The U.S. has a long standing policy of not negotiating with terrorists since Ronald Reagan proclaimed it as part of his campaign for president in the 1980's. But not negotiating with terrorists can sometimes cause more problems than solutions. In the case of Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker taken hostage by ISIS in 2013, negotiating with her captors might've saved her life.
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Many people have criticized the U.S. government for waiting seven weeks to take action in Kayla's capture. They believe a faster response could've brought her home. The other side of the argument is that if we were to pay ransom to captors, the financial incentive would motivate more abductors. But the obvious benefit of terrorist negotiation remains: the lives of those held captive could be saved.
Read more about the U.S.'s negotiation with terrorists:
Slate: We Do Negotiate With Terrorists
The New York Times: The Horror Before the Beheadings