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The Dilemmas of Hostage Diplomacy

The Dilemmas of Hostage Diplomacy

Show Notes

The White House has declared hostage-taking to be a national emergency. In July 2022, Biden issued an executive order outlining steps to deter the practice and help bring Americans back sooner. Increasingly, autocratic nation states such as Russia and Iran are detaining U.S. citizens unlawfully or on minor and bogus charges with the aim of getting something they want. Hostage diplomacy is no longer a tactic of terrorists or rogue actors, but a tool government officials are turning to. Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, is the person who takes charge and tries to start negotiations when the State Department determines that a detainment is a diplomatic issue. At the Aspen Ideas Festival, NBC correspondent Tom Llamas talks with Carstens about the process, as well as Jason Rezaian, who spent 544 days in an Iranian prison for being a Washington Post reporter. Hostage expert Dani Gilbert, a political science professor at Northwestern University, also joins the panel to share research in this field.


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