“I will even appoint over you terror,” one Bible prophecy says. “Ye shall be slain before your enemies,” it says later. “I will break the pride of your power,” and, “your strength shall be spent in vain.”
What nation has been plagued by terror and spends its strength—too often in vain—rooting out the masterminds behind such terror? What nation has had its men and women slain—often brutally—for all its enemies to see via the World Wide Web? What nation is rapidly losing its pride, or national will, to continue to use its military might?
These prophecies in Leviticus—given anciently to a people who now largely populate the Western world—present a sad picture of the state of American affairs in the last days.
Herbert Armstrong’s free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains how America is one of the modern-day nations that descended from Israel. This book uses God’s words in Leviticus 26 as an infallible guide to what will happen to this greatest single nation on Earth if it does not “hearken” unto God and “do all these commandments” (verse 14).
Through this one chapter of Bible prophecy, the demise of Israel—the U.S. in particular—is laid out before us.
These prophecies are now being fulfilled in greater detail than ever!
Understanding Leviticus 26 allows us to make absolute statements about America’s future as a global, military superpower. Statements that, at times, may seem unfounded.
For instance, when Herbert W. Armstrong proclaimed in 1961—after the Korean War of the early 1950s—“America has won its last war,” many scoffed or ignored what they saw as crazy ramblings. Why, America is the strongest nation in the world! How could he say that?
But he repeated the same statement in 1961—after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Then there was the Vietnam debacle and a hostage crisis in Iran in 1979. In the 1980s, however, the U.S. did have some success in Grenada and Libya, though these skirmishes could hardly be described as wars. Still, Mr. Armstrong never recanted.
But then, he never lived to see the end of the Cold War—which itself, in reality, was not a war at all, but an almighty stalemate between two powers: the U.S. and Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the Cold War’s end may have caused some to doubt Mr. Armstrong’s statement. After all, America stood then as the single most powerful nation on the planet—unmatched for about a decade. Relatively successful military campaigns in Iraq, Haiti and the Balkans displayed a formidable America.
As successors to Mr. Armstrong’s message, we never retracted his words. We displayed them again—on our May 1991 Trumpet cover—after the U.S. had driven Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
Throughout the 1990s, we kept restating that, though these conflicts might have attested to America’s strength, they still displayed a fundamental weakness. We proclaimed that the current administration, by the conflicts it chose to get involved in, was actually revealing a weak and gun-shy America—only willing to use its might in relatively risk-free conflicts. Usually, if casualties reached the double-digits, the U.S. ended the mission.
We also pointed to the fact that, under a military-hating administration, the U.S. had diminished its military presence worldwide during the 1990s. The numbers of troops at bases in Europe and East Asia were drastically reduced. America’s ability to fight a war on two fronts was now history.
Then came Sept. 11, 2001. A new power had been rising: one that America in its 1990s dominance had practically ignored. Two thorns in America’s side throughout the 1990s were still there: Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Whatever their arguable connection, it couldn’t be disputed that militant Islam was the new power to challenge the U.S.
Thus another war was declared—on terrorism. The first campaign in Afghanistan went quickly; the Taliban was sent running—a feat not even the Soviets could accomplish less than two decades earlier. Then came “shock and awe” in Iraq, and the historic scenes of Saddam’s dictatorship being toppled.
What an odd time to be proclaiming the weakness of the U.S. military, right?
Well, leave it to us. It wasn’t but two months after Saddam’s regime crumbled that we proclaimed the further demise of the U.S. military. It had to do with the Pentagon’s announcement that it would be shuffling its troops worldwide—moving thousands of troops out of Europe (mainly Germany), out of Asia (Japan and South Korea), and relocating them to fit the strategy of the new war.
Few would say this was a sign of a weaker U.S. Unlike the drastic downsizing of the 1990s, this seemed to be a strategically assertive move—streamlining. But again, the Trumpet, basing its assertions on Bible prophecy, showed in its July 2003 issue how the U.S. withdrawal was ignoring the greatest long-term threat, as dictated in Bible prophecy—a German-led Europe.
Now for the latest in the weakening of the U.S. military. As the U.S. continues to talk redeployment, another ailment afflicts the U.S. military machine. Lack of sufficient troops is now the curse of American operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It’s true that both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns demonstrated the unmatched strength of the military to invade and conquer through the use of ample technology, and with few soldiers. The problem is, these “victories” did not bring combat operations to a close, as has happened historically (in World War ii, for example: Topple the regime and resistance will cease). In the post-9/11 world, we see now the next phase of war—the occupation of a hostile nation—being as intense a military operation as the battles themselves. Added to this is the fact that this war on terrorism has virtually no end in sight. Can we expect more shock-and-awe military campaigns that are followed by draining occupation efforts? Does the U.S. have the manpower at hand to sustain its current policies?
While the U.S. has been occupying two hostile territories, Congress has only authorized a 30,000-man increase in troops. As Stratfor pointed out, “Attempting to occupy two countries without massively increasing the size of the Army is an extraordinary decision” (August 18).
The U.S. strategy for the high-intensity conflict—small numbers, agility and technology—is not working for the occupation. “Occupation requires a force large enough to gain control of the country while waging counterinsurgency operations. That represents a lot of boots on the ground—and a lot of tank treads” (ibid.).
But the Pentagon’s strategy has been to hold to the redeployment plan—moving 70,000 troops from bases in Europe and Asia. Stratfor says this is a miscalculation: “[I]t is an attempt to reshuffle the same deck,when what is needed are more cards” (ibid.; emphasis mine throughout).
What’s more, Stratfor argues, is that “[t]he lack of sufficient troops is now shaping U.S. policy. Washington is rooting for political opponents because it has no real capacity for intervention should instability result” (August 17). America’s ability to intervene in or handle other conflicts has greatly diminished. It has been forced to shape its foreign policy around the lack of manpower and muscle behind those policies. “With the United States in inextricable situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington will have a difficult time using military power to prevent Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear arms” (Asia Times, September 30). Thus the U.S., in this case, will likely be forced into diplomatic bargaining and compromise.
As Stratfor stated, “[T]he policy choices available to the United States are evaporating along with the force” (op. cit.).
America still is strong enough to intervene and achieve temporary “victory” in high-intensity conflict. But using small forces and technology to control a defeated country is beyond the U.S.’s ability as a military power. America has lost the power to vanquish the enemy!
This lack of troops sufficient to control Afghanistan and Iraq is also hurting the morale of some troops already there. First, the Pentagon’s only option after 9/11—with forces reduced so dramatically in the 1990s—was to dip into reserve forces. Now, with prolonged occupation, the Pentagon has even issued stop-loss orders preventing some reservists from leaving the military even after their enlistment period ends. Keeping these people—fathers, mothers, small business owners, teachers—away from home for so long will continue to wear on the national spirit.
This is where we return to Bible prophecy. Notice that the scripture describing the curse of our military didn’t state that we would have a weak military. America still boasts the world’s most dominant force; it has nuclear power exponentially greater than any of its enemies. But what Leviticus does say is that America would have the pride of its power broken. And that whatever strength it did have would be spent in vain!
Does that not describe the nation of America? The morale of its troops, and its people’s will to see a thorny occupation through, will continue to disintegrate. And the snazzy technology and highly trained special forces—though achieving certain temporary success for the nation—will ultimately be resources spent in vain.
As Mr. Armstrong said, any military success the U.S. will experience will be limited to a few minor skirmishes or perhaps some major battles. But victory in war will continue to elude the U.S. because America—not just the president, or the policy-makers, or the movers and shakers at the Pentagon—but America as a nation and as a people—has abandoned its history with God. The first half of Leviticus 26 shows the remarkable blessings that would come to this nation if we turned to Him. Sadly, we can only quote the latter half of that chapter—the curses—when referring to the current state of America and its waning military strength.
The lack of sufficient troops to carry on successful operations is a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Whether the cutbacks of the 1990s or the reshuffling to occur over the next 10 years were strategically sound decisions is a moot point. However it plans to remedy this troop deficiency—if it plans to do so—the United States of America is being cursed. Its military strength will be insufficient to meet the challenges ahead.
There is coming a time when, God says, “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14).
America—despite its technological and military edge over other nations—will soon fall to a mightier power. Its military will become defunct. Ezekiel tells us that millions of our peoples will die “by the sword.” Cities will be leveled and without inhabitant—indicating nuclear annihilation.
Yes, America has won its last war. The good news here is that this prophesied World War iii is the last war America will lose. Because it is the war that shall end all war! This coming prophesied nuclear conflagration will culminate in the Second Coming and necessary intervention of Jesus Christ Himself.
But must we suffer? Must we live through the horrors of the coming downfall of the U.S. military? Is this the only way God can get our attention? Can we heed His warning now?
Whatever decisions the U.S. leadership makes over the coming years, you can ensure yourself safety from the calamity ahead. We have ample literature on this subject that can give you hope. God does not want us to trust in the military establishments of this world to keep us secure and free from living in terror. He wants us to look to Him! To humble ourselves under His mighty hand—and seek refuge in His charge.