Actually, refusing to pay ransoms to terrorists isn’t just an idiosyncrasy of American and British policy; it is international law. UN Resolution 1904 forbids the payment of ransoms. Furthermore, an agreement by the G8 in 2013 pledged to refrain from paying ransoms.
The critics of the “U.S.” no-ransom policy omit this information either out of laziness or bias. True, some European governments pay ransoms under the table, which is very damaging to international security, but that is in violation of international accords and their own publicly stated policies.
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