Getting the Hostages Out

Who Turns the Key?

by Brian Michael Jenkins

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback10 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

Abstract

This paper, an expanded version of an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, April 27, 1990, examines the information current at the time about the seven American hostages held in Lebanon. The author discusses the identity and nature of the captors, and then focuses on the degree to which Iran can influence or control them. A corollary issue is the conflict between Iran's need for Western assistance to repair its shattered economy and its aversion to complicity with the West. Bush Administration officials have to chart a difficult course between advocating a no-concessions policy and displaying a willingness to negotiate. The author suggests that the release of the hostages is Iran's problem. While the president personally wants the hostages released and wants to be seen as sensitive and open to all opportunities, the administration feels it can wait. Given the limitations on our knowledge, the many competing priorities and distractions we face in the world, and the grave political risks involved, the administration adheres to its hard-line policy — a prudent and possibly correct approach.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.