Lack of Empathy and the Bloodshed in Iraq | Center for Empathy in International Affairs

This Insight is based on a presentation that Jonathan gave at a CEIA expert consultation on empathy in foreign policy-making and diplomacy at Chatham House on 29 June 2016. Jonathan argues that


western officials might have been able to anticipate many of the disastrous consequences of the intervention if they had been able to empathize with Iraqis. He also argues that, in the aftermath of the intervention, empathy would have enabled western officials to govern far more effectively and avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

This Insight considers empathy in the context of the Iraq war, and in particular, the pre-war planning and the handling of the intervention in its early stages.