AC: "The plight of this soldier illustrates much of the problem with the Afghan war."

Length: 4:08

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In a prepared piece, Michael looks at the Afghan Taliban leader holding PFC Bowe Bergdahl -- he used to be on the CIA payroll and was Charlie Wilson's contact inside Afghanistan, so we have some history. Michael is also on-set with Anderson Cooper and gives a brief summary afterwards.

ANDERSON COOPER: We learned today that, for the first time since taking office, President Obama is going to award the Medal of Honor, and it's going to go to a soldier who died in Afghanistan. Next month's ceremony pays tribute to Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti. The 30-year-old Massachusetts native was killed in action in 2006, sacrificing his own life to save a comrade's.

Right now, there are thousands of U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan. There is also one soldier in the hands of the enemy. The American was kidnapped by the Taliban earlier this month, and it appears a Taliban commander who was once paid by the CIA may be behind it. So who is he?

Michael Ware reports.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. soldier Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his unit more than three weeks ago. The Taliban quickly claimed credit, and this proof of life video appeared soon after.

PFC BOWE BERGDAHL, U.S. ARMY: I have a very, very good family.

WARE: It came from men who take orders from this man, one of the Taliban's senior commanders, Jalaluddin Haqqani. For the U.S., however, this is a bitter role reversal, because this warrior spent almost a decade fighting on behalf of the CIA.

BERGDAHL: It is very unnerving to be a prisoner.

WARE: As for this video, this is the nightmare scenario for the parents and commanders of any U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. Twenty-three-year-old Bergdahl had been fighting in this area of Afghanistan. Haqqani has been fighting here for almost 30 years. Here, he and his men were battling to drive out Soviet troops. Back then they were funded by the CIA, and Haqqani was fighting for America in a secret war.

With CIA money, training and weapons like stinger missiles, he and his men killed more Soviet soldiers than almost any other Afghan commander. Famed Texas Congressman, now retired, Charlie Wilson once described Haqqani as goodness personified.

That war in Afghanistan is often called "Charlie Wilson's war" because Wilson almost single-handedly pushed Congress to fund it. And when Wilson secretly visited Afghanistan during the Cold War, he did so as the guest of Haqqani.

But then, with the Soviets driven out, the U.S. turned its back on Afghanistan. Haqqani and his men were adrift until they joined forces with the Taliban. Now, years later, they've turned their guns on American troops.

This is a classic "that was then and this is now" story. But there is one more player to add. Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI. Back in the Soviet era, Washington and the CIA used the Pakistanis to coordinate with Haqqani and the other Afghan fighters. And now today Pakistan army spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas says the ISI could again be the go-between with Haqqani.

MAJ. GEN. ATHAR ABBAS, PAKISTAN ARMY: Maintaining the contact doesn't mean the state as the policy, as a policy is providing them the physical support or the funding or the training. But having said that, no intelligence organization in the world shuts its last door on any other organization.

WARE: And if it wants to bring home Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, there is no doubt the U.S. will now have to talk again with the Taliban warlord, Jalaluddin Haqqani.


COOPER: Michael Ware joins us now.

So I mean, for the Taliban, this fits into a larger picture.

WARE: Very much so. And for the Obama administration. The plight of this soldier illustrates much of the problem with the Afghan war. I mean, Haqqani takes sanctuary inside Pakistan. That's almost certainly where this poor soldier is being held right now.

COOPER: Inside Pakistan?

WARE: Almost without a doubt. That's where Haqqani's bases are.

Now, Obama is going to need a political solution to this war. And the Pakistanis have named four key commanders that they can bring to the table. The Americans have named four key commanders they're prepared to talk to. Those names match, and one of them is Haqqani.

COOPER: Michael Ware, appreciate it. Thanks. Interesting look.