Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was a private first class at the time of his capture, June 30, 2009, and is believed to be held by the Haqqani network, insurgents affiliated with the Taliban, probably in Pakistan. You may remember that the latest agreement signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghanistan states that we will no longer attack Pakistan from Afghanistan, which will certainly hinder any efforts to save Bowe Bergdahl.
His father and mother are tired of waiting on the U.S. government under Barack Obama and have started efforts to take matters into their own hands, to get their son free. As stated here, "It is appalling that the United States is releasing high-level detainees from a prison in Afghanistan, in a “strategic release” program [“U.S. frees high-level Afghan detainees,” front page, May 7], while the Taliban still holds a U.S. soldier as a prisoner of war."
The soldier's father added that he intends to take matters into his own hands, studying Pashto -- the language spoken in southern Afghanistan -- reaching out to regional experts and contacting the media-savvy Taliban through its website.
"I feel that I have to do my job as his father," he said. "I'm working toward a diplomatic and humanitarian solution." (MSNBC)
Read more about the father's thoughts here.
U.S. officials claim they are doing all they can. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, say, "I can assure you that we are doing everything in our power, using our intelligence resources across the government, to try to find, locate him..."
I doubt those reassurances are very comforting after four long years. Bergdahl was the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which the Obama administration would allow the transfer of five Taliban prisoners long held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I'm not sure, but it appears those negotiations have failed.
Bob Bergdahl said he does not advocate an attempt to rescue his son by force.
"That's too much risk, for too many people," said Bergdahl, who described Bowe as a "soft-spoken," "compassionate" young man who, as a home-schooled youth, was a skilled outdoorsman drawn to martial arts and biking. (MSNBC)
I find the father's failure to support a rescue attemtp of this son baffling. Rescuing a captured soldier should be top priority. However, this brings us to the question of prisoner swaps.
In 2011 Israel traded hundreds of Islamic terrorist prisoners for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. The U.S. has consistently said openly that we do not do this. Gilad Shalit was helt for five years in captivity.
To solicit support for further action, Bob Bergdahl plans to speak at an annual demonstration to recognize prisoners of war over Memorial Day weekend in Washington. The event, organized by the nonprofit POW support group Rolling Thunder, typically attracts more than 100,000 motorcyclists to the nation's capital. (TimesOnline)