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Should Obama Negotiate to Swap Afghan Taliban prisoners to Free American POW?

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl captured by Afghan Taliban in 2009
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl captured by Afghan Taliban in 2009
photo credit - Grace Fabian

Since 2009 an American soldier captured by the Afghan Taliban has been held in Afghanistan possibly wondering if the nation and more importantly his Commander-in-Chief abandoned him. Now after five years, according to Fox News Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now 28-year-old, and a native from Idaho may be freed if a Taliban prisoner swap goes through.

Obama, whose public statements about the Afghanistan War has been less than noticeable and even at times nonplussed now appears ready to engage in freeing the American soldier. For an administration that could marvel the world with its capture and killing of noted Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Bergdahl’s possible rescue never appeared to be more than a passing thought.

Now with the recent release of a video released by the Taliban, the American soldier appears “in poorer health than previous footage taken in the years since he went missing in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009,” reported Fox News.

The question of the prisoner swap appears even more pressing since relations with the Afghanistan government appears on the wane as American forces are moving to wind down the war effort.

It appears that the notion of a prisoner swap of one American soldier for five Afghan Taliban prisoners being detained in at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba came to fruition in January, suggests the Washington Post, said Fox News.

This is not the first time that the release of Bergdahl has come up. In fact the administration would not agree to a prisoner swap last year when the Taliban reportedly wanted the release of five of its top officials being held by the U.S.

At the time, according to Fox News, the Obama administration stated that it did not negotiate with terrorists. It seems that Obama officials are willing to do a 180 degree change in the policy, and now the detained American prisoner of war may be coming home soon.

Fox News reports that Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday that U.S. officials are eager to secure Bergdahl’s release, according to the Washington Post. “He’s been gone too long,” Kirby stressed to reporters “We want him back. We’ve never stopped trying to bring that about. He’s never far from anyone’s mind here,” reported Fox News.

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