And you thought 5-for-1 was lopsided? The Bowe Bergdahl deal, visually compared

From U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to the Cold War's "bridge of spies," here are five memorable swaps in the history of prisoner exchanges. (Jonathan Elker/The Washington Post)

The swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials has infuriated many troops and lawmakers, especially considering questions about whether he deserted his unit in Afghanistan before being captured. But it’s actually far from the most lopsided international swap of prisoners in history.

Here’s a visual depiction of some others. By no means is it meant to be comprehensive, but it gets at the uneven nature of prisoner swaps over the past 50 years. Some cases have involved the United States, but many have not. We present it here on Checkpoint to inject some historical perspective into the debate:


Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.



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Dan Lamothe · June 9, 2014

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