Before President Donald Trump unveiled his plan Monday to increase the US military presence in Afghanistan, his senior advisers employed a novel approach to help guide him to his final decision, The Washington Post reported Monday.
H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser who still serves as a lieutenant general in the US Army, showed Trump a black-and-white image from 1972 of Afghan women walking through Kabul in miniskirts, according to The Post.
McMaster ostensibly used the image to convince Trump that Western norms could exist in the country.
Trump had reportedly been weighing several options for the US's longest war, including a leading role for military contractors. Though McMaster initially advocated sending tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan in addition to the 8,400 already deployed there, The Post said, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was ousted from the role last week, opposed the idea.
Trump, who has displayed a reverence for military generals, eventually opted for what is expected to be a modest troop increase; The New York Times noted that a previous announcement suggested the number would be as high as 4,000 additional service members.
"My original instinct was to pull out, and, historically, I like following my instincts," Trump said in a televised address Monday. "But all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office."
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