“The fact of the matter is, when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were at if Bergdahl had not have left,” said former Sgt. Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former team leader. “Bergdahl leaving changed the mission.”

Those charges were repeated by a noncommissioned officer who requested anonymity because he is still in the Army, one who described himself as a two-time voter for President Obama, lest anyone think his comments were political in any way.

“If Bergdahl hadn’t left it’s entirely plausible that they wouldn’t have had those follow-on missions or been where they were,” said the NCO, who served in the 501st.

Some also argue that the personnel recovery mission angered the local population, and created patterns in troops’ movement that made insurgent attacks easier.