Bowe Bergdahl: P.O.W. or A.W.O.L. Soldier?

Bowe Begdahl after his exchange at a Press Conference at the White House.

Bowe Begdahl after his exchange at a Press Conference at the White House.

In June of 2009, then soldier Bowe Bergdahl, was found to be missing from his station in Afghanistan. He was then declared a Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) of the Afghanistan War and was promoted to Sergeant. In May 2014, Bergdahl began to make waves again, this time being the chosen American soldier exchange for five members of a Taliban being held at the American detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Since his exchange at the end of May, his disappearance has been called into question.

Bowe Bergdahl, before joining the United States Army, had been discharged from the United States Coast Guard after just a few weeks. He then proceeded onto the Army. He disappeared from his post. Right after his disappearance, the Army proceeded to look into his sudden disappearance, as is standard with P.O.W. cases. What was found was interesting: He left under his own decision, making him a Absent Without Official Leave (A.W.O.L.) soldier.

The Army never publicly came out in agreement as to the findings but the case was published nonetheless. Since Bergdahl’s exchange, the Army has appointed Major General Kenneth Dahl to conduct his own independent investigation into the matter.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is currently going through the Army’s reintegration process. This process allows for soldiers of extreme circumstances to be reintegrated into society without extreme PTSD affecting their lives completely. PTSD will still affect them but this process may lessen the effect of PTSD.

His exchange not only sparked conversation into Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance from the Army but also President Obama.

President Obama made the exchange without consulting Congress. That’s a big no-no. Many members of Congress have said that President Obama went beyond his scope as President when he began conversation with terrorists to negotiate the exchange. Other members of Congress, and the public, are still very concerned that America let five known Taliban terrorists free from Guantanamo Bay.

Different suggestions have come up as to how we could have handled the exchange.

  1. Not have exchanged them: Some say that it was a waste of the intel we could have collected from the held Taliban soldiers to bring home a potential M.I.A. soldier, even though he is American.

  2. Have planted GPS plants in the Taliban: Even if it is found that Bergdahl was captured, we shouldn’t have just let the Taliban off without any way of tracking them. Although this may seem out of a Science-Fiction movie, with some kind of GPS tracker in them, we could find them again, along with other Taliban leaders and bring further terrorists to justice.

  3. Exchanged for someone else: There are P.O.W. from America in many other countries in the world. If we had exchanged someone of relevance to another country, we could have brought back a soldier who didn’t have a questionable past like Bergdahl does.

This situation could, very well be a deciding factor for President Obama in regards to his acting of Commander and Chief of the United States of America.

What are your thoughts on Bowe Bergdahl? What would you have liked to have seen happen?


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