What’s the best way to convince President Donald Trump to support a cause? For his Afghanistan strategy, show him photos of women in miniskirts.
That’s what Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster did in order to persuade the president to accept a larger military presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. has been involved in fighting extremist forces like the Taliban since 2001, shortly after the attacks of 9/11 occurred.
Trump announced on Monday evening that the U.S. would continue fighting in the decade-and-a-half old war. The president also plans to increase our presence there by an additional 4,000 troops.
McMaster reportedly convinced the president that the strategy was a sound one, and the right move to make, by showing him images of Afghan women from the 1970s. One picture, provided by journalist Jim Roberts, shows women with skirts above their knees walking in the streets of Kabul.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 22, 2017
McMaster wanted to show Donald Trump that Western culture once flourished in the region, which is often characterized as being repressive to its citizens and to women in particular.
The photo may have appealed to Trump for other reasons, however. The president’s sexist attitudes have been well-documented, and seeing a trio of women walking the streets of Afghanistan in miniskirts may have had an…unconscious appeal for Trump.
Many are critical of Trump’s military strategy for Afghanistan. Democrats called out Trump’s plans as containing very little in substance, doing nothing to further our exit from the nation and its hostilities.
“The President’s announcement is low on details but raises serious questions,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) added his own dismay at Trump’s flawed strategy, saying shortly after Trump’s speech on Monday, “Tonight, the American people should have heard a detailed, realistic strategy with achievable objectives and measurable benchmarks. Instead, we got only vague promises and wishful thinking.”