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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking to reporters Sunday in Bagram, Afghanistan, declined to talk about any possible action by the military against Bergdahl. A senior defense official indicated that punitive action was unlikely, no matter what the circumstances were. "Five years is enough," he said.
Current and former service members also questioned whether the United States should have released five members of the Taliban in exchange for Bergdahl. Former Sgt. Aaron King, who deployed to Iraq twice as part of the 101st Airborne Division, said that Washington needed to try to recover Bergdahl but that U.S. troops join the military knowing that they could be kidnapped. He also said that troops accept that although their fellow service members will search for them, they are not to be used in negotiations.
"We’re giving up too much for this individual," said King, of Washington, D.C. "Five guys are getting back out into the world to probably conduct terror operations and harm others."
Sieff reported from Kabul, Afghanistan. Washington Post staff writer Karen DeYoung in Bagram, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.
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