In a recent phone interview on All Things Considered, an army medic from Berghahl’s squad expressed anger at Bowe demanding that he be held accountable for abandoning his post five years ago, mostly because of the deaths of six soldiers who were specifically looking for Bergdahl after he disappeared.
Obviously the concern is that he just wasn’t loyal to the U.S. War in Afghanistan enough to stick around.
Bowe Bergdahl is a hero.
Anyone with common sense would do the same.
But those lives that were lost, would have been lost anyway whether they went to look for Bowe or not, and not because of why he abandoned his post but to hold him accountable for doing so.
Maybe the question should be whether they would have searched for him differently whether he abandoned his post for good or bad reasons, or if he had been kidnapped.
This same sentiment was expressed by the VP of national security and international policy for the Center for American Progress’ Vikram Singh on PBSnewshour:
I think it is extraordinarily risky for people to start saying that somehow we shouldn’t have worried about Bowe Bergdahl because of the way he might have been lost to the Taliban. Did he stray off from a patrol and get captured? Did he desert? Did he wander off his post? Was he in some kind of emotional distress? Was he suffering from anything from dehydration to just excessive stress?
As the days go by there’s push to hold him accountable for what these soldiers are supposed to be doing anyway, looking after each other.
I can’t help but recall the scene in guess who’s coming for dinner where Sidney Potier’s character is telling his dad off, saying that his generation doesn’t own him anything and that he took care of him and raised him because that’s what he’s supposed to be doing.
Which is the same case here like Bergdahl owes those soldiers something?
Of course the military isn’t this efficient with keeping people in check without incentives such as criminal charges.
So it’s reasonable to let them do what they need to do, which if they think he’s against the United States, they’ll try and put up a shield around him and watch him as they send him back to his family.
That indicates that this might drag on for longer if critics want it too, and that all depends on what the Obama administration wants to do to make an example of deserters.
If they’re smart, they’ll back him up, give him some medals and leave him alone.