On May 31, 2014, the White House announced that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been released from captivity by the Taliban. He had been a prisoner of the Taliban since
2009 when, he wandered away from this base in Afghanistan and was captured. In return for the release of Bergdahl, the United States agreed to release five Taliban
prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at the American installation located there. Bergdahl was subsequently court-martialed for desertion and misbehavior before the
enemy. He pleaded guilty to both charges and now awaits sentencing.
Do an internet search on the basic facts of the negotiations which led to the exchange of prisoners. Summarize your findings and answer these questions:
1. Does this case tell you anything about the dangers and benefits of negotiating with your “enemy”?
2. What were each side’s alternatives to negotiation?
3. What were some of the intangibles involved from the perspectives of both the United States and the Taliban?
4. What were the underlying interests of both sides?
5. Why do you think most people avoid negotiating with people or groups against whom they have strong feelings?
6. Do you think there is anything immoral (as you define that term) in negotiating with a group such as the Taliban?