Joseph Miller is the pen name for a ranking Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has worked in strategic planning.
Here is the truth: The deal to trade five senior Taliban detainees to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was political. It was publicly justified with lies, it breaks decades of U.S. policy, it breaks American law, it puts Americans at risk, it undermines the government of Afghanistan, and it passes responsibility on to the next administration.
But first of all, it was political.
But no, it was not to take the spot light off of the failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Simply stated, it was because so long as Bergdahl remained in Taliban captivity in Pakistan, the Obama administration would never be able to close the chapter of the failed Afghanistan campaign it has owned since approving — and then under-resourcing — a surge of U.S. forces in the country. (Pentagon Official: Obama Conducting Foreign Policy Based On Polling — Not US Safety)
Bergdahl’s captivity served as a constant reminder of President Barack Obama’s strategic failures while U.S. forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan. That’s something the Democrats cannot allow going into 2014 and 2016 elections. So the president agreed to an unprecedented deal in blatant violation of U.S. law and established precedent that undermines the safety and security of the United States and her citizens, once again choosing short-term political gain over long-term security interests. (Pentagon Official: Obama’s Afghanistan Fantasy Today Is America’s Nightmare Tomorrow)
Claims of new information on Bergdahl’s deteriorating health are simply false justifications. Bergdahl’s health was in no worse shape than should be reasonably expected of someone who had been a prisoner for five years. He walked without assistance into the waiting company of U.S. special operations forces, and then climbed aboard the waiting helicopter. He was mentally sound enough to recognize what was going on around him and to communicate with American forces. And none of the medical or psychological issues that he has displayed symptoms are life threatening. So this was just another example of the administration trying to justify its actions.
Additionally, the decision breaks with a decades-old standing U.S. policy to never negotiate with terrorists. Bergdahl was being held by the Haqqani Network in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The Obama administration designated the Haqqani Network a terrorist organization just a few years ago. By negotiating with the Haqqani Network through the government of Qatar, the administration violated the policy. (Pentagon Official: Obama’s #ForeignPolicy? #AskMichelle)
Though this is not how the Obama administration sees it.