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.
Now that he is back in American hands, it seems safe to say that he will be thoroughly debriefed. Many have called Bergdahl’s motivations and loyalties into question, especially in regards to how he disappeared from his post in Afghanistan and was eventually captured by the enemy. Suffice to say that Bowe Bergdahl probably will not be shaking President Obama’s hand anytime soon, much less be allowed near any other important figure as long as the Secret Service has a say in the matter.
What was running through Bergdahl’s mind in the months and days leading up to his disappearance is impossible for us to say, but simply by talking to former soldiers who served with him, many puzzling questions come to the forefront. SOFREP recently spoke with the medic who served in Bergdahl’s platoon to gain further insight in what really happened in OP Mest on June 30, 2009 when Bergdahl went missing.