The political weight of Prisoners of war

Today we are pretty casualty-sensitive in small wars.
I appreciate that, it helps to keep the disasters of unnecessary wars smaller than their potential.

But what happens when the enemy takes a significant quantity of POW? The Israelis went mad due to two POW and used this as excuse for a war in Lebanon.

Imagine we were in just another small war, overrun an entire country, defeat its entire army, surprisingly no-one want an insurgency - but some hundred POW were moved into a nuke-owning befriended country of this defeated state.
Would a Western government accept that a thousand POW would be away forever? Would it withdraw as part of a trade for eh POW? What's the political weight of POW today?
Few (I know no-one) people seem to ask this question. That's obviously because our opponents didn't succeed in taking many POW, but the potential exists.

What would be the political weight of several hundred or thousands of POW in small wars today?

Sven Ortmann

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