Triumph for the Taliban

It seems clear now that President Obama made a very bad deal in swapping five Taliban people for Bowe Bergdahl.  Some or all of them will probably end up back in Afghanistan or Pakistan t0 resume their fanatical violence, and the swap will incentivize more kidnapping. We don't yet know all the circumstances of how Sergeant Bergdahl ended up in Taliban hands. Did he defect or just desert? Or a combination thereof?

President Obama's strongest moral argument, if he used it, for doing this bad deal is that Sergeant Bergdahl was and is mentally ill and was not acting out of rational volition in Afghanistan. But that is far from an adequate reason to do a deal that  so strongly favors the Taliban and signals weakness to it and the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and its Western allies continue to  signal weakness to Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of eastern Ukraine continues and who is eying stealing other Eastern European real estate to further strengthen the Kremlin kleptocracy.