Empathy is sometimes used to mean the sharing of others’ feelings. But it has another important meaning: the skill of grasping what others think, feel and perceive. Empathy is not only active listening, but the practice of imagining or inferring other people’s mindsets, emotions and perspectives.
This is what Donald Trump and >Brexit campaigners did so brilliantly. They empathized with a large block of voters, gauged how they were thinking and feeling, and then exploited this for their political ends.
In both the US and UK a range of social and economic grievances has left voters feeling unjustly treated and neglected by what they see as self-serving political elites.… Seguir leyendo »
President Obama recently said that by the end of next year the war in Afghanistan “will come to a responsible end.”
A responsible approach must recognize the dynamics on the ground. Violence and predation in the country are deeply rooted. Even in the winter fighting “lull,” there are an average of 50 insurgent attacks a day across the country.
What is urgently required is a realistic assessment by the United States and its allies about the challenges ahead, a more political approach, and a commitment to remain engaged in Afghanistan well beyond 2014.
This will not be easy. Disillusionment about Afghanistan in Washington and other capitals is growing.… Seguir leyendo »
We should welcome the news that the Taliban are reportedly open to the idea of negotiating a general ceasefire and even a peace settlement. The peace process in Afghanistan is at risk from spoilers on all sides and fraught with challenges. But we owe it to the Afghan people, and to all those who have suffered in the conflict, to give it a try.
It would be a grave mistake to assume the Taliban would only settle for absolute power. Taliban leaders know they stand no chance of seizing power now or in the near future. They know that even coming close would reinvigorate and potentially augment the coalition of forces ranged against them.… Seguir leyendo »
At the grim milestone of 200 British military deaths in Afghanistan, it’s time to face up to what the mission can achieve. This Thursday voters will go to the polling stations for the country’s presidential election; and two days ago, highlighting the dangers they will face, a massive suicide car bomb ripped through the heart of the capital, Kabul, killing seven.
Despite small signs of progress, and the sabre-rattling of ministers, it is becoming increasingly clear that our soldiers can do little more than hold a state of stalemate. Privately, diplomats in Kabul and politicians from all British parties will tell you little different.… Seguir leyendo »