Daniel O’Shea, former Coordinator for the Hostage Working Group at the US’s Iraq Embassy said that paying ransoms to kidnappers will lead to more kidnappings, and worried that the recent swap of Taliban prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl is a reversal of America’s no ransom policy on Friday’s AC 360 on CNN.
“France, Germany, Italy, and many others were paying multi-million dollar ransoms and they just escalated [kidnappings], and that’s why you have this predominance of this tactic…the U.S. allied with our close partners, the Brits, and Canadians, and Australians, and New Zealanders were the only ones who stuck to the policies of no ransoms paid, but again, we just made concessions to bring back Bergdahl, so we essentially changed U.S. policy in that venue as well” he stated.
O’Shea added that the US’ withdrawal from Iraq would make hostage recovery more difficult, declaring “there is a strategy you can apply [to stop kidnapping] but it will be tough, because we don’t have assets on the ground and intelligence networks. We have to rebuild that all over from scratch, because we left the country in 2010 with no footprint behind,” he stated. Recently, the US government reported that it launched a mission to rescue recently-murdered journalist James Foley but had the wrong location.
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