WASHINGTON – Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl left his combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 and fell into enemy hands for five years, but the former Taliban prisoner wasn’t the only trooper to sneak out of a U.S. base in recent years, military sources told ABC News on Sunday.
“At least a dozen guys just walked off their posts” in Afghanistan since 2009 for a variety of reasons, said an experienced soldier, one of four Afghan war veterans familiar with the incidents who spoke to ABC News. The other sources estimated the number could be more than a dozen.
The highly experienced combat veterans — whose deployments cover the entire Afghan campaign — said the significant incidents spanned a time frame from when President Bush in late 2008 boosted conventional troop numbers in Afghanistan to well beyond President Obama’s early 2010 surge that added 30,000 more troopers to the fight.