Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

After Kassig's Death, U.S. Reviewing Hostage Policy


As Hoosiers mourn the loss of Indianapolis-native Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the United States is considering changes to its hostage policy, and a former Indiana congressman says that could include strengthened military action to rescue Americans being held captive.

The White House revealed this week President Obama called for a full review of the country’s current hostage policy earlier this year.

The administration says that review will not include changes to the longstanding U.S. policy of not paying ransom.

Former congressman and director of Indiana University’s Center on Congress Lee Hamilton says the current policy makes sense.

“If we paid ransom to a group, that would simply encourage other groups to capture Americans and we’d have to pay them as well,” Hamilton said.

But, he adds other aspects of the country’s hostage policy could use some updating, especially as groups like ISIS constantly evolve.

“I think everybody would agree that we have to at least strengthen our ability to use operation forces if the situation’s right, to go in and try to release an American captive,” he said.

The White House says it doesn’t know when the policy review will be complete.

Related Content