In a speech last Monday, President Trump laid out his plans for re-committing the U.S. military to Afghanistan. During the campaign, Trump was adamant about not committing more troops to any conflict, but according to two reports, all it took was miniskirts and mineral rights to change his mind.
The Washington Post reported that National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster showed Trump photos of girls walking around in miniskirts in pre-Taliban Kabul. For McMaster, it was an indication that Afghanistan wasn’t a lost cause. The New York Times reported that a $3 billion Chinese copper mine investment into Afghanistan meant the U.S. could profit from an occupation.
During his speech, Trump emphasized that the U.S. will only be focusing on killing terrorists, not nation-building. However, the president committed India and the U.S. to sending economic development to Afghanistan. Women’s programs in Afghanistan have long depended on U.S. aid to stay afloat.
To discuss, we’re joined by Najla Ayoubi, a human rights activist, lawyer, and former judge from Afghanistan. She was the Spring 2017 Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago where she studied the role of women as peacemakers.