Defusing the Crisis in Syria
A Scientific Approach
World leaders are struggling to find an appropriate and effective response to the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria. Clearly, the use of such weapons, banned by international law, represents a grave precedent with possible repercussions far beyond this one specific, horrific assault.
Unfortunately, the options available to our political and military leaders are poor. Shelling Damascus will not only lead to further loss of life but will also inflame an already volatile region and likely trigger a retaliatory response by Assad—possibly even further chemical weapons strikes. Such, indeed, is the historic downside of attempting peace through violence.
Fortunately, there is a better solution—an innovative approach with a superior track record.
Defusing Conflict at its Source
Research shows that war and social conflict are fueled by acute societal stress—mounting political, ethnic and religious tensions among rival factions that, if unchecked, inevitably erupt as social violence. Research similarly shows that it is possible to effectively defuse such acute societal tensions through the use of powerful, stress-reducing, peace-promoting technologies by a tiny fraction of the population, most commonly within the military.
On the individual level, published research has shown that certain stress-reducing methods have been found to neutralize even severe stress, including post-traumatic stress (PTS), within days—calming hyperactivity in the amygdala (“fear center”) and restoring balanced brain functioning in servicemen and -women, veterans, and victims of violence in war-torn areas.
On a societal scale, restoring calm and quelling social violence through the use of similar techniques by small embedded groups in society has been extensively field tested—in the Middle East and throughout the world. The consistent result has been marked reductions in terrorism, war and social violence. These findings have been replicated, published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, and endorsed by hundreds of leading scientists and scholars. The efficacy of this approach is scientifically beyond question.
Struggling to achieve societal peace in a nation or a region torn by deep-seated political and religious tensions and by a thirst for blood vengeance is historically difficult—without addressing the underlying physiological root cause of social violence: acute and pervasive societal stress.
Yet once such tensions have been substantially defused, achieving and maintaining societal peace becomes comparatively easy. Then, conventional approaches—whether diplomatic or military—will witness surprising success.
There is extensive published evidence, from previous conflicts in the Middle East, that the civil war in Syria can be swiftly defused, and that a negotiated settlement can be reached among the warring factions—if the acute societal tensions can be alleviated. This can be achieved with relative ease, with cooperation by even a relatively small contingency within Syria or any of its neighbors.
The Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) stands ready to provide the requisite training in the relevant brain-based, peace-promoting technologies to designated members of the military of Syria or any of its neighbors. The techniques, which include the Transcendental Meditation program and related advanced techniques, are systematic, easily learned, devoid of religious or philosophical content, and immediately effective. They are already being used to combat PTSD by a growing number of militaries and have been incorporated into military training.
Nothing to Lose
The prospect of ending the tragic violence in Syria in an expeditious way through a scientifically proven approach may seem too good to be true. Fortunately, the scientific method has strict empirical criteria for assessing the truth or falsehood of any hypotheses. By the strictest standards of modern science, this approach has been rigorously verified.
Moreover, there is nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by applying this approach. The costs are trivial: For less than the cost of a single cruise missile, enough troops can be trained—or factory workers, or students at one or more universities—that a marked and demonstrable effect will be seen relatively immediately. (Groups of refugees could likewise be trained, which would have the added benefit of providing deep, medically efficacious relief from the deep stress and PTSD that many have endured.)
All that is needed is that a government or military leader designate a group of approximately 2,000 soldiers that could be trained in the relevant, brain-based peace-promoting technologies. Then GUSP will organize to provide the necessary training.
Once implemented, the result will be:
- A demonstrable, marked reduction in social violence, including military and terrorist activities, within 60 days;
- Growing harmonious relations among all nations, ethnicities and factions throughout
- With restored order, improved economic and social trends within the country and the region; and
- As a side benefit, improved health, readiness and resilience among participating soldiers.
Without addressing the underlying cause of social conflict—mounting tensions among rival factions in critical hotspots throughout the world—even if a political or military solution to the current crisis were found, history shows that there will be another. And another….
The time to act is now.
John Hagelin, Ph.D., President
Global Union of Scientists for Peace
The Global Union of Scientists for Peace is a coalition of Nobel laureates and leading
scientists, founded to prevent war, terrorism and nuclear proliferation, and to promote
safe, scientifically proven technologies for national security and global peace.