Tags: Bowe Bergdahl Freed | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | intelligence | taliban | al-qaida | haqqani

Wash Times' Taylor: Bergdahl Swap Done for Intelligence Value

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 03:52 PM

The United States would go to the same lengths to rescue a tourist as it did in securing the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, says Guy Taylor, a reporter and National Security team leader at The Washington Times.

"Imagine a U.S. citizen who is in his 20s and he's a really adventurous backpacker who goes missing, say, in the mountains of Afghanistan,'' Taylor told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"[Are] Special Forces going to launch a high-risk, combat-likely clandestine raid to get that individual back, even if they believe they're being held by this so-called enemy in the Taliban? And the answer, you're going to find unequivocally, is no, they're not.''

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"In fact there are multiple cases in recent years, including two in southern Iran, where we haven't done that.''

Taylor added that the United States Special Forces and intelligence community has little penetration into the enemy camps of al-Qaida, the Taliban, and the Haqqani network in Afghanistan — and that makes Bergdahl valuable.

"[It's] really limited, always really limited. Here's a guy with Bowe Bergdahl that just lived with the Haqqani network for the last five years. This issue of penetration is hot,'' he said.

Taylor said the impact of the Taliban's release of a video of the swap — which quickly became an internet sensation — is being debated.

"I had intelligence sources yesterday tell me that the CIA is very closely watching how quickly this thing has spread because they're trying to gauge how it affects public opinion of the Taliban in Afghanistan,'' Taylor said.

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