It makes sense. If the United States dished out cash for American hostages to terrorist groups, it would put Americans at greater risk while traveling abroad. If I was ever taken hostage I would want my country to throw my captors some bones, but it looks like that’s not going to happen.
Josh Earnest made that clear when discussing the review Obama has ordered on US policy for freeing American hostages. From Reuters:
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama felt a review was warranted by the increased number of kidnappings of Americans.
“The one thing that I do want to make clear, though, is, this review does not include a reconsideration about longstanding policy of the United States government that ransoms should not be paid to terrorist organizations that are holding hostages,” Earnest said.
He said Obama believes that paying ransoms could lead to trouble over the long term.
“We don’t want to put other American citizens at even greater risk when they’re around the globe. And that, knowing that terrorist organizations can extract a ransom from the United States, if they take a hostage only puts American citizens at greater risk,” he said.