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By Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh and Dr. David Leffler
Violence and conflict have plagued mankind throughout history, and the terrorist attacks by Boko Haram are just a current manifestation. How can Nigeria protect itself from future attacks? Ideally, the best way to guard against emerging terrorist threats would be to have no enemies. No enemies = no terrorism! An unfamiliar but effective human resource-based approach called Invincible Defence Technology would help the military of Nigeria to begin creating a lasting peace by preventing such enemies from arising, both internally and externally.
Invincible Defence Technology (IDT) is a scientifically validated solution to conflict and violence. There are over 50 published studies confirming its effectiveness. This recently revived method of preventive defense promises to end terrorism and conflict. Its adoption in Nigeria can set an example of peace-based defense for the rest of the world - something all military leaders would value.
Militaries have tried to quell violence and conflict through a dynamic approach, i.e., with weaponry and military personnel. But, interestingly, even with advanced weapons, they cannot eliminate problems like terrorism. New terrorist threats constantly emerge, and the number of terrorist cadres and cells continues to grow. Even with more fully equipped police and paramilitary forces, militaries cannot eradicate them. More alarming, defense experts predict that terrorists will soon start using portable, easily concealed weapons of mass destruction to launch their attacks around the world. Imagine the dire ramifications for Nigeria if a dangerous terrorist group like Boko Haram could obtain such devastating weaponry.
War, conflict, violence and terrorism are human problems; they require a human solution
So the question remains: Can war and terrorism be prevented with the military methods used in the past? Again and again, history shows that the answer is "no." War, conflict, violence and terrorism are human problems. Therefore, they require a human solution. Their underlying cause is accumulated stress in society's collective consciousness. If the collective consciousness is full of tension and fear, then disorder is more likely to erupt into some specific act of violence than if the prevailing mood is one of contentment. Social injustice and unfavorable economic conditions thrive in and contribute to chaotic environments. Unresolved religious, territorial, political, and cultural differences further add to the unrest.
A dissatisfied and frustrated population contributes to its own instability
Thus, a dissatisfied and frustrated population contributes to its own instability. The buildup of this sort of tension is dangerous to any nation's sovereignty, producing an unstable government that is prone to war. However, if the collective social stress driving these problems is prevented, negative manifestations would cease. Thus, zero collective stress ultimately means no war and no terrorism.
Invincible Defense Technology is rooted in the ancient Vedic knowledge of India, which describes the best approach to prevention as Heyam duhkham anagatam (Yoga-Sutra 2.16): "Avert the danger before it arises." Similarly, Yoga-Sutra 2.35 affirms Tat sannidhau vairatyagah: "In the vicinity of Yogic influence - unifying influence, integrating influence, coherent and harmonious influence - conflicting tendencies do not arise." These ancient principles were effectively applied in past, and they have already been successfully applied in today's world, with commendable results.
According to Vedic tradition, conflict results from ignorance - ignorance of how to prevent the buildup of collective stress through the harmonizing influence of coherence. For example, the Ramayana states that "... ignorance will have no access within eight miles from [the Yogi's hermitage]." The Ramayana describes the ancient city of Ayodhya, whose name means "Invincible." Certainly, Ayodhya relied on the conventional defense technologies of its time. For instance, "It was enclosed by strong fortifications and a deep moat, which no enemy, by any expedient whatsoever, could penetrate." Also, "Ayodhya abounded in warriors undefeated in battle, fearless and skilled in the use of arms, resembling lions guarding their mountain caves." However, the descriptions of the enlightened, stress-free life of the inhabitants of Ayodhya indicate that its first line of defense was the city's freedom from collective stress. According to the Ramayana, this low stress level, based on life in harmony with Natural Law, made Ayodhya worthy of its name.
In today's modern cities, however, social stress gets generated by countless violations of natural laws (i.e., crimes are committed every day). People's weakness results in an inability to find positive and life-supporting ways to fulfill their desires. Crime contributes to a growing cloud of negativity for a city and for a nation. When the stress from crime, frustration, unhappiness and lack of national fulfillment grows beyond a certain limit it spontaneously erupts into terrorism and war. Therefore, ignorance, or lack of understanding of how to act in accord Natural Law, is responsible for suffering in human affairs.
Military personnel in USA, Latin America, Asia, and Africa practice group Transcendental Meditation to increase their performance and resilience, better helping them protect their nations
Implementing Ideal National Defense
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived the practical components of this silent approach for national defense. They are all-known around the world as the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program. These programs are evidenced-based solutions, with a substantial amount of published, peer-reviewed research that has accumulated since 1970. Because they are human resource-based technologies, they are easy to implement and practice. It is important to note that they do not involve religious belief or practices. Members of many faiths worldwide have practiced these meditation techniques. Extensive scientific research documents the ability of the TM and TM-Sidhi program to dissolve stress on the individual and collective levels.
Could the ideal of Ayodhya's preventive defense again be accomplished by militaries today? Yes! It is already starting to happen now. Military-related leaders in the USA, Latin America, and Africa, are applying TM because peer-reviewed scientific papers have confirmed that regular practice produces many other wide-ranging, measurable benefits. These include increased intelligence, creativity; reduced stress and improved health; and more fulfilling and harmonious interpersonal relationships. Most importantly to warriors, TM increases resilience, mental clarity and physical strength as well as enhancing mind-body coordination (see Defence and Security Alert, Vol. 4, Issue No. 8, pages 34-39). Also, from a practical standpoint, the TM program is easy to do and has no religious philosophy attached. For nearly sixty years it has been taught to millions of people (including schoolchildren and their teachers) around the world from every race, cultural background, religion, ethnicity, and educational background.
Are soldiers willing participants in such an unusual endeavor? Again, yes! A study was conducted by Ecuadorian army psychologists to assess the value of the IDT preventive-defense program after its soldiers had been practicing it for one month. The results? Over 96% of the soldiers thought it was a very practical activity. Why are these warriors convinced? As the study showed, 92% felt their performance in activity had improved and they were better able to deal with stress; 96% declared their relationships with others had improved; and 95% said their practice of IDT was completely satisfying.
The operative part of IDT requires having a Prevention Wing of the military. This wing is composed of a small portion of the armed forces of a country. The rest of the military carries on with their usual duties. The Prevention Wing of the military creates societal coherence by practicing the TM and TM-Sidhi program in large groups morning and evening. Their collective practice produces positive benefits for both themselves and their adversaries. Peaceful overtures increase from all sides.
Similar coherence-creating groups have been deployed in many war zones and conflict-prone areas with great success. Extensive scientific research indicates that when the square root of 1% of the population practices the advanced TM-Sidhi program in a group, a "field effect" is created. Scientists call this field effect the "Maharishi Effect." Many carefully controlled studies have documented and validated positive social trends such as reduced conflict and lowered crime rate resulting from the Maharishi Effect. These studies have been scrutinized and published in respected peer-reviewed journals such as Social Indicators Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Mind and Behavior, and Journal of Crime and Justice.
This coherence-creating effect has also been documented on a global scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. When large assemblies of practitioners of the TM-Sidhi program exceeded the Maharishi Effect threshold for the world (about 7,000 at that time) during the years 1983-1985, international conflict decreased 32%, terrorist casualties decreased 72%, and violence was reduced in other nations without intrusion by other governments.
IDT is a force multiplier because it creates coherence for the entire military and the whole country, thus making everyone's jobs easier. While the majority of the military continues with the dynamic approach (weaponry, equipment, training), the minority implements the silent approach of Invincible Defense Technology. Defense of the nation is perfect, thus invincible, when both these approaches are combined.
The military of Nigeria cannot solve the problem of terrorism by standard military means alone. It also needs a silent approach that will help people focus more on peaceful means of settling differences. Nigeria needs to deploy Prevention Wings of the Military immediately to prevent terrorism, and achieve true invincibility and permanent peace. The authors urge Nigerian leaders to immediately adopt this evidence-based approach.
About the authors:http://www.StrongMilitary.org. He served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Dr. Leffler is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He is on Twitter.