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Trump was shown a photo of women in miniskirts to convince him to increase US troops in Afghanistan

HR McMaster tried to change Donald Trump’s mind and one of the methods included was to show the Preisdent a 1970s image of women in Afghanistan wearing mini skirts.

world Updated: Aug 23, 2017 16:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Donald Trump,US troops Afghanistan,Mini skirts Trump
US President Donald Trump, with National Security Advisor HR McMaster, speaks during a security briefing in New Jersey.(AFP File Photo)

Convincing US President Donald Trump to reverse from his campaign pledge can be difficult.

When America’s national security advisor HR McMaster tried to change Trump’s mind on the number of US troops in Afghanistan, one of the methods was to show him a seventies’ image of Afghan women wearing mini skirts, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The black-and-white photo was reportedly shown as part of McMaster’s efforts to change the Trump’s mind about withdrawing American troops in Afghanistan.

“He (McMaster) presented Trump with a black-and-white snapshot from 1972 of Afghan women in miniskirts walking through Kabul, to show him that Western norms had existed there before and could return,” the Post said.

Afghanistan has been ravaged by war and extremism but there was a time (1930s-70s) women could wear western-style dresses in the country, a Huffington Post report said, adding that skirts were banned after Taliban took over in 1990s.

Trump announced on Monday night his administration’s policy of a continued US involvement in Afghanistan in a strongly-worded statement that reiterated US’ fight against terrorism.

According to US media reports, senior military officers, including McMaster -- a former general -- supported sending more soldiers to the conflict-torn nation.

The photo shown to Trump showed women in skirts in Kabul. HT could not independently identify if this was the image used. ( Twitter )

The Republican President overcame his own scepticism about the war that began in October 2001 after the deadly 9/11 terror attacks in the US. Trump had said repeatedly on the campaign trail last year that the Afghanistan war was too costly in lives and money.

“My original instinct was to pull out,” he said in his speech on Monday, but added that he was convinced by his national security advisers to strengthen the US ability to prevent the Taliban from ousting the US-backed government in Kabul.

Trump, who took office in January, was critical of former Democratic president Barack Obama’s approach to Afghanistan, saying the United States should not be nation-building and calling for Obama to withdraw troops.

“When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan? We must rebuild our country first,” Trump had tweeted when Obama administration had taken US troop levels to more than 100,000.

Twitter users were critical of Trump’s decision, with one Roger Sollenberger mocking the US President saying: “Trump didn’t give us his vision for what victory in Afghanistan looked like, but now we know: mini skirts... Didn’t we always know?” 

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 10:46 IST