Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Does the U.S. No-Concessions Policy Deter Kidnappings of Americans?

"It is the responsibility of governments to apprehend kidnappers and destroy their organizations, whether the hostage-takers are motivated by ideology or by greed. But that does not preclude private efforts to save lives."

Brian Michael Jenkins, of the RAND Corporation, released Does the U.S. No-Concessions Policy Deter Kidnappings of Americans? 
I encourage you to read the full report [HERE]. 

More from the report:

Proponents of the government’s no-concessions policy argued that it was also an effective deterrent. However, RAND researchers found the evidence to support this contention meager and unconvincing.

Here, he importantly points out the difference  between terrorist and criminal kidnappers:

The Logic of Deterrence Logically: 
a no-concessions policy should be a deterrent to kidnapping. No concessions means denying a reward to the kidnappers, thereby removing the incentive to kidnap Americans. Unrewarded behavior is unlikely to be repeated, or so the argument runs. This might be the case for criminal kidnappers who seek only cash, but simply removing one kind of reward does not mean that terrorists, who also have political objectives, could not still obtain other kinds of rewards through kidnappings. I will return to these non-financial rewards later.

His assessment, after reviewing the data:
The available evidence shows no correlation between national policies on concessions and the nationalities of hostages.

Again, I encourage you to read the full report [HERE].