Soldier missing for five years was traded last year for Taliban commanders
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could face life in prison if convicted of desertion. The U.S. military charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.
Bergdahl, 28, went missing from his base in Paktika province on June 30, 2009, and is believed to have grown disillusioned with the U.S. military’s mission in Afghanistan, according to The Washington Post. He was held captive in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban, until a deal brokered through the government of Qatar was reached last year.
When Bergdahl was released by the Taliban last year after a trade in which the Obama Administration released five Taliban officers from Guantanamo Bay, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice defended the prisoner swap by saying the soldier “served the United States with honor and distinction.”
Rice also said that “assurances relating to the movement, the activities, the monitoring of those detainees [released in exchange for Bergdahl] give us confidence that they cannot and, in all likelihood, will not pose a significant risk to the United States. And that it is in our national interests that this transfer had been made.”
But now the Army has concluded an investigation into the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture, according to
Some members of Bergdahl’s platoon have criticized him, labeling Bergdahl a deserter.
Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him," former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009, told CNN last year.