Something is wrong with this Bergdahl deal. And I don't mean the obvious trading of five high level Taliban leaders for a soldier who simply left his post and went AWOL.
There is something more here and it is deeply troubling. Bergdahl is hardly what one would describe as a sympathetic character in this great play. The Obama admin had to know that this wasn't going to win them any points. Men in uniform died trying to find Bergdahl. We trade five high level Taliban leaders to get him back and then we find that he was essentially AWOL? Why the trade? Why would Obama do this deal?
The deal was necessary to strengthen American security. No argument can be made that this deal in any way helps American security. If anything it puts us more at risk. So that's out. Not even worth considering as an option.
Simple return of POWs from both sides at the end of a war.Some on the left have suggested that this is simply a winding down of the war in Afghanistan. At first glance this seems plausible. In any war you must return the POWs at the end of the fighting. But again we have a problem. We didn't release all of the Afghan fighters from Gitmo. If this were just a formality of ending hostilities all of them would have been released. So this is not logical and a stupid leftist talking point. Grabbing at straws really.
Balance of Power. Erik Erickson suggested this while filling in for Rush Limbaugh. Erickson suggests that Obama is a global progressive who sees benefit for the world in having a balance of power not just regionally but globally. By making the deal for Bergdahl Obama weakens the position of the U.S. militarily and strengthens the Taliban in Afganistan. When I first heard this today I thought Mr. Erickson had gone of the rails. Balance of power diplomacy has been and continues to be a legitimate pursuit by foreign service departments around the world. It can stabilize a region and offers the stabilizing force influence in the region. The reason for this is that the United States provides the machinery, men or money that facilitates the balance. There is an implicit understanding that if you don't stand with us we can withdraw that support and thus tip the balance against the targeted nation. In this particular instance however the United States has no strings to pull after the deal. Nothing can be added or withdrawn to tip the balance back in our favor. So of course I thought the notion silly.
But I'm beginning to think Erickson may be right. The progressives (led by Obama in this instance) have such a warped view of the world that they actually believe limiting U.S. power and strengthening our potential enemies will somehow lead to a more peaceful world. If Erickson is in fact correct in his analysis we are in big trouble. This is a bet that is so risky that I would not have thought even Obama capable of placing it. If he is wrong we simply strengthen our enemy and we get hit harder the next time. We lose more money, more lives and more control over an already shaky situation. As someone who has studied history for more than 25 years this would be unprecedented. I have not heard this suggested by anyone other than Erik Erickson, and perhaps that's why it took me by surprise. If he is correct then this may be something that Mr. Erickson is remembered for one hundred years from now. This is big my friends. If this is truly our modern foreign policy we are in a world of hurt. The thing I'm struggling with is that if he's correct I don't think even Erickson understands how bad this is. No nation can prosper on the world stage by trying to weaken itself. When the goal of the body is to become weaker the only result is eventual death.
Perhaps we've all been duped. And perhaps it is just my optimism. I am holding out hope that this has been a brilliant ploy by the Obama administration to keep control of the Senate and perhaps pick up seats in the house come November. All early indications are that this Bergdahl fellow is not what one would consider a great patriot. If he abandoned his post and as some have suggested decided to help the enemy then we would want him back. Obama may have miscalculated and thought that he could bring Bergdahl back, put him on trial for treason and then show the world what a tough leader he has become. The comparisons to Chamberlain would go away. A smiling left wing media would be fawning all over him for his brilliance and his polling numbers would shoot up.
Alas I think it gives Obama to much credit. Just today we found out that a deal could have been worked six months ago for a cash payment to facilitate Bergdahl's release. To now give up five terrorist leaders to get him would surely ruin any political gain.
So my sunny optimism is probably misguided. And the more likely scenario suggested by Erickson appears the only logical answer. So what does it mean? Quite simply it means we have a man in the White House who has absolutely no idea how the world works. A man who can not possibly ever have read serious work of history. If Erickson is right we have a president who not only broke the law with this deal, he did it for something that puts our troops, our foreign service operatives and every single American at much greater risk.