2) No one is saying that we should have left Bowe Bergdahl behind.
I’ve spent hours searching for anyone of significance saying on the record that the de-motivated so-and-so shoulda been left to rough it with his Taliban captors, and found nothing except for bad Chris Hayes Tweets and huffy Obamaite declarations about how “We still get an American soldier back if he is held in captivity. Period. Full stop.”
Well yes, it’s right there in the Code of the United States Fighting Force:
“Just as you have a responsibility to your country under the Code of Conduct, the United States government has an equal responsibility—to keep faith with you and stand by you as you fight for your country. If you are unfortunate enough to become a prisoner of war, you may rest assured that your government will care for your dependents and will never forget you. Furthermore, the government will use every practical means to contact, support and gain release for you and for all other prisoners of war.”
So the question isn’t whether, it’s how, both cost-wise and procedurally. And before we get to those considerations, it’s important to acknowledge another piece of complexity.