Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has provided a “gold mine” of useful intelligence about the militants who held him captive for years in Pakistan, and his experience has injected valuable lessons into the military’s program that instructs troops in how to avoid and escape capture, experts testified during Bergdahl’s sentencing Tuesday.

Those experts said Bergdahl’s decision to abandon his post in Afghanistan in 2009 produced an unintended consequence: His detailed recollections of his captors’ tactics, methods of detainment and other information were so valuable that intelligence agencies and military doctrine were dramatically improved, potentially adding a new foil to the factors being weighed by a military judge to determine Bergdahl’s punishment, if any.

Terrence Russell of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, the lead Pentagon group for recovering prisoners of war and other captives — which also produces related training and doctrine — testified that Bergdahl’s debriefing contributed to lessons taught to U.S. troops and allied militaries, adding that Bergdahl still has intelligence that has yet to be collected that could help troops in Afghanistan right now.


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