Editor’s Note: The following piece was submitted to SOFREP by Mario “MAD” Duarte, President and CEO of Project DYNAMO. These fearless men and women have tirelessly worked to recuse American hostages the world over. We fully support their mission. — GDM

The horrible events of October 7th in Israel should open our eyes to the harsh reality that religious and political extremists around the world see innocent individuals – including American citizens – as nothing but dispensable capital in their inhumane and criminal games for power. At best, they are bargaining chips and, at worst, sacrificial pawns who pay the ultimate price for their government’s inaction. The rise of our “always on” 24/7 news cycle and social media consumption in the wake of September 11 has emboldened extremists who leverage this heightened media frenzy with mediatic grandstanding and live-streaming – terrorizing their targets while also bringing more attention to their cause.

Currently, in Gaza, 6 Americans are being held hostage by the terrorist organization Hamas, while another 46 are hostages or wrongfully detained globally. Although there are public calls being made by US authorities for their safe release, the cold truth is that the best bet for Americans in Gaza is not a voluntary release by their criminal captors but, in fact, to be rescued by our Israeli allies.

The unfortunate reality is that terrorist organizations and adversarial countries are more emboldened than ever. They are no longer fearful of the consequences associated with victimizing American citizens for their own purposes.

As the world becomes more violent, the threat to Americans abroad continues to increase at a staggering and worrisome pace.

Since World War II, there’s been a popular belief that the US leaves no one behind, nor does it negotiate with terrorists. This gave Americans a sense of security believing that their government would rescue them if they were in danger. Sadly, with the failed Afghan exit in August 2021, the world has seen that political agendas are seemingly more important than the lives of American citizens and allies. Regardless of the reasons for the Afghan failure and other diplomatic flops, we must accept that the world is becoming increasingly dangerous for Americans abroad. As political narratives become insidiously more important than American lives, we are facing a bleak future for Americans being held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.

As long as hegemony continues to dominate the political world stage, we can expect to see smaller conflicts akin to the Vietnam War everywhere – including in the Western Hemisphere – bringing the horrors of armed conflict alarmingly close to our shores. However, as dangerous and volatile as the world might become, one thing has been proven throughout the years. This is the might of will, determination, and sense of whole (e pluribus unum) of the American people to overcome any situation, danger, or threat. This American ethos is the main driver and inspiration behind Project Dynamo, an organization that works to rescue Americans who have been stranded or are in dangerous situations worldwide. Since 2021, we have rescued and evacuated over 7,000 people in 26 countries. We stand ready to go wherever Americans are in danger. Americans will always be ready to help other Americans, and Project Dynamo remains at the forefront of these efforts.