As a part of the long running peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States government, the only American POW held by enemy forces in Afghanistan was released on May 31st. The handover was carefully orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency, with operators from an Army Special Operations unit providing the boots on the ground to secure the Taliban’s prisoner: Bowe Bergdahl. The men of JSOC had eyes on Bergdahl for over three months, but were waiting for the situation to fully develop. For various reasons, it appears that for Bergdahl to be released, everything needed to line up diplomatically rather than tactically.
The release of five high level Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo has been considered by many Americans to be too high a price to pay for the safe return of one low-ranking American soldier. However, it must be remembered that Bergdahl was at this point a pawn in the game. Who he was or was not had been rendered irrelevant, now he was a political bargaining chip in negotiations which are to pave the way for a face saving US withdrawal from Afghanistan. In short, getting Bergdahl back wasn’t about Bergdahl, but rather about the future of every other service man and woman in Afghanistan.
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