COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A retired military officer with an extensive US Navy career has weighed in on the prisoner exchange controversy concerning Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Dr. Tom Dolan, a local political science professor, said it would be nice if political leaders would sit tight and let the facts come out before turning this to their political advantage.
Dolan spoke one-on-one with News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles about the issues surrounding Bergdahl's release.
"We have conflicting policies. As I mentioned before, we have the policy that Americans will not negotiate with terrorists and we also say we're not going to leave anybody behind," stated Dolan.
Dolan has a master's degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He also stated that in Bergdahl's case not leaving someone behind trumped not negotiating with terrorists.
"The argument is made that when you agree to prisoner exchanges like this, you're just going to encourage the other side to kidnap more Americans, that's sort of what happened during the Reagan years," added Dolan.
Dolan was referring to the Iran Contra scandal.
"The American's were being taken prisoner in Lebanon and other areas and these would be exchanged for military equipment that was going to Iran in violation of federal law."
That was of course long before Guantanamo bay existed.
Dolan explained, "As for as the 30 day requirement goes, if the president felt that someone's life was in jeopardy, did I don't think anyone could fault him for going beyond what the law requires."
Senator John McCain also expressed his opposition the move speaking from Arizona Tuesday.
"This agreement puts our future men in women in the military at great risk."
Due to Bergdahl's ongoing treatment at a hospital in Germany, Dolan said don't expect a homecoming celebration any time soon. Once Bergdahl is finished with psychological treatment, debriefing and decompression, he'll be transported to San Antonio, Texas for more military assistance.