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Maps, Videos, and More

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Deconstructing Bergdahl’s Uniform

Bowe Bergdahl’s service uniform is a roadmap to his official army career—past and present—and hints at his captivity and, as with many aspects of this story, points to some controversy.

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Document

Bergdahl’s Interview With Dahl

In August 2014, then-Major General Kenneth Dahl interviewed Bowe Bergdahl as part of an investigation into the circumstances of his capture. Here is the transcript of their discussion.

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Obama’s Rose Garden Announcement

On May 31, 2014, President Obama stepped into the White House Rose Garden with Bob and Jani Bergdahl to announce that their son was coming home. Immediately the event hit a nerve with the public.

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“Honor and Distinction”

The day after Obama announced the release of Bowe Bergdahl, National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on ABC’s This Week and said this about Bowe Bergdahl. 

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Audio Extra

How the Taliban See Themselves

Barney Rubin, an expert on Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the Taliban's views during the early years of the war and why the five detainees swapped for Bowe Bergdahl were important to them. 

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Interactive

Entry-Level Discharges From the Coast Guard

Bowe Bergdahl was discharged from the coast guard in 2006, a few weeks after he joined. This graph shows the number of coast guard recruits each year since 2001 and the percentage of recruits who were discharged within six months.

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The Gold Hammer

Jason Dempsey on the counterinsurgency—COIN—mission and the end game in Afghanistan. Dempsey, who was an officer at the battalion and brigade level, did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has served as a combat advisor to the Afghans and has taught at West Point. He was in Afghanistan when Bowe Bergdahl was captured and went back again in 2012 and 2014.

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Audio Extra

A Desperate Plan

Sarah and Kim Harrison, Bowe Bergdahl's friend, on the Haqqanis and getting the soldier back. 

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Proof-of-Life Videos

Bowe Bergdahl said the Taliban made more than a dozen videos, but they released only a few of them publicly. Here, we’re showing those in the order that Bergdahl told Mark Boal they were made.

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Army Leaflet

​After Bowe Bergdahl disappeared, the U.S. Army gave out leaflets, like this one, in Paktika. 

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Afghanistan: A Sense of Place

These maps give some geographic context to the central locations in the story: Afghanistan, RC East, Paktika province, OP Mest, and Waziristan.

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Fly Over OP Mest and FOB Sharana

Bowe Bergdahl said he planned to cause a DUSTWUN by leaving his outpost, OP Mest, and running—or at least walking—to his base, FOB Sharana. This map (push play to fly over the area) gives a sense of the terrain he would have had to cross. 

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