President Obama does not seem to be a particularly astute negotiator. He issues ultimatums that he does not follow through on (other than those issued to Congress), and he doesn’t seem to know how to exert pressure when negotiating (e.g. Iran sanctions). Unfortunately, he really missed the boat in getting back Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. America exchanged one soldier who possibly deserted for five Taliban leaders. That swap was more than a little uneven. And the story continues.
The U.K. Daily Mail recently reported that one of the Taliban detainees exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl has contacted members of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and tried to join their ranks. The five Taliban leaders are being held in Qatar and are to be released in one year. Somehow that does not make me feel particularly secure.
The article reports:
Earlier this week, Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who recently visited Qatar, asserted that all five former Taliban fighters in Qatar’s custody may be looking to return to the battlefield.
‘They’ve had some Haqqani people come to meet with them. … They’re reaching out. The Taliban five are communicating with people inside Afghanistan,’ he told the Associated Press.
Under an agreement negotiated with the Taliban to free Bergdahl in May of 2014, the men must stay in Qatar for a year under surveillance. After that time, they may go wherever they please.
Pointing out that ‘it’s just a year deal,’ Graham told AP, ‘Just as sure as we’re sitting here, they’re going back to the fight.’
This does not bode well for the safety of the American troops in the area.