Iran Tests Improved Ballistic Missiles

Iran Tests Improved Ballistic Missiles

Mohsen Shandiz/Corbis/Getty Images

Upgrades to old weapons reveal Iran’s military strategy.

Iran launched two Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles during the past week. The launches were made from an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base at Bandar-e-Jask in southeastern Iran. The first missile was launched into the Gulf of Oman last Saturday but missed its apparent target. Iran successfully tested a second rocket the following day.

Iran has now conducted a total of 14 ballistic missile tests since it signed a nuclear compromise on Jan. 16, 2016, with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany .

The launch is a test of an older missile model. Fox News quoted unnamed officials saying that the Fateh-110 has not been tested in two years. The last time this model was used, the Fateh (Persian for conqueror) starred in a propaganda film, by blowing up a simultaed United States aircraft carrier.

According to Fox News sources, last week’s Fateh-110 is new and improved, with “active seeker” technology that allows it to better detect ships at sea.

The Fateh-110 has other roles beyond targetting American carriers and other ships. In November 2014, Fateh-110s were shipped to Hezbollah for use in a future war with Israel. The missiles are road-mobile and can be used against land-based targets. But the improvements to the weapon, as well as the way in which it was tested, show the Iranians’ primary purpose for the missile: It is a weapon to be used to conquer the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The Fateh-110, with advanced guidance systems and a 150-to-220-mile range, jeopardizes the flow of 17 million barrels of oil per day that sail the Persian Gulf, in addition to millions of barrels of liquid gas that are so vital to Europe and Asia.

Some military vessels can counter these missiles, but tankers and other commercial vessels will easily fall prey to them the instant that Iran chooses to use them.

In “Iranian Navy Conducts Expansive Drills in Vital Sea-lane,” Trumpet Jerusalem correspondent Brent Nagtegaal noted that this year Iran chose to train in the Bab el-Mandeb, an area it has neglected in the past. He wrote:

Both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait are choke points for world shipping. Thirty percent of seaborne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which is only 33 miles wide, and most of that shipping continues through the 20-mile-wide Bab el-Mandeb en route to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Controlling these sea gates means controlling the passage of the precious commodity into Europe.

His comments mirror warnings issued by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, who wrote this in the April 2015 edition:

The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite the vulnerability of maritime trade, despite Iran’s stockpiling and enhancing its ballistic missiles, despite its test-firing new Dehlaviyeh antiship missiles, despite its expansive military drills in Bab el-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz, many analysts still relegate Iran’s actions to mere braggadocio.

“People keep referring to ‘closing the strait,’” said Anthony Cordesman, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But we’ve got eight years of Iranian exercises that show that’s more an exercise in semantics, than the way Iran organizes to fight. Given the fact that it’s not particularly suicidal, concentrating its assets in the Strait of Hormuz makes no sense at all.”

“Suicidal”: Cordesman’s choice of words is interesting. One Iranian high school textbook quotes former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as saying something “particularly suicidal”:

Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.

Iran is a regime that will not only test the weapons at its disposal, it will use them. The current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is just like his predecessor—only better armed.

On Jan. 17, 2015, the Iranian state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency published an article that boldly proclaimed: “Today, all the arteries of oil transport—from Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz—are under Iranian control, by means of Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and within range of Iranian missiles” (Middle East Media Research Institute translation).

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his booklet The King of the South:

Khomeini referred to the West as “world devourers”! Eighty-five percent of 81 million Shiites in Iran believe in Twelver Shiism, which Khomeini espoused. This is an ideology that embraces death. …

Another alarming event occurred on Jan. 16, 2016, that should have opened the eyes of naive Western leaders to the danger of the Iranian mindset. Iran’s supreme leader said the country’s aggressively anti-American and anti-Israel policy would continue unchanged. Two days later, Iran ordered its military to accelerate its illegal missile program.

This intercontinental ballistic missile program is illegal because the new deal says Iran has to wait eight years before speeding it up. Instead Iran is accelerating it immediately! These missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. And Iran’s supreme leader says they have no intention of reforming any aspect of their hateful policies. The missile announcement is proof that Iran is already breaking a big part of the agreement. But the West mostly turned a blind eye to that.

So many Western leaders today believe Iran is all talk, even as it arms itself and prepares for war! Fourteen ballistic missile tests in 14 months, more than three decades of terror-fueled hatred, and centuries of evil religious teaching prove this—but so too does your Bible.

The Bible actually specifically mentions Iran and forecasts what it will do in the 21st century. The Bible’s prediction pinpoints the Islamic Republic’s pushy foreign policy—and specifies that this aggressive behavior will soon goad a response. In his 2015 article, Mr. Flurry wrote:

Daniel 11:40 shows that as these events play out with Iran, the United States won’t be a factor! It is Europe that Iran is going to push against. And it is Europe that will respond.

A European superpower is rising on the scene that will have the boldness and the power to deal with Iran’s pushing.

Europe is very worried about what Iran just did in Yemen. And unlike America, this European power will act!

Daniel 11:40 says Europe will come at Iran like a whirlwind. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the Hebrew word for whirlwind is “used of the commotion of a storm or a tempest; to sweep away in a storm.” Europe is going to throw everything it has at the Iranian-led radical Muslims and utterly defeat them!

That drama all starts with a push from Iran.

Right now Iran is advancing its means of shutting down the maritime routes that Europe relies upon. Upgrades to the Fateh-110 may seem small, but combined with Iran’s renewed interest in the Bab el-Mandeb, Yemen, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, the world ought to take note. Even more alarmingly, Iran’s growing influence reflects into events foretold in your Bible—events that lead to World War iii.

The Prophet Daniel also recoded what would happen after World War iii erupts. That cataclysm actually begins a countdown to the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 12:11). To understand how the immediate future will be more bleak—and then more inspiring—then analysts realize, read Mr. Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South.

Iran Ups Ante With Naval Mines in Critical Sea Choke Point

Iran Ups Ante With Naval Mines in Critical Sea Choke Point

KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images

Another sign Iran is becoming the gatekeeper of the Red Sea

JERUSALEM–A Yemeni Coast Guard vessel exploded on Friday, hitting a naval mine planted in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

Yemeni military sources revealed to Al-Arabiya that the explosion occurred as the vessel was undertaking a surveillance tour in the region. Two Coast Guard officers were killed, and eight others are currently being treated in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

The deaths come just one week after the United States Office of Naval Intelligence (oni) warned that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia operating in western Yemen had deployed the naval mines in the strait. The oni report warned commercial ships of the danger of mines planted by the Houthis near the Mokha port at the entrance to the Bab el-Mandeb.

The placing of mines in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait is the latest in a host of signs that Iran is implementing a strategy to control shipping through this critical sea-lane.

At the end of February, Iran conducted its annual naval exercise from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea. Included this year for the first time was the area in question—the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

At the time, Jacob Shapiro wrote for Geopolitical Futures that the inclusion of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in this year’s exercise is an addition that “offers a window into Iranian strategy.

However, back in 2011, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned that Iran had a strategy to control these waterways. Since 2011, the Trumpet observed Iran take over western Yemen through its backing of the Houthi militia and, through that connection, destabilize shipping through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. When the Houthis took over the capital of Yemen in January 2015, Mr. Flurry wrote:

The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

After the Houthi suicide boat attack on a Saudi frigate earlier this year, the Trumpet wrote, “Now with the Houthis controlling virtually all of Yemen’s western coast, the Iranians have shifted their focus off the land and into the Red Sea.” The naval exercises as well as the mining of the Bab el-Mandeb confirm that shift.

Just how important is the Bab el-Mandeb Strait?

As Mr. Flurry explained in an article in an April 2015 article:

In order to reach the Mediterranean Sea from the Indian Ocean, a lot of seafaring trade—including 3.8 million barrels of oil per day—passes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the southern gate of the Red Sea. Measuring just 18 miles across, this channel is the closest point between the two landmasses of Central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The northeast edge of the strait is in Yemeni territory.

The strategic importance of controlling this passage is equal to controlling the Suez Canal, since both are part of the same thoroughfare.

Consider the global ramifications: Nearly 10 percent of global seaborne oil supplies passes through the gates of the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships pass through the Suez Canal and Bab el-Mandeb each year—an average of 55 per day. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea.

As James Holmes wrote in a Foreign Policy piece last year:

If a coastal foe can menace shipping transiting this narrow seaway, it would disrupt the shortest, most convenient sea route connecting Europe with South and East Asia. Doing so would carry significant economic and military repercussions.

… Houthi antics could drive insurance rates sky-high for merchant shipping, prompting shippers to bypass the danger zone …. In a sense, then, the Houthis could conscript insurance firm Lloyd’s of London as an ally—magnifying their influence while distorting patterns of trade and military operations.

In November 2016, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammed Hossein Bagheri said, “One day, we may need [naval] bases on the coasts of Yemen and Syria.” Clearly, Iran has designs for this waterway and is right now in the process of making its intentions known.

But how serious are Iran’s intentions in the Red Sea? Would it really close the Red Sea to international shipping? And if it did, which nations would be willing to counteract it. The answers to these questions and others concerning Iran’s rise in the Middle East can be found in Gerald Flurry’s booklet The King of the South.

Iran Is Pushing the World Toward World War III

Iran Is Pushing the World Toward World War III

MEHDI MARIZAD/AFP/Getty Images

Bible prophecy indicates that World War iii will begin with a pushy foreign policy by a Middle Eastern nation. In today’s program, Trumpet Middle East correspondent Brent Nagtegaal looks at two recent actions by Iran in preparation for this push to take place.

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Iran Gets a Stranglehold on the Middle East

Iran Gets a Stranglehold on the Middle East

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images

This terrorist nation has become the gatekeeper of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
From the April 2015 Trumpet Print Edition

Yemen is one of the most strategically important countries in the world. Recent developments there have shocked many people and will have dramatic effects that extend far beyond the Middle East.

In January, the Houthis, a rebel group sponsored and directed by Iran, overthrew the pro-American Yemeni government. After they conquered the capital city of Sanaa, throngs of Houthis began chanting “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” These are exactly the same battle cries that Iran uses.

This stunned many people in Europe and terrified many of the more moderate Arab states, especially those that rely on unlimited access to the Red Sea.

The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control thevital sea lane fromthe Indian Ocean tothe Mediterranean Sea.

We need to understand the gravity ofthis new situationin Yemen!

In order to reach the Mediterranean Sea from the Indian Ocean, a lot of seafaring trade—including 3.8 million barrels of oil per day—passes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the southern gate of the Red Sea. Measuring just 18 miles across, this channel is the closest point between the two landmasses of central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The northeast edge of the strait is in Yemeni territory.

The strategic importance of controlling this passage is equal to controlling the Suez Canal, since both are part of the same thoroughfare.

Consider the global ramifications: Nearly 10 percent of global seaborne oil supplies pass through the gates of the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships pass through the Suez Canal and Bab el-Mandeb each year—an average of 55 per day. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea.

Now that Iran controls Yemen, it can virtuallyclose or open thisspigot on Middle East oil bound for Europe. And Europe is taking notice!

Historical Role of the Red Sea

By linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea has always played a key role in world affairs.

From antiquity until the 15th century, the Red Sea acted as the main thoroughfare for east-west seafaring trade. Goods from the east were transported by ship through the Gulf of Aden, through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and into the Red Sea, continuing north toward the Gulf of Suez. Once these convoys made land, they transported the cargo north and west toward Mediterranean ports, where goods were again loaded onto ships for transport to southern Europe.

However, when the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa was discovered the 15th century, the Red Sea’s importance as a global trade route waned. Now that Africa could be circumnavigated, Portuguese and then Dutch sailors used powerful westerly winds to cut down on sailing time by taking the southern route toward Asia. With the invention of steam-powered ships, ocean traffic around the southern cape increased even more dramatically in the 19th century, and Red Sea ports lost much of their strategic value.

But then in 1869, the Suez Canal opened. Suddenly, the distance between European and Asian ports was slashed by half to two thirds. The distance between Kuwait and Liverpool was reduced from 13,500 miles around the Cape of Good Hope to about 7,000 miles via the Red Sea. The route from Singapore to Liverpool was also nearly cut in half. This reinvigorated the use of the Red Sea passage, causing a huge surge in shipping and trade.

The strategic value of the Red Sea increased further in the 1930s, when oil began to flow from the Persian Gulf to Europe and the United States.

Since then, oil has become a chief commodity driving economic growth and military preparedness around the world. Thus, ensuring stability in the Red Sea and its two gates—the Suez Canal and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait—became critical to global trade and economic activity—and for maintaining the peace of the world.

Yemeni Col. Hussain al-Yadoomi wrote for the usa War College in 1991, “One of the primary duties of the international community is to act as an alert guardian to ensure that the Bab el-Mandeb Strait is available to all navigation and at all times” (emphasis mine throughout).

Now, rather suddenly, Iran—the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism—has basically become the gatekeeper to this strategic asset. This really does threaten the peaceof the world!

Western nations, led by Britain and the U.S., have tried to ensure that the Red Sea remained open by supporting relatively Western-friendly regimes in the Middle East such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Of course, the drawback to such a policy is that in the volatile Middle East, governments can change as fast as the shifting sands. But for many decades, this policy of supporting certain Middle Eastern regimes—together with a strong naval presence in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea—worked. It kept the Red Sea open most of the time.

Today, the situation has changed radically. Britain is nowhere to be seen. And to its great shame, the United States is actually supporting the Iranian takeover of Yemen! You can read more about this in our article on page 6.

Iran’s Red Sea Strategy

The Houthis’ takeover of Yemen was not just a grassroots revolution. It was a part of a deliberate and calculated Iranian strategy to conquer the Red Sea. This strategy is revealed in a powerful prophecy in the biblical book of Daniel.

As astounding as it may sound, the Prophet Daniel foretold what just happened in Yemen! He even mentions names of individual nations along the Red Sea corridor that will be aligned with Iran.

Notice it: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40). This is an end-time prophecy. It concerns the time we are living in right now, and it directly concerns these Middle Eastern nations.

For almost 25 years we have identified the king of the south as a radical Islamist power led by Iran, and the king of the north as a German-led European power. This prophecy reveals that the Iranian-led power will push at Europe. It may be that this push could take place in the very area of Yemen or the Gulf of Aden.

Notice what Michael Segall wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: “If the Shia rebels gain control of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Iran can attain a foothold in this sensitive region, giving access to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, a cause of concern not only for its sworn rivals Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states, but also for Israel and European countries along the Mediterranean. Arab commentators in the Gulf have warned in recent years about this Iranian push” (Nov. 3, 2014).

While Arab commentators may have speculated about this Iranian push in recent years, we have warned about this push for almost a quarter century! Taking over Yemen puts Iran in an even stronger position to make this push.

The following verses in Daniel reveal other nations that will align with Iran, the king of the south. Those mentioned include Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya (verses 42-43). These nations are all situated next to the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea. In April 2011, I wrote that these nations are “the key that unlocks the strategy of radical Islam. … They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world! Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia.” (My booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy explains all this in detail. Read it online or request a printed copy; all of our literature is free.)

Recent reports also indicate that Iran has established itself in Eritrea. A January 27 Breitbart News report said Egyptian intelligence has found a secret Iranian base built “at the port of Assab in Eritrea on the Red Sea.”

Look at a map. Yemen is just a short 18 miles across the water to Eritrea, which was a part of Ethiopia until as recently as 1994. Controlling these nations could give Iran virtual control of the trade through these seas!

As I wrote in 2011, “Radical Islam could stop the flow of essential oil to the U.S. and Europe.”

It is not far-fetched to envision Iran using its power to control the flow of oil out of the Middle East. The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, has threatened as much. And on January 17, the Iranian state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency published an article that said boldly: “Today, all the arteries of oil transport—from Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz—are under Iranian control, by means of Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and within range of Iranian missiles” (translation memri).

Iran is aggressively securing its foreign holdings along the Red Sea—and boasting about how it could use them!

Yet the United States is apparently allowing Iran free course in an effort to win it over in nuclear negotiations.

Many commentators recognize what this takeover in Yemen reveals about Iran’s overarching strategy in the Middle East.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said this in an interview with Fox News: “Now, it’s true that the Houthis are against al Qaeda, but the real issue is that the Houthis are a client of, supported by, and in some ways advised by Iran. And as you saw on the map, the Saudis are looking at the Iranians in the north, the Iranian allies—which is essentially Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on one side and Yemen now—to the south and west under Iranian dominance, and they are scaredto death. That’s why this is a double attack on us. It’s the loss of an ally against al Qaeda, and it’s a huge geopolitical gain for Iran, extending its influence over Arab states.”

He and others are sounding the alarm about Iran’s growing hegemony in the Middle East. But what these analysts and commentators do not see is where this situation is ultimately leading. We need Bible prophecy for that.

How It Will End

Daniel 11:40 shows that as these events play out with Iran, the United States won’t be a factor! It is Europe that Iran is going to push against. And it is Europe that will respond.

A European superpower is rising on the scene that will have the boldness and the power to deal with Iran’s pushing.

Europe is very worried about what Iran just did in Yemen. And unlike America, this European power will act!

Daniel 11:40 says Europe will come at Iran like a whirlwind. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the Hebrew word for whirlwind is “used of the commotion of a storm or a tempest; to sweep away in a storm.” Europe is going to throw everything it has at the Iranian-led radical Muslims and utterly defeat them!

That drama all starts with a push from Iran.

This is the same nation that is about to get the nuclear bomb. Iranian leaders and many of their people believe the 12th imam—their version of the Messiah—is about to return. They think his return can be hastened by creating violence and chaos. Several nations in this world have nuclear weapons—but only Iran has leaders who harbor such dangerous religious thinking! What will happen when they get nuclear weapons? What sort of nuclear chaos would they stir up if they thought it would cause their messiah to return? In the thrall of religious zealotry, they would not even care about their own destruction if they use a nuclear weapon!

But who is going to stand up toIran? If no one willstand up to it today, when it does notyet have nuclear bombs, who will stand up to it when it actually has the bomb?

The Bible does reveal that finally, after being pushed too far, the European power will stand up to the king of the south.

However, this prophecy about Yemen, the king of the north and the king of the south has a wonderful conclusion.

Reading into chapter 12 of Daniel, which is still part of this prophetic vision, we see that this clash will lead to catastrophic world war—“a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (verse 1). Many other Bible prophecies talk about this period. Jesus Christ described it as “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). This is the dramatic climax of this age of man—and once it is over, God will begin to intervene in world affairs in a powerful way.

Daniel 12:11 mentions an event toward the beginning of that “great tribulation,” when “the abomination that maketh desolate [is] set up.” Christ referred to this statement from Daniel in His famous Olivet prophecy (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14). He revealed that this “abomination” is actually “Jerusalem compassed with armies”—armies that are about to destroy the Holy City! (Luke 21:20). Putting all the prophecies together shows that these are the European armies of the king of the north after they have conquered the king of the south.

And notice the conclusion to Daniel 12:11: From the time that these armies are set up, “there shall be a thousand two hundred andninety days.”

Think about that! This prophecy reveals we are getting to a timewhere you can actually start counting days until the SecondComing of Jesus Christ! These events in Yemen show that we are almost able to begin to count the days. It was all prophesied thousands of years ago, and now every bit of it is being fulfilled before your eyes. These events are going to end with Jesus Christ’s return to Earth!

Europe Takes First Step Toward Building Military Headquarters

Europe Takes First Step Toward Building Military Headquarters

Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

The EU creates ‘the nucleus of a future European army.’

European Union leaders approved the creation of a new military headquarters on March 6. The agreement on Military Planning and Conduct Capability allows the EU to jointly run military operations abroad—the first time this kind of joint command has existed in its history. Deutsche Welle called the new facility “a military headquarters—in everything but name.”

Currently, the headquarters is limited to managing training missions. The EU is currently training local troops in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

EU leaders are clear that this is merely the beginning. “We are progressing steadily toward strengthened defense cooperation, and we will continue to do more,” said the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

“It’s a first step,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. “A European army, maybe later,” he added. The EU Observer said that some see the new headquarters as “the nucleus of a future European army.”

The EU already plans to review the headquarters next year, when it may grant it the ability to command of combat missions as well.

“We took a very important step toward a European security and defense union, because we have become very concrete,” said German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

These are small beginnings. The headquarters will be staffed with only 30 or so personnel. After much debate, EU leaders decided that Finnish Lt. Gen. Esa Pulkkinen would not be known as the “commander” of the new command center, but rather as “director.”

The establishment of a European military command center adds to the list of military-related advancements the EU has made since Britain voted to leave the bloc last summer. On Oct. 6, 2016, the EU officially launched its European Border and Coast Guard Agency. On November 30, it launched a new fund for European defense research. The fund starts at $27 million but could expand to $530 million.

All of these steps have been made in the same direction. They are almost laughably small, but they establish some drastic principles. A border and coast guard with 1,500 guards is impotent. But establishing a shared force to protect the EU’s border is a huge step. A military headquarters that does not command combat missions is similarly immpotent. But the precedent has been sent, and issuing a combat authorization or expanding staff—even drastically—is easier than establishing it in the first place.

In 1978, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

The Europeans are far more disturbed about their safety in relying on United States military power to protect them than Americans realize! The United States is not loved in Europe. European confidence in U.S. protection against their next-door Communist neighbor has been lessening and lessening.

Europeans want their own united military power!
They know that a political union of Europe would produce a third major world power, as strong as either the U.S. or the ussrpossibly stronger!

This is exactly what key leaders in Europe are pushing for. For more on this important trend, read “Is Europe Finally Ready for an Army?

EU Takes Concrete Steps Toward a Military

EU Takes Concrete Steps Toward a Military

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

EU leaders say Europe needs a defense union so it can be a ‘superpower.’

Nations in the European Union have often talked about working together on defense. Many pro-EU politicians wanted some form of an EU army. But in terms of having actual, practical plans, they have had little success—until now.

On November 14, EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on concrete steps toward greater European military cooperation.

What they outlined was not a plan for an EU army, but specific, practical steps designed to start Europe down that road.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the previous week that “we can only succeed in providing security to our citizens if we work together as a true Union, with the full potential of a superpower, in the field of security and defense” (emphasis added throughout).

“It’s more than just ‘blah, blah, blah,’” an unnamed EU diplomat said, according to the EU Observer. “There’s a new level of political ambition and a document with concrete tasks and a detailed timetable for implementation.”

The EU will now create a limited military headquarters. It will command training missions and logistics, but military missions will still be run by national governments. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said that this was “not yet a European general staff”—but it was intended to become one. They will also establish a European Medical Command.

This compromise sums up the progress that the EU made in November. A military headquarters that is not allowed to head military missions is absurd, but it’s all EU nations could agree on right now. Once operational, it would be a small matter to authorize it to head military missions as well.

The ministers also agreed that the EU needed its own joint military forces that could be sent to “situations of high security risk in the regions surrounding the EU.”

EU battle groups have existed for 10 years but have never seen action, in part, because participating states never wanted to foot the bill,” wrote the EU Observer. The ministers took some major steps toward changing that.

Under the new plan, these groups will be funded from the EU’s budget. The ministers also agreed that EU nations should not be penalized as firmly if extra defense spending takes them into debt. Once implemented, the battle groups would attract other nations to help pay for military missions.

The agreement also paves the way for greater EU cooperation on developing weapons, such as combat drones.

“I was always for an operational Europe of defense, not a declaratory one; we are now an operational Europe of defense,” said French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The ministers also agreed to examine the use of “permanent structured cooperation.” This is a provision in EU treaties that allows a smaller group of nations to move forward with a project, without the rest of the Union. So far, it has been used only in relatively minor areas, such as simplifying divorce proceedings or patent law. If the EU moves ahead with this, it will be a significant step to a so-called “two-speed” Europe, where a smaller group of nations moves rapidly toward becoming a superstate, leaving the rest behind.

In the meantime, the plans EU leaders are moving forward with have met little opposition. “Even London, after years of opposing any plan to strengthen EU defense for fear of weakening nato, said it did not oppose the plan,” noted Politico.

“The decisions taken by the EU defense ministers at their meeting ending yesterday largely meet the demands for the enhanced EU military cooperation that Berlin, for years, has been pushing for, particularly since last summer,” wrote German-Foreign-Policy.com. It concluded the article by noting:

Mogherini and [Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean] Asselborn are picking up the cues that had been openly discussed in German think tanks more than a decade ago. The struggle to implement the concept of a “superpower EU,” until now, has been hampered by the numerous internal contradictions within the alliance. This process could now be entering its decisive phase.

Meanwhile, United States President-elect Donald Trump looms over everything EU leaders are doing. This meeting and its conclusions were planned before the U.S. elections. Now that Mr. Trump has been elected, America’s commitment to Europe’s defense has been thrown into question.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has been one of the loudest voices calling for Europe and Germany need to do more now that Mr. Trump is headed for the White House. “Europe has to prepare for the fact that it must provide for itself,” she said, noting that that would mean spending more money on defense.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also renewed calls for setting up a separate army for the European Continent just hours after Donald Trump was elected.

This is one of the main events the Trumpet has been watching for the past few decades. In 1978, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

The Europeans are far more disturbed about their safety in relying on United States military power to protect them than Americans realize! The United States is not loved in Europe. European confidence in U.S. protection against their next-door Communist neighbor has been lessening and lessening.

Europeans want their own united military power! They know that a political union of Europe would produce a third major world power, as strong as either the U.S. or the ussr—possibly stronger!

European leaders today are using this exact language. “Trump knows that the EU has the money, technology and know-how to be a global power equal to the U.S., and it is not his problem that Europe lacks the political will to harness its full potential,” wrote Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament. “We Europeans have assumed for too long that it is cheaper and safer to let the U.S. solve our problems, even in our own backyard. With Trump’s election (and given America’s checkered foreign-policy legacy), we must discard this belief.”

For more on what is coming and how Herbert W. Armstrong was able to make this prediction, read our article “Is Europe Finally Ready for an Army?