According a report published Monday in the newspaper, McMaster showed Trump a snap of Afghan women wearing skirts in a bid to show that the region could once again embrace Western cultural values.
Miniskirts were replaced by burqas in the mid-1990s, when the Taliban took power in the country. Now, many Afghan women continue to wear burqas despite the Taliban’s loss of power.
“One of the ways McMaster tried to persuade Trump to recommit to the effort was by convincing him that Afghanistan was not a hopeless place. He 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 newspaper wrote.
Trump has called the war in Afghanistan a “disaster” and based his presidential campaign on criticism of the US’s involvement in the country.
After urging from McMaster and other generals, Trump decided to escalate troop levels by roughly 4,000, it was announced this week.
“My original instinct was to pull out, and, historically, I like following my instincts,” Trump said Monday in a televised address. “But all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.”