Germany’s Alarming Course

From the November 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

Just about every serious news analyst out there simply does not see Europe posing much of a threat to America’s dominance in the world. To take one notable example, Stratfor Systems, a reputable intelligence and strategic forecasting company, describes the European Union as a body of nations that avoid national sacrifice, following a “downward trend of political and economic cohesion.” It sees the EU as having “reached the zenith of its effectiveness as a multinational entity.”

The Trumpet truly stands alone in making the case that we must not take our eyes off Europe. We have a very good reason for doing so.

It is true that Germany was stripped of its might after the Second World War. It has since been relatively quiet and even adopted an unthreatening alias as a peacekeeper. But the fact is, that position camouflages a lot of power.

Over the last half century, Germany has used the European Union as a cloak to push itself near the forefront of world power. And as the EU now seizes opportunities to take on peacekeeping initiatives, Germany has used its position to unite, modernize and mobilize its military resources—as the EU’s most-willing repository for troops.

Practically no one takes the European threat seriously because the EU lacks military potency. But is that a realistic assessment? Take a look at the new course of the German army, which is set to be the iron fist of the EU, and make your own judgment.

Redefining “Defense”

The responsibilities of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces founded in 1955, are outlined in Germany’s constitution as being defensive only. Any war of aggression is illegal, but participation in collective security systems that serve world peace is allowed. In 1999, however, Germany participated in its first non-defensive war—a war feigned to be humanitarian. And today Germany, through EU and nato endeavors, is second only to the U.S. as the largest supplier of servicemen to peacekeeping missions worldwide, with some 10,000 troops deployed. Its army, according to Defense Minister

Peter Struck, is more deeply integrated in nato than any other army.

The Bundeswehr’s responsibilities have changed, in the eyes of its administrators, from defensive to preventative. Since nothing threatens the country at its national borders, Germany is rapidly developing its military for more modern issues—what it defines as “conflict prevention” and “crisis management.”

This translates to reforming the German armed forces to become better equipped for long-distance rapid-response missions. Defense Minister Struck detailed the “new course” for the Bundeswehr last January—the most extensive restructuring project in its history. In the end, the German military will have better communication, intelligence, reconnaissance, mobility, confrontation capability, force protection and post-conflict support.

The biggest change will take place in the structure of the military. “[T]he Bundeswehr will be developed according to an entirely new system of force categories while maintaining—not abandoning—the five military organizational areas of Army, Air Force, Navy, Joint Support Service and Central Medical Service,” said Struck in a press conference on January 13 (eng.bmvg.de; emphasis mine throughout).

“The new course which we have set,” he said later at a February Munich conference, “makes the Bundeswehr fit for the future.” By March, he reported, “The transformation of the Bundeswehr has been gathering momentum. The Bundeswehr of the 21st century is increasingly taking shape. We are right on track in terms of direction and speed.”

This contemporary force is custom-made to play a huge role in the peacekeeping era, and the transformation is planned to be completed by 2010. The goal is to take Europe from its current military position of inferiority, compared to the U.S., to one of dominance.

The new system divvies about 242,000 servicemen and women into three categories: response forces, stabilization forces and support forces.

The response forces will comprise 35,000 personnel. These land, air and maritime units, capable of rapid response, will be the repository for German contributions to nato and EU operations.

Seventy thousand personnel will comprise the stabilization forces, which according to the Bundeswehr’s website will be “capable of separating parties to a conflict, monitoring cease-fire agreements, eliminating peace disturbers, enforcing embargo measures, and many other measures” (ibid.). German troops are already performing these duties in Afghanistan.

The third category of support forces—composed of 137,500 military personnel—will be set aside for support duties and fulfilling the Bundeswehr’s duty within Germany, including the command, control and training of the Bundeswehr.

Last January, Bundeswehr Chief of Staff Wolfgang Schneiderhan issued “a directive to examine the entire service school system of the Bundeswehr …” (ibid.). “To sum up,” he stated, “our armed forces structure will be more operations-related, the forces will be ready for operations after a shorter preparation time, will be better trained and more professionally led.”

Streamlining

Where the funds and resources for supporting these forces will come from is unclear, given that Germany still only spends about 1.5 percent of its gross domestic product on defense (compared with the average of 2.2 percent among nato members), and that defense spending was cut this year by more than $1 billion.

Most analysts and media outlets take such statistics at face value, as a sign of a benign German military. The world has repeatedly forgotten the nature of German efficiency and ability to streamline just about anything—especially its approach to war.

The Trumpet, by contrast, continues to carefully watch Germany for signs of belligerence, signs that others overlook. Our perspective is filtered through our understanding of Bible prophecy, and it is a perspective that has been vindicated dozens and dozens of times over nearly eight decades of analyzing the news, beginning with the work of Herbert W. Armstrong. Request our free special Trumpet report “He Was Right!” to acquaint yourself with these numerous past statements that have since made their way into current headlines.

Mr. Armstrong showed the prominent position in biblical prophecy fulfilled by modern-day Germany. Armed with this understanding, he foretold the progressive coalescing of the European continent; he predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall and the uniting of East and West Germany; he forecast the emergence of a single European currency; he warned about the inroads Europe would make into the strategic Balkan region; even in the midst of the Cold War, he spoke of the eventual break of Eastern Europe from the Soviets and its merging with the European bloc of nations. And, with convincing biblical proof, he also prophesied of the inevitable rise of a European military that would dominate great portions of the globe.

The Bible’s record is simply too accurate on all other points to ignore this devastating prophecy. It is for this reason that the Trumpet looks beneath the surface when analyzing events in Europe.

Take, for example, the announcement that Struck plans to reduce the Bundeswehr by about 35,000 troops and 10,000 civilian personnel, and to close some 200 German bases. What could be overlooked is that the resultant budgetary restructuring will save the armed forces more than $31 billion. Where will that money go? Take a look (below) at some of the investments and initiatives underway.

Post-World War ii German armed forces were intended by law to be limited in power—maintaining enough strength to safeguard Germany’s borders, not the globe. As EU involvement in peacekeeping missions cumulates, watch Germany use that position to grant its military blitzkrieg ability. The German armed forces have effectively and repeatedly used blitzkrieg warfare in the past and are prophesied to do so again—prophesied to become a highly mobile rapid reaction force. Watch, and you can see that reality developing today. The groundwork is being laid. The pieces are being put in place. Watch, and you can recognize the alarming unfolding of what will soon shock the world. With reporting by Lisa Godeaux