Will Afghanistan Election Trigger New Hope for Bergdahl Release?


Friends and family supporters are keeping a close eye on this weekend's election in Afghanistan—with particular hopes that while Afghans decide their country's fate there could be reasons for hope in the on-again, off-again negotiations to free Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, America's only current prisoner of war held by the Taliban.

“If (Taliban members) are more willing to meet with representatives of a successor government than they have been with President Karzai’s government, that would make the situation much easier. But that’s up to them," said Barnett Rubin, director and senior fellow of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.

And Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch told the Twin Falls-Times News, "I can understand why everyone up there is watching this and are speculating and concerned about what happens in the future.”

Eleven candidates are on the ballot to claim the current seat held by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and most poll-watchers are expecting a run-off race between the top two contenders. Many foreign policy analysts blame Karzai for foiling negotiations between the U.S. and Bergdahl’s Taliban captors.