October 17, 2021

How Obama Invites Jihadists to Take Americans Hostage

How Obama Invites Jihadists to Take Americans Hostage

Another red line to be marked with innocent blood When it comes to national security, perception matters. Ultimately, American adversaries assess two things: America’s stated policies, and how those policies are pursued. From these assessments, our adversaries shape their perceptions of U.S. resolve and develop strategies to overcome it. That’s why President Obama’s abandonment of longstanding U.S. hostage-negotiation policy is so problematic. The president says that the U.S. government will only communicate and facilitate hostage negotiations but not directly pay ransoms. But that’s a qualification without meaning. Again, perception is key. And the perception here, joined to reality, is that America is now willing to negotiate with terrorists. It’s another red line breached and another sign that intimidation finds reward. Whatever the administration might claim, today’s decision to allow U.S. officials to facilitate communications between terrorists and the families of hostages eviscerates America’s “no-negotiation” red line. And that will hurt U.S. national security in two critical ways. First, it […]

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