The return of Sgt. Bergdahl: too risky a deal?

FILE - This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – An army sergeant held as a prisoner of war for the last five years in Afghanastan is free today, but some are arguing his release may have come with a risky exchange.

Sgt. Bowe Berhdahl was released into U.S. care in exchange for five Taliban commanders who were being held at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. officials said on Sunday that Bergdahl’s health and safety appeared to be in jeopardy, which prompted quick action to secure his release. Another argument by U.S. officials for the release was that it may help reach a reconciliation with the Taliban, which they say is needed to ensure more security in Afghanastan.

Still, while many are happy to see Bergdahl returned to safety, others are wondering what the exchange says about how the U.S. plans to handle these situations in the future.

22News talked about the issue with people in Longmeadow Monday morning.

“It could be a precedent that we could see playing out repeatedly, again and again, and the effect of it is really hard to say,” said Tom Thornton, who works in Longmeadow.

As part of the exchange, the Taliban leaders were sent to Qatar, where they are banned from leaving for at least one year.

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