a different, more inclusive treaty that would outspend and out-innovate other nations, if necessary.
While the State of the Union address primarily focused on unity and did not have direct references to India or the region, Trump did touch upon US negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He mentioned constructive talks with various Afghan groups, including the Taliban, aiming for a political settlement and the eventual reduction of the US troop presence to focus on counter-terrorism.
In the realm of trade, Trump urged support for the Reciprocal Trade Act, asserting that if a country imposes unfair tariffs on American products, the US should reciprocate with identical tariffs on the same products sold by that country. As the proposal for a new missile treaty takes center stage, the global implications and potential involvement of India add layers of complexity to the evolving diplomatic landscape.