The deteriorating situation in Afghanistan may hinder the most likely avenue for bringing a captured Northwest soldier home safely. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, is the only known U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity.
Peace talks between the U.S. and a faction of the Taliban were already on unstable footing. Now the Taliban says it’s suspending contact with U.S. officials. The announcement came just days after the massacre of Afghan civilians, allegedly carried out by an American staff sergeant from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
But some experts believe the killings aren’t the main factor in the Taliban’s reluctance to negotiate. Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations argues in the long-run, any leverage the U.S. has depends on its military presence on the ground.
“All the signals from Washington are that we want to withdraw as soon as possible, and under those circumstances, the Taliban just won’t have that much incentive to negotiate,” Boot says.
Twenty-five-year-old Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner since 2009. Residents of his hometown continue to hang yellow ribbons in his honor. Lately, others have taken up the cause. A family in Wisconsin started a petition to bring Bergdahl home. And a veterans biker group rented billboard space in a suburb of Chicago to display his name and picture.
On the Web:
Bring Bowe Bergdahl Home Facebook page:
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network