The United States Army has launched an investigation into how an American soldier fell into Taliban hands during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, NBCNews reports.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl spent five years as a prisoner of the Taliban before the United States secured his release as part of a prisoner swap last month. Bergdahl is currently at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, an Army officer with Afghanistan combat experience, will lead the investigation.
Dahl is expected to probe whether Bergdahl voluntarily left his post before he was captured. If the investigation finds he intended to desert or go absent without official leave, he could face charges in a military court.
For now, however, the Army says Bergdahl's health and reintegration into society remain a top priority. The soldier will not be interviewed until his medical team gives investigators the OK.
The Army's full statement is below:
The Army has initiated its investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture of Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika Province, Afghanistan on or about June 30, 2009. The Army has appointed as the investigating officer Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl, an Army officer with Afghanistan combat experience.
The primary function of this investigation, as in any other investigation, is to ascertain facts and report them to the appointing authority. These types of investigations are not uncommon and serve to establish the facts on the ground following an incident. The investigating officer will have access to previously gathered documentary evidence, including the 2009 investigation.
The Army's top priority remains Sgt. Bergdahl's health and reintegration. We ask that everyone respect the time and privacy necessary to accomplish the objectives of the last phase of reintegration. The investigating officer will not interview Sgt. Bergdahl until the reintegration team clears such interaction, so no timeline for completion of the investigation has been set.