Idaho Family 'Cautiously Optimistic' Prisoner Swap Will Bring POW Home

Feb 18, 2014

 

The Idaho family of captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl is welcoming an effort to get their son home through a prisoner swap. 

Bergdahl has been a captive of the Taliban on the border lands of Afghanistan and Pakistan for nearly five years, and past attempts at negotiations have stalled out. 

The idea of a prisoner exchange for Bergdahl has been talked about for years, most recently as a way to open broader peace talks with the Taliban. But such an endeavor required a delicate balance with the Afghan government and talks never got off the ground.

Now, the Washington Post reports, U.S. negotiators are floating the idea of just a swap: Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban operatives at Guantanamo Bay.

Bergdahl's family in Hailey, Idaho, released a statement through the Idaho National Guard, praising the effort.

“We thank all involved,” the family said, adding they “hope everyone takes this opportunity seriously.”

Col. Tim Marsano has been the Bergdahls' media liaison since Bowe was captured in 2009.

“The Bergdahls today are cautiously optimistic that this is the effort that's going to bring their son home safely. You know, it's been an agonizing four and half years for this family," Marsano said.

According to the Washington Post, the Taliban prisoners would be released into the custody of the Qatari government to ensure they didn't return to the battlefield.

Bowe Bergdahl is the only U.S. prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict.