Mini-skirts are reportedly one thing that General H.R. McMaster used to convince President Trump to expand the war in Afghanistan — or rather, he (according to the Washington Post) used a photograph of Afghan women sporting short skirts. The Amnesty.org snapshot in question (seen below), taken in the 1970s, shows three women walking through Kabul in short skirts, bare legs, high heels, and uncovered hair.
The photo has long been used to illustrate what life was like in Afghanistan before the Mujahideen and Taliban imposed conservative religious mores on the country. And that’s exactly what General McMaster did when he presented the picture to Trump, offering up a tangible vision for what the President could accomplish if (this time) he didn’t put America first.
The photo certainly wasn’t the only factor to persuade the President to commit to a long-haul presence in Afghanistan — McMaster and new Chief of Staff John F. Kelly have been working hard to convince the President that further military engagement is the way to go. However, Trump famously relies on quick, easy-to-absorb bites of information and favors visual aids over complex textual sources. Back in May, when President Trump was prepping for his first diplomatic trip overseas, some White House officials indicated that the best way to fill Trump in ahead of time was “single-page memos and visual aids like maps, charts, graphs and photos.”
It makes sense then that, while weighing different strategies levied by his coterie of generals, Trump might fixate on something more familiar to him than the complexities of military maneuvers, risk assessments, and budget estimates — three leggy women who neatly represent the American ideals that Trump sees himself fighting for. “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Trump said in a Monday night speech on the Afghanistan decision. “But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.”
(Via Washington Post)