(NNPA)—I disagree with President Obama’s decision to trade five Taliban leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an apparent deserter who is believed to have been the only U.S. solider being held as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan.
My opposition is based on the firm belief that such exchanges only encourage future violence against the U.S. For proof, we need to look no further than statements made by Taliban leaders after the exchange of prisoners.
Time magazine quoted one Taliban commander: “It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people. It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”
Even so, Obama critics are incorrect when they claim that President Obama is departing from past U.S. practices.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, said, “The reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has incentive to capture more soldiers.”