Afghanistan, Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Congo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.
Every one of the 59 nations listed above has contributed resources, manpower, or both to the War on Terror. The War on Terror is, as former President George W. Bush explained, different from any other war anyone has ever fought. It is not a war against a nation with borders, but rather a war against an ideology that breeds radicals and zealots. It is not a war that can be fought on a single front, but rather a war that must be fought on hundreds of fronts simultaneously. It is not a war that can be fought by the United States alone, even though the attack that propelled this war to the forefront of global geopolitics was on American soil.
And for the last 13 years, the United States has not fought that war alone. The 59 nations previously mentioned have offered assistance in the form of manpower, financial and physical resources, and intelligence. Those 59 nations have played a part, however small, in the capture of every terrorist and enemy combatant since the beginning of the War on Terror.
It would seem only logical, then, that at least a few of those nations be consulted in the event that a terrorist they helped to secure was going to be released. It is only natural that, since some of those nations also consider those five Taliban leaders to be enemies, they would want to remain apprised of any change in their location or status.
In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Taliban fighter looks at the helicopter carrying Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl taking off in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 released a video showing the handover of Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video)
It also seems reasonable to assume, then, that a failure to consult or even notify such allies of a release of prisoners, such as the five Taliban leaders who were freed in exchange for American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, might have a few repercussions.
Allies might question the trustworthiness of the United States, and they would be right to do so.
[sharequote align="center"]Allies might question the trustworthiness of the United States, and they would be right to do so.[/sharequote]
If an American president shows no compunction for releasing the enemies of other nations from prison without so much as a warning, what else might he do? If he fails to consider the outcome of his actions on a global scale, then why should the rest of the globe be expected to treat him as an ally? A good ally must consider the impact his actions will have not only on friendly nations, but on all nations.
Several recent articles have poked fun at the Obama Administration’s bottom line foreign policy, a simple line that is apparently repeated on a regular basis: “Don’t do stupid s*$&."
One has to wonder if the outcome in this particular situation might have been different if that foreign policy had been judiciously applied prior to the decision to release detainees from Guantanamo Bay without consulting anyone.
One also has to wonder if, after eight years of an administration that considers “taking up yoga” and “reading a biography of the Dalai Lama” to be reasonable proof that a terrorist has changed his ways enough to be released, America’s standing in the world will ever be the same.
Virginia Kruta holds a dual BS in Political Science and History from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, and writes from her home in the People's Republic of Illinois. Find her on Twitter @VAKruta or reach her by email: email@example.com
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