News Release

What Bergdahl Case Offers


MATTHEW HOH, mphoh1 at
Hoh, a State Department whistleblower, wrote the piece “Stop Persecuting Bowe Bergdahl” for Politico. He said today: “With more than 4 out of 5 Americans against the war in Afghanistan, and a majority of Americans saying the war was a mistake, Sergeant Bergdahl’s concerns about the war resonate with many Americans.

“As you will see from Sergeant Bergdahl’s lawyers’ statement, the report conducted by the Army found Sergeant Bergdahl not to have the intention to desert permanently; not to have the intention of joining the Taliban or assisting the enemy; that he did not cooperate with his captors, but rather attempted to escape 12 times; that no American soldiers died looking for Sergeant Bergdahl; and that Sergeant Bergdahl left his post to report ‘disturbing circumstances to the attention of the nearest general officer.’

“Sergeant Bergdahl’s disaffection with the war can be seen and understood, not only through the failure of the American war effort in Afghanistan, but through the ongoing civil wars in the Greater Middle East and in the rise of the Islamic State.”

“While I am saddened for Sergeant Bergdahl’s family, with whom I am friends, and hopeful that no charges will be brought against him at his Article 32 hearing, I do believe Sergeant Bergdahl’s case offers a valuable opportunity for our nation to discuss our wars, evaluate our wars’ executions and results, and question whether or not the sacrifices of our young service members and their families, as well as the suffering of millions of people throughout the Muslim World, has been worthwhile.”

Hoh, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, previously directed the Afghanistan Study Group, a collection of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Prior to that, Hoh served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and on U.S. Embassy teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq. See Washington Post profile of Hoh: “U.S. official resigns over Afghan war.”