US officials had considered carrying out an operation inside Pakistan to rescue US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Washington Post (WP) reported on Wednesday.
Bergdahl was released on May 31 after five years in Taliban captivity as a result of a prisoner swap agreement. He disappeared in June 2009 from a base in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province, with the Taliban later saying they had captured him. His captivity saw him transferred between various militant factions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The WP report quoted a former senior administration official who participated in discussions related to the soldier’s release as saying: “US officials began to contemplate an operation to rescue Bergdahl.”
“But their concern was angering Pakistan’s government and Inter-Services Intelligence,” the official added, pointing at the May 2011 raid in Abottabad to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and subsequent strain in relations between the two countries.
The report stated that those who supported a rescue operation included Admiral Mike Mullen, then chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.
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