The recent release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban leaders has prompted criticism and public outcry against negotiating with terrorists. KELOLAND News spoke with a retired Two Star Major General for his perspective on the controversy.
Lynn Hartsell served more than 30 years in the Army. He predicts the military will conduct a thorough investigation into reports of Bergdahl's deserting his platoon.
"This soldier was declared to have served honorably, to have been loyal to his unit. To be portrayed in that fashion, is, at best, premature. And, perhaps most likely, just flat wrong," Hartsell said.
Hartsell says the Taliban is considering this case as not only a victory, but also as a recruiting tool for the terrorist organization.
"It basically refutes the notion that we do not negotiate with terrorists because that's exactly what we did," Hartsell said.
This veteran believes the five Taliban leaders will be back on the battlefield within a year or less. He's also concerned that members of the terrorist organization will want to capture more American soldiers in the future.
"This puts a great deal of pressure on the military. It puts perhaps potentially more of our soldiers in danger, and we just need to be continually vigilant, because the war on terror is not over, and frankly will never end,” Hartsell said.
Even though Hartsell knows that the men and women in uniform can't comment on the case, he is certain that each must be concerned about the continued safety of the military.
Although there are still a lot of unanswered questions in this case, Hartsell is confident the military will resolve it with time.