More criticism of Bergdahl release: Afghanistan condemns prisoner swap

Source Flickr Author World Economic Forum

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2014 — Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is the latest critic of President Obama’s decision to trade five Taliban members from Guantanamo for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Karzai’s press office issued a statement yesterday, saying the deal violates international law.

Reuters reported that the Afghan president was “angry” that the United States and Qatar brokered the agreement without consulting him, particularly considering the release of the five militants could directly impact stability in his country.

A source told Reuters, “The president is now even more distrustful of U.S. intentions in the country.”

READ ALSO: ‘High risk’ Taliban terrorists released by Obama in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl

The prisoners released by the United States are members of the Afghanistan Taliban, and are all hardened militants deemed a high security threat to the United States by intelligence and military analysts.

Bergdahl was held by the Haqqani Network, a group of militants affiliated with the Taliban that operates in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is, therefore, extremely strange that the hostage-takers did not demand the release of the top Haqqani militant currently in custody, Haji Mali Kahn, as part of the trade. Instead, all five prisoners from Guananamo were Taliban. Only one, Haji Mali Kahn, has any known ties to the Haqqani Network.

For Afghanistan, the release of five high level Taliban could add to the instability in the country.

Taliban officials released a statement on Sunday, saying that the exchange “won’t help the peace process in any way, because we don’t believe in the peace process.”

Karzai has made several efforts to negotiate with the Taliban to end the violence in the country, without success. The Taliban has said it wants all foreign troops to leave the country, and is content to wait until that exit rather than to engage in any type of negotiations.

READ ALSO: Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s release: A deal with the devil

The Taliban is well-positioned to take over the country after NATO troops leave at the end of this year, giving them little incentive to negotiate.

Relations between Karzai and the United States are already strained, with the President claiming that Washington has repeatedly embarrassed him and undercut Afghan interests.

Karzai has refused to sign a bilateral agreement with the United States that would keep some troops in the country after the NATO withdrawal in 2014. The President insists that the U.S. must not enter any Afghan homes or mosques, even if investigating a crime, which Washington refuses.

Afghanistan is currently holding a presidential election and Karzai will step down from his post later this year. He is, however, expected to retain influence even after leaving office.

The prisoner swap is likely to further undercut bilateral relations, especially if a surge of Taliban violence follows the release of the Taliban militants.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.
  • Steven Wedig

    This is only gonna get worse……Odumbo really screwed us this time by making us totally untrustworthy to our allies and to our negotiations in the middle east,….

    • CheetoBuster

      This time? He’s been screwing us for 6 years now!! My question, how does he keep getting away with it? Violating both International law and United States law…shouldn’t he be in cuffs?

      • Steven Wedig


        • jr

          1. They aren’t militants. 2. You all need to stop watching so much Fox. 3. Bush has actually broken the law, as well as numerous Republicans. Obama hasn’t broken any law. In truth, it is actually breaking international law if we held the five detainees any longer since we weren’t charging them with anything.

          Being stupid is one thing, but when the facts are right in front of you, and you refuse to acknowledge them, you should be ashamed of your ignorance.

          • Steven Wedig

            Jr…..jr some how based on your condescending tone sounds appropriate. …Napoleon syndrome? In short your 1,2,3 are bullshit that YOU have the nerve to spoutas some fact….soosooooo ilI’ll give you short n swee,…you PROVE with your FOX news comment know NOTHING about ME…you ASSUME and I’m hoping even YOU KNOW what assuming does, YOU may not notice the CONSTANT DEFENSE for Odumbo is what someone in the past did….to be crystal clear…”i don’t give a [email protected] what some did in the PAST and for my thought then FRY THESE PAST people y’all are sooo concerned with cause for ME GUILTY/WRONG HAS NO POLITICAL SIDE,….(told ya you don’t know ME) i thought Bush was just over being a retarded so do NOT come at ME like I’m a “party man”… as far as i understand those douche bags were held as terrorists wich was fine to hold em (left to ME IF i seen concrete PROOF i would have aimed for shooting them as i have 0 tolerance for those people NOR AS AN AMERICAN (forget this party shit) should also want them dead or locked up. …do they have to kill one of YOUR family or friends first?? As for calling me ignorant and worse stupid without ANY KNOWLEDGE of me PROVES YOUR IGNORANCE. …….TRY (as i do) to FORGET this party shit and look at wtf is happening to our country! !!! Tell me do you HONESTLY see Odumbo guilty of NOTHING WRONG, NO COVER UPS,NOTHING. ….taking the party OUT and sre him JUST as a man,,..not a blk man or ANY OTHER “type” and tell me you see NOTHING WRONG!?’! IRS, BENGAZI (yea i know i can’t spell for shit….sue me ) FAST N FURIOUS. …NOTHING WRONG? ?? REALLY? ??

  • Sherill Weber

    Yep,,,these five our just going to sit there an do nothing because they are so relieved to be let go. Not!!! Now they are really busy planning the next attacks. In a few months are troops will be coming home with the exception of just under 10,000 that will remain there. How many will be coming home in a coffin now. And this damn deserter,,,will Obama bring out the broom and sweep this under the rug also? This guy is going to get a hero’s welcome in his home town when he gets there. What a slap in the face to those 6 who died because they were searching for him. What a slap in the face to our troops still fighting and have fought. Obama has blood on his hands and more is coming.

  • Sandra Leigh Olson Rogers

    I know as human beings we are all capable of denying events that are too disturbing to deal with, but we have got to STOP IT RIGHT NOW!! This regime has no intentions of changing because they are following the Communist Manifesto & Agenda 21 of the U.N. to accomplish total take over America as part of establishing the “New World Order” in which people worldwide will depend on for food, water, & housing.

  • Mamatex

    Good Grief, Obama is offending practically everyone in the Middle East….Egypt, Lybia, Syria and now Afghanistan.

  • Gracie777

    Obama’s bending over backwards to gain favor with the world’s scumbags, and he’s even failing to do that.

  • bikerdogred1

    There coming for you Karzai better run for the hills and take all that money you have stolen to.

  • Sue

    The women of Afghanistan are stuffed!