America’s Ultimatum to NATO and the Coming Eurozone Crisis

America’s Ultimatum to NATO and the Coming Eurozone Crisis

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on Feb. 16, 2017.

In a closed-door meeting with nato allies yesterday in Brussels, American Defense Secretary James Mattis said that American taxpayers would no longer “carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values.” Germany’s defense minister agreed with America’s demand that other nations share the burden and is promising to increase military spending. These shifts mark the dramatic reversal of 70 years of United States policy toward Germany. America has gone from foreign policy aimed at keeping Germany down militarily to now encouraging it to remilitarize! Stephen Flurry discusses the latest on this topic, along with other stories on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

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America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

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Europe doing more means Germany doing more.

United States Defense Secretary James Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum at a meeting of nato defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.

“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”

“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned.

His statements echo warnings that U.S. President Donald Trump made throughout his campaign. But for European capitals, hearing these warnings from Mattis is significant. They had hoped that Mr. Mattis—a strong supporter of nato—would change Mr. Trump’s mind.

Mattis said that ministers need to set firm dates for European nations to meet the nato target level of defense spending—2 percent of economic output. Thus far, this target has been a vague commitment that almost all European nato members have failed to meet.

These calls for nato to do more, however, boil down to one thing: Germany stepping up. Fabrice Pothier explained this in an article published by Politico on Wednesday titled “nato Survival Will Depend on Germany.”

With Europe’s largest gdp [gross domestic product] and by far its strongest economy, Germany is the swing state in European defense. If Berlin commits to spending the recommended 2 percent of gdp on defense, it would add $30 billion of defense spending in Europe—a large share of the $100 billion surplus that would be generated if all European members and Canada met their targets. The move would significantly boost European defense.

Pothier explains that other nations will find it very hard to step up:

Other important European players—such as Italy, Spain and the Netherlands—are either too small or too economically weak to have much of an effect on the European defense balance. In this scenario, Germany’s $30 billion could make all the difference between a stronger Europe or a weaker one.

Thus, it all comes down to Germany—the only nato power in Europe that could turn the Continent’s military power around. However, this raises an important problem.

The question, however, is whether Germany can—or indeed should—become the leading military power in Europe,” writes Pothier (emphasis added throughout).

That is right: Germany becoming the leading military power in Europe is the automatic and inevitable consequence of a boost to European military spending.

But this means big changes for Germany. As Pothier points out, “The German defense ministry has secured some hard-won increases” to its budget, and both the chancellor and finance minister have agreed to the increases. But it still falls far short of what Mr. Trump wants.

Beyond simply the money, Mr. Trump is pushing Germany to transform quite radically. As Pothier writes:

Getting Germany to punch closer to its weight will not be easy. Berlin’s next coalition in the Bundestag will have to break with two powerful dogmas of post-World War ii Germany: a balanced budget and a pacifist mindset.Both ideas are deeply entrenched in Germany’s political culture and institutions.

But change is not impossible:

But should [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel be reelected and commit to greater military spending, it would not be the first time the pragmatic chancellor instigated a radical shift with incremental steps. Just look at her refugee policy or her firm stance against Russia, which clashes with major German industrial interests and coalition partners.Germany’s postwar doctrines are not as intractable as they seem. One of Merkel’s own predecessors, Konrad Adenauer, already partly broke with one when he decided to rearm Western Germany against the advice of many in his own party in the early 1950s.

Mattis comments come as defense leaders and experts around the world gather for the Munich Security Conference, which begins Friday. The paper released ahead of the Munich Security Conference shows European leaders are keen to do more on their defense:

Europe is faced with a wide array of threats, which most experts say can best be tackled through joint European responses. Challenges not only include the ongoing crisis with Russia in the East, protracted wars to the South, or Islamist terrorist attacks in the heart of European cities, but also the uncertainty about the transatlantic security partnership and about the United States’ commitment to European security.Over the past months, this has brought more and more Europeans to recognize the need for a strong European Union. Particularly when it comes to the EU’s role in the world, a clear majority of EU citizens is now calling for greater engagement. If the EU wants to prove to itself and to its skeptics in and outside Europe that it is capable of being a “superpower that believes in multilateralism and in cooperation,” as [EU Foreign Policy Chief] Federica Mogherini recently put it, a common foreign policy strategy backed with sufficient military power is widely seen as a strategic necessity. In many European capitals, this has already triggered a trend reversal in defense expenditures.”

nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that this year will be “the third consecutive year of increased defense spending in Europe.” However, their report focuses more on EU efforts to work together, writing:

In order to improve joint foreign and security policy making, the EU not only presented a new Global Strategy but has also taken a bundle of concrete measures to boost European cooperation in security and defense as part of the EU Security and Defense Package. Other ideas include a European semester on defense, a “Schengen of Defense,” as well as the highly controversial notion of a European Army.”Whether the new momentum will translate into a truly new level of EU cooperation will primarily depend on the member states themselves. … But when, if not now, should Brussels’ clout in the world ever be on top of the menu?

In the short term, working together is probably a lot easier, politically, than spending more. But America will clearly keep pushing for Europe to have a bigger military budget.

American officials seem well aware that pushing Europe to do more means making Germany “the leading military power in Europe.”

“Don’t hide behind your history,” former President Barack Obama has exhorted Germany.

“The world today does not fear a strong Germany,” Der Tagesspiegel recorded Mr. Obama as saying. “It is, rather, disappointed when Germany is too reserved.”

America, said Herbert W. Armstrong, “can only see one enemy at a time, and I want to tell you that the United States has more than one enemy.” It worries about radical Islam and Russia but is blind to the danger of encouraging a strong, united, German-led military power in Europe.

It is not just Herbert W. Armstrong who warned against a militarily powerful united Europe. Renowned geopolitical thinker Nicholas Spykman wrote that “[a] federal Europe would constitute an agglomeration of force that would completely alter our significance as an Atlantic power and greatly weaken our position in the Western Hemisphere.” America’s own foreign-policy experts of previous generations saw the folly in what America is doing. But both the Trump and Obama administrations have been encouraging Germany to do more and spend more.

The Trumpet and the Plain Truth before us have consistently warned about America’s friendship with Germany. For a summary of these warnings, and how they are already coming to pass, read our article “How America’s Friendship With Germany Will End.”

Nuclear Submarines and Hypersonic Missiles: China Is Making Game-Changing Weapons Advances

Nuclear Submarines and Hypersonic Missiles: China Is Making Game-Changing Weapons Advances

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The United States military could be in “serious trouble” in a face-off against Chinese forces in the South China Sea, according to analyses published this week. China’s People’s Liberation Army (pla) is making massive gains in its development of two key areas of advanced weaponry: Nuclear submarines and hypersonic missiles.

Alongside these advances, the pla is demonstrating ever more willingness and resolve to use its military might. Analysts believe these factors could eventually tip the scales of a regional conflict in Beijing’s favor.

The Interest discussed the pla’s nuclear submarines on February 13, writing:

Is China’s new Type 093B nuclear-powered attack submarine on par with the U.S. Navy’s Improved Los Angeles-class boats? At least some U.S. naval analysts believe so and contend that the introduction of the new People’s Liberation Army Navy (plan) submarines is an indication of just how quickly Beijing is catching up to the West.

Former U.S. Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix, now a director at the Center for a New American Security, is among such analysts. “The 93B is analogous to our LA improved in quietness and their appearance demonstrates that China is learning quickly about how to build a modern fast attack boat,” he said.

The U.S. Navy has attack submarines such as the Virginia and Seawolf-class vessels that are more advanced than the Los-Angeles class. But budget constraints mean the LA will remain the mainstay of America’s submarine fleet for several more years.

Quantity is also relevant, as China’s submarine technology advances come at a time when the U.S. Navy has 52 attack submarines, with plans to reduce the number to 41 over the next decade. Meanwhile, China has at least 70 attack submarines, with programs in place to steadily expand the fleet. It is at the confluence of these factors that the possibility of Chinese parity enters the equation.

The National Interest wrote:

If the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s newest boats are able to match the capabilities of the U.S. Navy’s shrinking undersea fleet, Washington could be in serious trouble.[I]f Hendrix’s assessment is correct and future Chinese submarines are only slightly less capable than the Virginia or Seawolf-class vessels, the Navy could be in trouble. The technological edge the U.S. Navy—which is already woefully short on attack boats—is counting on might not be sufficient to counter Chinese numerical superiority.

Also on February 13, the Scout Warrior military analysis firm asked if China is already “in front of the U.S. in developing hypersonic weapons.” The article discusses China’s recent claims of having successfully tested a hypersonic weapon, saying the development “caused concern among Pentagon leaders and threat analysts.”

The U.S. Air Force expects to have usable hypersonic weapons by “sometime in the 2020s,” the Warrior noted. If China’s claims of having already conducted a successful test are true, this could represent a considerable lag in U.S. progress relative to China’s, and in a vital military realm.

The Scout Warrior explained the specific reasons why this apparent lag is such a cause of concern:

[S]hould China possess long-range, high-speed hypersonic weapons, it could dramatically impact circumstances known in Pentagon circles and anti-access/area denial. This phenomenon, referred to at A2/AD, involves instances wherein potential adversaries use long-range sensors and precision weaponry to deny the U.S. any ability to operate in the vicinity of some strategically significant areas such as closer to an enemy coastline. Hypersonic weapons could hold slower-moving Navy aircraft carriers at much greater risk, for example.

Meanwhile, the International Institute for Strategic Studies report released on February 14 said experts have recorded “real and important” increases in the pla’s activity at sea, and in air and missile forces. Chinese weapons technology is at “near-parity” with Western powers, the London-based think tank said. Given the advances of the pla, Western dominance “can no longer be taken for granted,” said John Chipman, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In July 2016, before China’s recent advances in nuclear submarines, hypersonic missile and other avenues were nearly as apparent, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said China’s increasingly militaristic direction, especially in the South China Sea, is “steering the world toward war,” writing:

Now that U.S. military presence in the area has been drastically reduced, China is claiming the entire South China Sea as its own!America’s enemies are securing shipping lanes and creating economic alliances that will very soon enable them to choke off America’s supply lines. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.

China’s military advancements are of great geostrategic significance, with implications for people of all nations. To understand why these developments mean “everything is headed in the direction of war,” read Mr. Flurry’s article “China Is Steering the World Toward War.”

The Massacre of Northern Nigeria’s Christians

The Massacre of Northern Nigeria’s Christians


Deborah is a 31-year-old Nigerian Christian living in an Internally Displaced Persons (idp) camp. Her body is covered with healing scars; however, her mind still bears many open wounds. In her arms is a nine-month-old baby: the symbol of her hope and future.

After her husband and family were murdered, she was forced to convert to Islam and marry a 20-year-old Boko Haram soldier. Eventually, she escaped. But not for long. After being recaptured, she was lashed 80 times and then raped for abandoning her husband. After 18 months of captivity, she is now free. However, thousands of women in northern Nigeria will never fill their lungs with the sweet air of freedom ever again.

An unreported humanitarian crisis has exploded in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram and Islamic Fulani tribesmen have been systematically massacring Christians living in the region. Villages are ransacked on a near daily basis, leaving hundreds displaced, enslaved or dead. Douglas Murray investigated the horrors firsthand and wrote a piece for the Spectator titled “Who Will Protect Nigeria’s Northern Christians?” In the article, he reported:

Another day in northern Nigeria, another Christian village reeling from an attack by the Muslim Fulani herdsmen who used to be their neighbors—and who are now cleansing them from the area. The locals daren’t collect the freshest bodies. Some who tried earlier have already been killed, spotted by the waiting militia and hacked down or shot. The Fulani are watching everything closely from the surrounding mountains. Every week, their progress across the northern states of Plateau and Kaduna continues. Every week, more massacres—another village burned, its church razed, its inhabitants slaughtered, raped or chased away. A young woman, whose husband and two children have just been killed in front of her, tells me blankly, “Our parents told us about these people. But we lived in relative peace, and we forgot what they said.”

The plight of Nigeria’s Christians is a grisly reminder of what happens when Western nations fail to stop the rise of radical Islam and protect the world’s defenseless.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s greatest oil producer. The country, however, suffers from a less ideal strategic location. While being the greatest power in west-central Africa, there has been little interest from Western nations to intervene, especially with the crises in Syria and Libya.

The main threat to Nigerian stability has been religious tumult. The nation straddles the Islamic regions of Sahara and sub-Saharan Africa and the converted Christian populations of former European colonies. Murray continued his report:

For the outside world, what is happening to the Christians of northern Nigeria is both beyond our imagination and beneath our interest. These tribal-led villages, each with their own “paramount ruler,” were converted by missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. But now these Christians—from the bishop down—sense that they have become unsympathetic figures, perhaps even an embarrassment, to the West. The international community pretends that this situation is a tit-for-tat problem, rather than a one-sided slaughter. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the press fails to report or actively obscures the situation. Christians in the south of the country feel little solidarity with their co-religionists suffering from this Islamic revivalism and territorial conquest in the north. And worst of all, the plight of these people is of no interest to their own government. In fact, this ethnic and religious cleansing appears to be taking place with that government’s complicity or connivance.

The current Nigerian president is a Fulani Muslim. While the government and army do not actively support the Fulani tribesmen or Boko Haram, they don’t actively protect the Christian minorities in the north either. There is also evidence that independent sects of the army supply the Fulani tribes with weapons.

A villager takes me to the bridge where the village leader and 13 others were recently gunned down in a Fulani ambush. Nigerian army troops watched the whole thing from their base a couple of hundred yards away—just as they did the destruction of another Christian village, the remains of which sit, burned out and silent, right opposite them. The army seems to have no interest in protecting the Christians, while the government in Abuja appears to care more about passing new laws on cattle-rustling than on protecting human lives. When challenged after a massacre, soldiers often claim that they didn’t receive any orders—or had been commanded not to intervene.In a line that’s parroted by some [nongovernmental organizations] ngos, the government says that this is a land or agricultural dispute. Yet it is the Christian communities who are being systematically forced off it. If anybody wanted to find the culprits, they could find them living and farming on the land they have stolen. But such arrests never happen. The complicity between the army and the Fulani is obvious. Between Barakin-Ladi and Riyom—in sight of another army post—is a sacked Christian village, which locals say now acts as a Fulani arms dump. The world’s indifference gives the Nigerian government the advantage in what looks like a quiet effort to rid northern Nigeria of its Christians.

The violence is motivated by religious fervor, the desire for productive farmland, and political revenge (since the previous president was a Christian). Thus the Christians of northern Nigeria must face their fiery trial alone, with no prospect of Western intervention. In fact, the greatest extent of help from the West was in 2014. After Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 girls, the Obama administration backed the “bring back our girls” Twitter campaign. This did nothing for those girls, most of whom are still missing. Other specialists were sent out to help the Nigerian authorities, but both attempts were token gestures. Since 2014, the rise of radical Islam and the plight of the Nigerian Christians have vanished from the news headlines.

Should the United States, Europe or any nation care about the plight of Nigeria’s northern Christians? While this crisis does not rank high on the list of fires burning around the world, the situation does hold significant ramifications. Richard Palmer wrote in a 2014 Trumpet article titled “Radical Islam Explodes in Nigeria”:

Nonetheless the violence in Nigeria is a warning for Europe. France is reaching the limits of what it can do, and what it can afford to do in Africa. If Europe is going to take over from the U.S. as the world’s policeman, or at least security guard for its local area, it is going to have to unify and upgrade its military. No single nation has the air-transport capacity for repeated African missions, for example. America operates over 700 large transport planes. Britain, having one of Europe’s most capable militaries, operates under 50.Part of the reason for this is temporary—Airbus is late delivering its newest transport planes, meaning old aircraft had to be retired before their replacements arrived. But it also shows the need for Europe to work together if it’s going to fill America’s shoes. Only then can it muster up anything close to the necessary logistical support.With radical Islamist violence popping up all over North Africa, Europe is going to have to get its act together soon, or radical Islam will threaten some of its vital interests in the area.The violence in Nigeria shows that radical Islam is becoming entrenched across the region, sustaining pockets of unrest hundreds of miles apart. Europe can no longer rely on America to fix the problem. Watch for the EU to develop its own capacity.

The massacre of Nigeria’s Christians by Boko Haram and the Fulani tribesmen further destabilize the region and serve as an example of inaction by the U.S. While America agonizes over Islamophobia, Christians are slaughtered in Nigeria. Undoubtedly, this will not sit well with Christian Europe. With Russia becoming antagonistic in Eastern Europe, Britain set to leave the EU, and the U.S. threatening to limit global intervention, any resistance to European military integration will be swept away by necessity.

The massacres in northern Nigeria are a grisly reminder that defenseless people will suffer if the U.S. or Europe do nothing to counteract the rampant expansion of radical Islam’s power. It is a terrifying example of what to expect if radical Islam dominates Christian populations. As Europe still struggles with terrorism in its own borders, Nigeria stands as a bloody monument to inaction. You can count on Europe to not stand on the sidelines much longer in the Middle East and Africa. To learn more on this emerging future, watch the Trumpet Daily program titled “The Coming Religious War in the Middle East.”

Turmoil in Trump Administration and the Real Watergate Scandal

Turmoil in Trump Administration and the Real Watergate Scandal

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on Feb. 15, 2017.

In less than one month in the White House, the Trump administration has been burdened with “scandal, legal challenges” and “personnel drama,” the New York Times wrote this morning. The latest development came Monday with the resignation of security adviser Michael Flynn. His departure sent the media swirling in an attempt to pinpoint just what’s going on in the White House. Listen to Stephen Flurry discuss this and other news on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

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Murders Up in U.S. Cities

Murders Up in U.S. Cities

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The national homicide rate is rising faster than any time in almost half a century.

America’s murder rate is rising faster than any time in the past 45 years. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15,696 murders were committed in the United States during 2015. This means the nationwide homicide count rose by 10.8 percent, the biggest year-to-year percentage jump since 1971.

While official government crime statistics for 2016 won’t be available until September, the Economist gathered data for 50 of America’s most violent cities and found that homicides rose in 34 of them. These 50 metropolitan areas contain 15 percent of the country’s population, yet account for 36 percent of the country’s murder victims. The Major Cities Chiefs Association (mcca) estimated that the homicide count increased by double-digit percentages in 61 American cities last year. Since the lion’s share of murders in the United States takes place in big cities, this indicates that the nationwide murder rate almost certainly increased substantially in 2016.

“We’ve had at least two years running now where there’s been an increase in 35 to 45 major cities,” said mcca executive director Darrel Stephens in an interview with Time magazine. “It’s a major issue and should be in the cities where it’s taking place.”

Stephens cites gang violence, drug-related violence, and the easy availability of firearms as root causes behind this spike in homicides. Meanwhile, American political commentator Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops, argues that this recent surge of murders is a result of the “the Ferguson effect”—the concept that public hostility toward law enforcement in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in August 2014 has caused police officers in minority neighborhoods to back off from interacting with residents when not absolutely necessary.

Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. digs deeper and blames government entitlement programs for making his fellow black Americans in America’s inner cities dependent on the state, fueling a breakdown of nuclear families that exacerbates criminal behavior. While 1 in 3 American children are raised without a father, this figure goes up to approximately 1 in 2 or more in some big cities. Approximately 85 percent of youths in prison come from such fatherless homes.

The foundation of any stable society—the family—is under attack in America. As long as this is true, American society will continue to produce criminals at a record rate. One of the reasons that violent crime has been decreasing for the past quarter century is because America’s prison population has quintupled since 1970. Almost 700 out of every 100,000 Americans sit in the nation’s prisons and jails—higher than any other country in the world.

President Donald Trump has promised to “make America safe again” by declaring a federal war on crime. Until the root cause behind America’s crime epidemic is fixed, however, the nation will continue to struggle with this problem.