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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Bowe Bergdahl
As the Obama administration prepares for a potential sit-down with the Taliban, the White House hasn't decided whether it will entertain a trade offer that would return an American soldier held since 2009 in exchange for five Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay.
In his rush to pull out of Afghanistan, close Guantanamo and declare the fight against "violent extremists" over, President Obama is again pressing for Taliban peace talks just days after releasing a complete list of Gitmo detainees, finally identifying 46 of 166 men held in indefinite detention.
Taliban militants in Afghanistan have offered a trade to the United States: Give us five senior operatives imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay and we'll free one American soldier held captive since 2009.
An empty chair on display at a Veterans Day ceremony in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Monday symbolized the costs military families face when loved ones have been killed or declared missing in action.
Beyond the sheer size and cachet that the Rolling Thunder rally now carries, there remains at the heart of the gathering a tight-knit community of veterans, family and friends of former POWs and those still missing.
The Pentagon's two top leaders said Thursday the Obama administration is working to secure the freedom of a U.S. soldier taken prisoner three years ago in Afghanistan, despite an impasse in talks to trade him for Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Direct U.S. talks with the Taliban had evolved to a substantive negotiation before Afghan officials, nervous that the secret and independent talks would undercut President Hamid Karzai, scuttled them, Afghan and U.S. officials told the Associated Press.
Secret U.S. talks with the Taliban were making progress before Afghan officials, nervous that the negotiations would undercut President Hamid Karzai, scuttled them, Afghan and U.S. officials have said.
"They released some of the prisoners that we have in Guantanamo Bay and gave them back. Well, why did we give them back if you're not giving our guy back?" he argued.
Featured prominently in the talks was the whereabouts and eventual release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, captured more than two years ago in eastern Afghanistan, said a senior Western diplomat in the region and a childhood friend of the Taliban negotiator, Tayyab Aga.