WASHINGTON (AP)-- Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel continues to defend the deal that led to a prisoner of war's release in exchange for five Taliban detainees.
Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee on June 11 that the administration "made the right decision". He also responded to criticism that the administration should have informed members of Congress of the deal beforehand.
"Now that we have our last prisoner back, this very much gives us more flexibility, quite frankly, to free up resources that every day we were thinking about our commanders on the ground in that area and how, if we have the opportunity, how can we get Bergdahl," said Sec. Hagel.
Hagel said the deal was struck for the right reasons; to bring home a U.S. service member who had been held in captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for five years.
But critics of the exchange say the administration put more American lives at risk by releasing the detainees to Qatar, where the government has promised to keep watch over them for at least a year.