A classified military report detailing the Army's investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before -- both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan -- and then returned, according to people briefed on it. The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost in the darkness of night. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Bergdahl intended to permanently desert. The report is said to contain no mention of Bergdahl having left behind a letter in his tent that explicitly said he was deserting and explained his disillusionment.
Did the search for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl cost the lives of American soldiers? A number of the men who served with him have called him a deserter. Some have gone further, blaming him for the deaths of six to eight soldiers. But a review of casualty reports and contemporaneous military logs from the Afghanistan war shows that the facts surrounding the eight deaths are far murkier than definitive -- even as critics of Sergeant Bergdahl contend that every American combat death in Paktika Province in the months after he disappeared, from July to September 2009, was his fault. read more