Another Step Toward a ‘Two-Speed’ Europe

Momentum is building behind a plan that shrinks the European Union down to a smaller, more committed core.

A growing number of European Union leaders are calling for a “two-speed” Europe. Such a plan would give pro-integration European nations the power to more quickly form a strong, unified core. Other European nations that are more concerned about preserving their sovereignty would integrate more slowly and less fully.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already thrown her support behind such an approach to European integration. At an EU summit in Malta on February 3, she said, “The history of recent years has shown that there will be a multi-speed EU, and not all members will participate in the same steps of integration.” The leaders of France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have also voiced support for two-speed European unification, along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

On February 23, Juncker stated, “This is no longer a time when we can imagine everyone doing the same thing together …. Should it not be that those who want to go forward more rapidly can do so without bothering the others …?”

In preparation for the EU’s special March 25 summit in Rome, Juncker presented a new white paper to help EU leaders map out the future of the union. The March 1 paper lays out five possible paths the EU may decide to take. But as the Telegraph’s Juliet Samuel wrote on March 5, “[T]here is clearly a coordinated effort to swing behind one of them, labeled ‘scenario three’ in the paper.”

German-Foreign-Policy.com wrote on March 2 that adopting scenario three will mean:

[C]ertain groups of countries forge ahead with intensive cooperation in particular fields of politics leaving others two or three steps behind. This scenario permits the creation of multinational armed forces in Europe, in spite of persistent resistance from several EU member states. This is why Berlin favors it as a solution. … “Scenario 3” stipulates that several “coalitions of the willing” will use the option provided by the Treaty of Lisbon allowing “permanent structured cooperation,” for example in the domains of domestic repression or closer collaboration in foreign and military policy. On the basis of a significantly conflated arms industry, the EU could extend the tentacles of its power much further into the world as has been the case until now.

Samuel drew attention to how radical this policy would be by EU standards:

At its heart, “two-speed Europe” admits something that eurocrats have, until now, always denied: Different European countries want different futures ….If this model is adopted, pro-EU countries will move forwards with integration—common defense policies, border controls and single fiscal, labor and tax policies—but won’t force everyone else to join them.As Europe’s core tries to form itself into a superstate, these outsider countries will look for a new model for their relationship with the euro-using federalist countries.

German-Foriegn-Policy.com noted that scenario three will also allow Europe to move forward much more quickly on creating some form of combined military. It noted that increased application of “coalitions of the willing” will help break resistance against multinational militaries.

What Samuel discussed is what the Trumpet has been forecasting for years. There are currently 27 EU member states, but we expect a European superpower to emerge that consists of only “10 kings.”

“There’s going to be a core group of nations,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said in a 2010 Key of David television program. “Europe is going to have more power and not less, only it’s going to be considerably smaller. You watch and see if that doesn’t happen, because your Bible says it has to! There’s going to be 10 kings there, not 27, as there are 27 nations today in that European Union.”

Now European leaders are talking seriously about stripping the Union down to a smaller yet more solid core. Keep an eye open for what happens on March 25 in Rome. To see how this “multi-speed” alliance will ultimately lead to a 10-nation European superpower—and how the Bible specifically forecasts this—read “Europe’s Coming Big Ten.”

Europe’s Big Ten and Iran’s Grand Strategy

Europe’s Big Ten and Iran’s Grand Strategy

iStockphoto

Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on March 6.

World War iii will be triggered by a push from Iran against a German-led United States of Europe. Iran is rapidly gaining power in the Middle East, positioning itself to upset the global order. And in Europe, serious talk is underway about how to create a stronger, paired-down European superstate. Both trends are leading to the fulfillment of spectacular Bible prophecies. Tune in to today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show with Stephen Flurry for a discussion on these earthshaking events.

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Are You Ready for When the ‘Ten Kings’ Come Together?

Are You Ready for When the ‘Ten Kings’ Come Together?

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on December 16, 2016.

Stratfor posted an article this week titled “The Year That May Decide Europe’s Fate.” Coming on the heels of what was already a dramatic year for Europe, 2017 may prove to be the year that the eurozone becomes defunct. Bible prophecy indicates that Europe is going to have to undergo some incredible reorganizing to pave the way for it to be ruled by “ten kings.” Events in Europe right now are leading to these major changes. Listen to Stephen Flurry comment on these stories and more on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

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The Russian Alliance You Really Have to Worry About

The Russian Alliance You Really Have to Worry About

WIN MCNAMEE/Getty Images, MIKHAIL SVETLOV/Getty Images

Concern over a Trump-Putin friendship is misplaced. Instead, watch for the global order to be overturned by a different relationship.
From the April 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

Donald Trump and Russia. It has become one of the most discussed potential romances of our time.

The United States abandoning its traditional Western allies and siding instead with Vladimir Putin would be the most dramatic realignment in global politics since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It won’t happen. America may try to draw close to Russia, but no close alliance is possible.

Instead, there is another alliance coming that the world should really pay attention to.

A Short-Lived Alliance

Just weeks into Mr. Trump’s presidency, the wheels already seemed to be coming off the much-anticipated U.S.-Russia alliance. National Security adviser Michael Flynn, the most pro-Russian of Mr. Trump’s advisers, was fired. The U.S. said it will not end sanctions on Russia and that it expects Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia went back to business as usual, violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and buzzing U.S. ships in the Black Sea.

Mr. Trump is about as well known for his consistency as he is for his modesty, so this could change. But there are more fundamental reasons to expect this Russo-American détente to fail.

Barack Obama began his presidency with his infamous “reset” with Russia. George W. Bush declared Putin a man Americans could trust. Bill Clinton’s collapse into uncontrollable laughter at a 1995 press conference with President Boris Yeltsin suggested, if not trust, then at least an absence of fear.

No president starts his term wanting conflict with Russia. But no recent president has avoided one. Why? Because alliances are not based on intention or good will. We live in a world founded in selfishness. An alliance works if both sides get what they want. The alliance must be in the self-interest of both parties.

A Russo-American alliance has continually failed because it is in neither nation’s long-term interests.

What Are These Nations’ Interests?

America’s number one interest is to prevent any power from rising up to challenge it. The only place such a power could come from in the foreseeable future is Eurasia. “[O]ur constant concern in peacetime must be to see that no nation or alliance of nations is allowed to emerge as a dominating power in either of the two regions of the Old World from which our security could be threatened,” wrote Prof. Nicholas Spykman, one of America’s greatest thinkers on the subject of international relations (The Geography of the Peace). He was referring to Europe on the Atlantic, and East Asia on the Pacific.

During the last 70 years, that potential challenger has been Russia—particularly in the form of the Soviet Union. And so the U.S. has opposed Russia.

But Russia is not Mr. Trump’s top concern. China is a massive and assertive trade power. Germany is using the euro to economically dominate the eurozone. Therefore, Mr. Trump believes, America could ally with the declining power of Russia and oppose Germany, China and also radical Islam.

But what can America offer to persuade Russia to turn against China and to confront Europe?

Russia’s top interest is to dominate Eastern Europe. It has no natural frontiers there. This is why Russia constantly pushes as far west as it can. Historically, this extra space between Europe and Russia’s heartland has thwarted most attempts to conquer Russia.

Russia also has an interest in confronting Islamic terror and in gaining access to Western finance and technology.

There are complementary interests and the potential for an alliance. But the problem is that the price Russia would have to demand—to make it worth its while to turn on China and Germany—is higher than the U.S. can afford. Russia would need help in achieving its main interest: more space in Eastern Europe.

America cannot afford that. America cannot be certain that Russia is no longer its top threat. Though Russia lacks the economic heft of either the European Union or China, it has a formidable military and, most importantly, a formidable leader. In backing Russia, many even in Mr. Trump’s administration fear that the U.S. could be building up its own worst enemy.

An alliance with Russia then, actually threatens America’s number one interest. Of course Mr. Trump would love to get Russia on his side without giving much in return. But that is not how the world works. Thus, no long-term alliance is on the cards.

There could be short-term arrangements. In the Middle East, for example, America and Russia could work together. And it would be possible for America to make concessions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. But we will not see a wholesale global realignment around a U.S.-Russia alliance.

The fundamental difference in interest between the U.S. and Russia has meant that they have allied together only once in history: in World War ii. This addressed an urgent threat to both powers, but it was short-lived and immediately gave way to a nuclear-armed Cold War rivalry.

But there is another power with more compatible interests—one that Russia has allied with repeatedly.

The Real Power Couple

Germany’s core interest is to avoid encirclement—a hostile France in the West and hostile Russia in the East. This interest is taken care of, thanks to the EU. Germany has no fear of a French invasion.

Another important interest is a secure export market for its heavily export-dependent economy. This it meets primarily through the eurozone. The countries of the eurozone are locked into a common currency and cannot raise their exchange rates. This means that imbalances that would normally fix themselves over time cannot—so Germany can export far more to these countries than it imports. It also provides Germany with a de facto subsidy when exporting to other markets.

The migrant crisis and radical Islam make the Middle East another important interest for Germany.

Russia and Germany have much to gain by working together. Historically, Russia could only dominate Eastern Europe when European powers were weak, or when they acquiesced.

Meanwhile, the two have several complementary interests. Economically, they go together hand in glove. Germany has excellent technology and manufacturing, and needs to export. Russia needs to buy Western technology and know-how. Russia has energy commodities, and Germany is among its best customers. Russia’s deep ties to the Middle East make it the perfect partner for a Germany that needs to stem the tide of refugees into Europe. Russia has even edged its way into the euro crisis—its strong ties to Cypriot and Greek financial systems mean that it could hurt or help Germany’s economic ambitions.

Furthermore, an alliance with Germany does not require Russia to drop its alliance with China. Thus it needs much less from Germany to make such an alliance worth its while.

Germany, then, can afford to pay the price Russia requires, while the U.S. cannot. The cost-benefit calculation looks very different.

A Russo-German alliance still carries risks. Done recklessly, it could alienate much of Central and Eastern Europe. But with care, allowing Russia to expand its sphere of influence into parts of Eastern Europe would actually drive the remaining countries to Germany. Germany would also have to be sure it was rewarded enough to make up for the extra insecurity that would come from an expanded Russian sphere of influence.

But Germany, whether it wants it or not, is being forced into this alliance.

Germany Has Little Choice

The other major part of President Trump’s foreign policy is a withdrawal from the world. He believes the U.S. is spending far too much money intervening beyond its shores.

If America withdraws from Europe, Germany is left with little choice but to cut a deal with Russia. Economically, the EU dwarfs Moscow—but militarily, Russia is a force to be reckoned with. Right now Europe could not stand up to Russia alone. So, what do you do if you can’t beat them?

Writing during the latter half of the Cold War, Hans Morgenthau, in a later edition of Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, outlined what could happen if America withdrew from Europe. The nations of Europe are “ambivalent towards the United States, whose support they need but resent,” he wrote. If the U.S. withdraws, these countries “may then perceive themselves as having been abandoned by the United States and having to face the Soviet Union alone, unchallengeable in its military power.” This, he wrote, would force the nations of Europe to “accommodate themselves with Russia.”

If Germany does this, it “would signify a drastic change in the distribution of world power,” Morgenthau concluded. For Germany, there are “rational arguments … in support of an Eastern orientation.”

Today, the Russian military is not as overwhelming as it once was. But if America pulls out of Europe, Germany still faces a similar dilemma.

Trump’s openness to an alliance with Russia has also made it easier for European powers to draw closer to Russia. The top leaders of Germany’s Christian Social Union (csu), part of Germany’s ruling coalition, have remained close to Russia, despite their nation’s sanctions against it. In 2016, Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer and Honorary csu Chairman Edmund Stoiber visited Russian President Vladimir Putin. Stoiber welcomed the election of Donald Trump, partly because he believed it could help open the door for closer relations between Germany and Russia. Trump, he said, will “set a new tone in foreign policy.”

A History of War

These same pressures now heaped on Germany have led to similar alliances in the past. From 1772 to 1795, Prussia, Austria and Russia divided the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth among themselves. At that point, Poland extended much farther eastward than it did today, including almost all of present-day Belarus.

Shortly afterward, German generals helped modernize the Russian Army. As Leo Tolstoy noted in War and Peace, one Russian general was so irked by the commanding role Germans played in the Russian Army that he reportedly asked the emperor if he could be promoted to the rank of German.

While Otto von Bismarck united the German states, he worked hard to stay on Russia’s good side. As he famously said, the secret to politics is to “make a good treaty with Russia.”

In the early 20th century, the German high command rejected Bismarck’s advice, thinking Germany had a shot at defeating Russia. Russia collapsed during World War i, but Germany lost in the West. The fall of both Russia and Germany allowed Poland to become an independent state for the first time since it had been divided. Other smaller nations sprouted up. The next time Germany tried to take over Europe, it made a treaty with Russia first. The Rapallo Treaty helped Germany rise from the ashes of World War i. Then Poland was again divided in the infamous Hitler-Stalin pact, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

Shortly thereafter, Hitler caught Stalin napping and attacked Russia, a decision he may or may not have lived long enough to regret.

The history between Germany and Russia proves not only that their self-interests align better with each other’s than with America’s. It also proves that self-interest is self-interest: Once one nation thinks it can gain more by stabbing its “ally” in the back, it will do so.

Another Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

The shared interests here are so powerful that the Trumpet has long forecast a new alliance between these two nations.

In May 1962, the Plain Truth—predecessor of the Trumpet—wrote, “Once a German-dominated Europe is fully established, Germany will be ready to negotiate and bargain with Russia—and behind the backs of the Western allies if necessary.”

“When a Russo-German deal is made, you can be sure that the doom of the United States and Great Britain is on the horizon,” warned the same article.

Sound far-fetched? Eminent scholars in the field of international relations made the same warning! To Morgenthau, such a deal would be “a drastic change in the distribution of world power.” Spykman warned that the lack of a unified power in Europe or in East Asia “is an absolute prerequisite for the independence of the New World and the preservation of the power position of the United States.”

“The United States must recognize once again and permanently, that the power constellation in Europe and Asia is of everlasting concern to her, both in time of war and in time of peace,” Spykman wrote.

Under threat is America’s most core interest of all: its very survival.

This coming Russo-German alliance will last only as long as it is in the interests of both parties. Historically, that has not been long.

“[L]ook at history,” warns Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. “Every time competition between Russia and Germany heats up, they form a deal with one another—just before going to war!” (Russia and China in Prophecy).

Those wars have expanded to engulf the world and have turned these allies-of-convenience against each other in devastating manner.

There are already strong signs that the two sides have been talking and dealing. Germany has emerged, more recently, as Europe’s leading opponent to Russia—although even as it has rallied other nations to keep pressing sanctions, it has continued to work on some potentially lucrative pipeline deals with Russia.

But pressure is now building on these two powers to work together much more closely—a development that will quickly change the world.

Can Mr. Trump Stop America’s Asian Allies From Defecting to China?

Can Mr. Trump Stop America’s Asian Allies From Defecting to China?

TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

In recent months, several of America’s closest Asian allies have “defected” to China. Unsure about the direction and commitment of the United States, and unable to ignore China’s growing power and its intensifying resolve to use that power, nations that have aligned themselves with the U.S. for decades are now changing course. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand are making a calculated decision to realign themselves with Beijing—or to lay groundwork to be able to do so in the future. This development highlights three prophetically significant trends: The decline of American might, the rise of China’s power, and the emerging alliance that the Bible calls the “Kings of the East.”

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Week in Review: Iran and North Korea in Nuclear Collusion, Putin’s Russia Gains Ground, Democratic Party Shifts Left, and More

Week in Review: Iran and North Korea in Nuclear Collusion, Putin’s Russia Gains Ground, Democratic Party Shifts Left, and More

Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Xinhua/Getty Images, Martha de Jong-Lantink

All you need to know about everything in the news this week

Get all the important news from February 26–March 3: Download the Trumpet Weekly.Click here to receive your own copy by e-mail every week.

Highlights:

Will Iran get nukes from North Korea?

  • “Iran is steadily making progress towards a nuclear weapon and is doing so via North Korea,” two nuclear experts wrote in a new paper published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on Tuesday.
  • The experts claim the collusion between the two rogue states creates a way for Iran to clandestinely circumvent the nuclear deal implemented with world powers on Jan. 16, 2016.
  • Under the Obama administration, planes from North Korea flew directly to Iran without having to stop in a nation like China for rigorous nuclear proliferation inspections.
  • This week’s Trumpet Hour and Gerald Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South show how a nuclear-armed Iran will be stopped once and for all.
  • Luhansk officially adopts the Russian ruble

  • Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order that authorized the recognition of passports, birth certificates, death certificates, diplomas, vehicle registrations and other documents from the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
  • On Monday, officials in Luhansk announced that the Russian ruble would be the official currency of their breakaway territory beginning on March 1.
  • After Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more!”
  • Luhansk and Donetsk are the latest victims of Putin’s attempts to revive the Soviet empire.
  • Chinese naval base in Djibouti nears completion

  • After two years of media pronouncements and public relations campaigns, and after one year of construction, China’s naval base in the East African nation of Djibouti is now a reality: It will begin operations later this year.
  • Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf told the Financial Times that the number of Chinese personnel would probably number “a few thousand.”
  • The base will provide maintenance facilities for ships and helicopters, docks for commercial ships and military vessels, and storage facilities for weapons.
  • This is “a huge strategic development,” Prof. Peter Dutton of the Naval War College told the New York Times. “China has learned lessons from Britain of 200 years ago. This is what expansionary powers do.”
  • Democratic Party shifts harder to the left

  • On Saturday, the Democratic National Committee elected former United States Labor Secretary Tom Perez as its new chairman.
  • Perez was once described by the vice president of strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit libertarian think tank, as “possibly the most dangerous person in the [Obama] administration.”
  • Within moments of his election, Perez made the strategically savvy move of making Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota his deputy chairman and declaring him the new “face of the Democratic Party.”
  • Ellison has past ties to Marxist organizations and experience in community organizing. He said in a January interview: “It’s time for people to get active, to get involved, to vote and to organize. … Trump must be stopped, and people power is what we have at our disposal to make him stop. We need mass rallies. We need them all over the country. We need them in Texas. We need them in D.C. We need them in Minnesota.”
  • Other news:

  • Iran conducted large-scale naval exercises in the northern Indian Ocean on February 26. They were part of Operation Velayat 95, which ran from February 13 to March 1, and included drills in an area of nearly 800,000 square miles from the Strait of Hormuz leading into the Persian Gulf, around the Saudi Peninsula to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait leading into the Red Sea.
  • On Tuesday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to Germany for failing to prevent the beheading of German national Jürgen Gustav Kantner by the Philippine Islamist group Abu Sayyaf. The German government released a statement, saying, “We’ve all got to stand together in the fight against terrorists.”
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