National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster helped persuade President Trump to recommit to Afghanistan by showing him photos of 1970s Afghani women in miniskirts.
Through the pictures, McMaster was intending to convince the president that Afghanistan was not a lost cause and could be restored to what it once was, reports the Washington Post.
The 1972 black-and-white photo depicts three women in miniskirts and heels leisurely strolling around the Afghan capital.
Yet it was just one of the many tools McMaster and other national security team members used to persuade Trump to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, The Hill reports.
According to CNN, the president had previously referred to the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan as a "waste of time," a "total disaster" and a "complete waste" before announcing on Aug. 21 that U.S. forces will remain in the country.
"My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts," Trump said, according to the Boston Globe. "But all my life, I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office -- in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle."
Trump says he will add troops to the 8,400 currently in Afghanistan in a strategy he says will finally win the conflict, but did not specify how many extra troops the U.S. will send. Trump also did not provide a timetable.
"The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable," Trump said. "A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, where they would instantly fill just as happened before Sept. 11."
"The American people are weary of war without victory. I share the American people’s frustration," Trump added. "In the end, we will fight and we will win."
Trump's announcement sparked mixed responses.
Some, like John McCain, praised the president for his decision.
"I commend President Trump for taking a big step in the right direction with the new strategy for Afghanistan," McCain said in a press release. "The unfortunate truth is that this strategy is long overdue, and in the interim, the Taliban have made dangerous inroads. Nevertheless, I believe the President is now moving us well beyond the prior administration's failed strategy of merely postponing defeat."
Others, like former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and Erik Prince, the founder of the former Blackwater USA firm, were opposed to the decision.
"Sadly, I anticipate [Trump] to roll over and accept the same failed DOD paradigm of the last 16 years," Prince told Breitbart. "As interested in diversity as the Pentagon claims to be, they aren't interested in diversity of opinions on how to end their longest war."