Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl returned to regular Army duty

WASHINGTON — The Army has given Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl a desk job, ending the formal phase of his transition from Taliban prisoner to not-quite-ordinary soldier, and setting the stage for Army investigators to question the Idaho native about his disappearance that led to five years in captivity.

In a brief statement Monday, the Army said Bergdahl has been assigned to U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in Texas.

Bergdahl has been decompressing and recuperating from the effects of captivity since his arrival there from a military base in Germany. Since he was handed over to U.S. special forces in Afghanistan on May 31, he has been debriefed for any possible intelligence he might have gleaned in his time with the Taliban.

Bergdahl's case is one of the most extraordinary of recent times — for the length of his captivity, for his apparent decision to abandon his unit during a combat deployment, and for the circumstances of his release.

It's not clear when Bergdahl will face investigators on the disappearance investigation, whose findings will help determine whether the 28-year-old is prosecuted for desertion or faces any other disciplinary action.

Numerous other questions are lingering, including whether Bergdahl will collect the estimated $300,000 in back pay he accumulated over five years.

Bergdahl walked away from his unit after expressing misgivings about the U.S. military's role — as well as his own — in Afghanistan. He was captured by Taliban members and held by members of an insurgent group tied to the Taliban. He was released as part of a deal in which the U.S. gave up five top Taliban commanders imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The terms of the deal sparked a political storm in Washington.

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