David French @ NationalReview.com
A successful rescue typically results in the death or capture of enemy soldiers, costs the enemy its valued asset — in this case an American prisoner — and discourages hostage-taking by raising the price for no return.
A ransom, on the other hand, gives the enemy an additional asset (in this case, five valued commanders), leaves his capturing forces intact, and encourages future hostage-taking.
The defeat of ransom is compounded when we give far more than we receive: giving away the Taliban “dream team” for a sergeant who apparently deserted his post.
But as for whether or not Bergdahl deserted his post, that needs to be established by an appropriate court. We need to get both sides of the argument. We need to hear Bergdahl’s side.
The media statements of his fellow soldiers may be compelling, but it’s still not proper proof.
And of course even an alleged deserter deserves to be rescued.
The other thing I’d like to know is: Why did the United States government exchange FIVE hardcore Jihadists for this soldier? Why not fewer?
Doesn’t that reduce its future negotiating ability? If it had only traded ONE Jihadist, it would then have four more Jihadists than it does now for use in any future trade — should the need and opportunity arise.
Furthermore, the USA government must now keep tabs on all these Jihadists.
Robert Tracinski @ The Federalist describes the Taliban Dream Team who were swapped for Bergdahl:
These were top officials in the Taliban regime:
a provincial governor,
a deputy defense minister,
a deputy intelligence minister,
a top arms smuggler,
and a top Taliban military commander.
Two of them are wanted by the United Nations for war crimes committed against Afghanistan’s Shiites.