Collapse of Trump-Kim Talks Hastens Japan’s Military Normalization

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28 in Hanoi, Vietnam
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Collapse of Trump-Kim Talks Hastens Japan’s Military Normalization

‘Can the guardian be trusted?’

Following the collapse of talks last month between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Japan has more reason than ever to accelerate its return to militarization.

“The major question that has emerged from the Hanoi talks is what Japan will do now,” George Friedman wrote for Geopolitical Futures on March 5. He pointed out that Japan has the third-largest economy in the world, a powerful military and “an enormous capacity to increase that force.”

The talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended with Trump and Kim failing to reach a deal on denuclearizing North Korea. The North has since begun rebuilding a rocket testing site that it had previously begun to dismantle. Japan has more reason than ever to tap into its “enormous capacity” to increase its military power.

The U.S. has failed to denuclearize North Korea with diplomacy, and it appears unwilling to do so with military action. So, despite any rhetoric saying otherwise, Washington has accepted North Korea as a nuclear power—as long as its weapons are unable to strike the U.S. mainland. This American calculus, according to Friedman, “completely destabilizes Japan’s strategy.”

Japan’s strategy since shortly after its defeat in World War ii has been to rely largely on the U.S. for guarantees of its national security. Shortly after that 1945 defeat, the U.S. included a clause in the Japanese Constitution banning war as a means for the country to settle international disputes. The clause added that “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained” by Japan. The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security signed in 1960 ensured that Japan would survive this enforced pacifism by guaranteeing that the U.S. would defend it.

Most significantly, America’s nuclear umbrella has guaranteed that any country that strikes Japan with nuclear weapons will face retribution from U.S. forces.

But, as Friedman wrote, “The Hanoi talks subtly shift that guarantee.”

If the U.S.’s new position is that it cannot tolerate a North Korean nuclear arsenal that threatens America, then “[i]mplicit in that position is that it can tolerate one that threatens Japan,” he wrote.

“The U.S. nuclear umbrella is notionally still there, but the United States’ reluctance to engage raises the question of whether North Korea will be deterred,” Friedman wrote. “So, the U.S. nuclear deterrent still guards Japan—but can the guardian be trusted?”

This lack of trust will likely prompt the Japanese to work more vigorously toward becoming a full-fledged, normalized military power again. In recent years, Japan has already taken some major steps toward military normalization, not only because of North Korea’s rising threat, but also due to increasing aggression from China and Russia. This new reality on the Korean Peninsula gives Japan cause to intensify those efforts. The emerging new reality could also soon see Japan add nuclear weapons to its arsenals.

Given Japan’s history of wartime fanaticism, the idea of it being a formidable, possibly nuclear-armed, military power is chilling. But this lines up with Bible prophecy.

World-renowned educator Herbert W. Armstrong discussed this topic in the June-July 1934 issue of the Plain Truth: “Scripture prophesies two great military powers to arise in the last days—one the revival of the Roman Empire by a federation of 10 nations in the territory of the ancient Roman Empire; the other … Russia, with her allies … possibly China or Japan.”

The July 1966 Plain Truth addressed the possibility of a nuclear Japan, writing: “With China possessing the bomb, does Japan dare not build one of her own? Japan is the supergiant of the Orient, rising to dizzying heights of economic prosperity. … Japan could join the ‘nuclear club’ any time!”

The April 1968 issue of the Plain Truth again emphasized Japan’s role in biblically prophesied end-time events: “… Asia will ultimately be welded together into a common power bloc. It will ultimately send its military muscle into the Middle East at the return of Jesus Christ. This prophecy is recorded in Revelation 16:12 and 16. Japan will play a vital role in this battle.”

Again in the March 1971 issue, Mr. Armstrong wrote that Japan would soon shake off its postwar pacifism and rearm. “Japan today has no military establishment,” he wrote. “But we should not lose sight of the fact that Japan has become so powerful economically that it could build a military force of very great power very rapidly.”

Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts may have seemed implausible when he issued them, particularly when Japan was almost entirely stripped of military power. But today, with rising threats from North Korea and other nations in Japan’s periphery, and with America’s security guarantees in question, it is clear that Mr. Armstrong’s Bible-based analysis was correct.

To understand the Bible passages that Mr. Armstrong based his accurate analysis of Japan on, the unprecedented destruction this trend will contribute to, and the ineffable hope that is at the heart of these Bible passages, read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”

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Iran Conducts Its Largest Offensive Drone Exercise

Iranians walk past Iran’s Shahed 129 drone displayed during celebrations in Tehran to mark the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Feb. 11, 2016.
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Iran Conducts Its Largest Offensive Drone Exercise

The push for aerial supremacy is an expression of Iran’s desire to conquer Jerusalem.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc) held a massive aerial exercise over the Persian Gulf on March 14, in its first large-scale drill using offensive drones, according to the Washington Post. Multiple sources say the 50 Iranian-made Shahed 171 drones, copies of the United States-built RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone, flew over 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) before successfully striking their intended target on the Bani Farur Island in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

The historic drill was attended by irgc deputy head Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami and Aerospace Force Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, two prominent figures in Iran’s military. Hajizadeh said, “One of the features of this exercise is the power to design and plan co-flying uavs in a very small geographic area,” which heralds the “rise of a new air power in Islamic Iran.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, the “Beit al-Maqdis,” or “Way to Jerusalem,” exercise was the first time Iran had operated so many drones in an “offensive operation” that was conducted with “high precision.” irgc Maj. Gen. Golam Ali Rashid said, “[T]oday we are witnessing the strongest maneuvers of the irgc’s Aerospace Forces.” He said the U.S. should be “humiliated and feel shame.”

In 2011, Iran captured a downed U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone. It immediately went to work reverse engineering it. In November 2014, its first copy—the Shahed 171—modified with bombing capabilities in addition to its reconnaissance capabilities, took its first test flight.

On February 12, Israel intercepted an Iranian drone flying in Israeli airspace; it was later determined to be an updated Shahed 171.

“[I]t’s more sophisticated since it’s supposed to be jet powered. But from the video released by the Israel Defense Forces, you don’t see any trails of hot air typical of jet-powered vehicles,” said Tal Inbar, director of the uav and space program at Israel’s Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies. “Either way, the fact that it was tracked and shot down by the Israel Air Force was a test for both sides: For the Iranians, it showed that they need to improve upon their stealth properties.”

On February 21, Lebanon’s tv Al-Manar quoted Hazjizadeh as saying, “Seven to eight [U.S.] drones that had constant flights over Syria and Iraq were brought under our control, and their intel was monitored by us, and we could gain their firsthand intel.”

The Iranian government-influenced Fars News Agency footage below shows Iran infiltrating the U.S. Army’s Command Center and gaining control of a U.S. drone. The drone malfunctioned and crashed into the desert. Uncertain of who was controlling the drone, U.S. forces decided to bomb the drone, destroying it. An Iranian drone flying in the area recorded the footage.

Iran’s drone advancements are a crucial aspect of its desire to export terrorism to its various proxy networks. Experts have linked back to Iran various drones from Shiite militias in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Quds Force in Syria and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

On Feb. 18, 2018, Iran’s government-influenced Tasnim News Agency quoted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying, “Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it.”

Tasnim has frequently quoted Khamenei saying that Iran “will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities.” Iran’s persistence as a major pioneer in drone technology—its capabilities in reverse engineering American military technology—proves this fact.

Iran is an extremely aggressive nation with the goal of destroying Israel and conquering Jerusalem. Iran relies heavily on Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, the expeditionary branch of the irgc. Suleimani reports directly to the ayatollah in Tehran and has been instrumental in Iran’s strategy revolving around Jerusalem.

Daniel 11:40 prophesies about a radical, pushy power: “the king of the south.” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry identifies radical Islam, led by Iran, as this power in his booklet The King of the South (request your free copy here). In this booklet, Mr. Flurry examines Iran’s strategy to achieve regional hegemony. “The most precious jewel of Iran’s plan is to conquer Jerusalem,” he writes. “The blatantly bold and aggressive foreign policy of Iran must lead to war. It will either conquer or be conquered.”

Iran will keep pushing to try to conquer Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). Even the name of Iran’s “Way to Jerusalem” aerial exercise reveals its desire to take over that city.

For more information about Iran’s goal of conquering Jerusalem and the prophesied events leading to that city’s magnificent future, request Mr. Flurry’s free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

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Private Bunkers Increasing in Popularity

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Private Bunkers Increasing in Popularity

More and more people are taking world dangers seriously. Will safehouses and stockpiles of food be enough?

Around the world, private individuals are paying big bucks to prepare for a nuclear disaster. Firms such as the Panic Room Co. in Britain have recently reported dramatic increases in sales.

“As the global political stage becomes increasingly volatile,” the Panic Room Co. writes on its website, “we have recorded a dramatic increase in enquiries in this area [of residential nuclear bunkers]. Our clients demand guaranteed Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (nbc) protection within their own homes for themselves and their family.”

The Panic Room Co. installs nuclear bomb-proof bunkers and safe rooms for customers in cities and in relatively remote locations, both in and outside Britain.

“Certain people are getting richer,” said Paul Weldon, managing director of the Panic Room Co., “and, as the world’s issues get more complicated, security comes higher up their list of things they need and want.”

Rising S Bunkers, America’s leading steel bunker manufacturer, has reported a tripling of its sales and an increase in demand for luxury bunkers since 2016, following on the heels of rising political tensions.

Bunkers can vary in price, from simple underground shelters costing tens of thousands of dollars to luxury suites costing millions. In Kansas, an abandoned missile silo was renovated into a luxury condo complex with multiple power sources, aquaponics systems, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and other amenities. Apartments in this project cost $1.5 to $3 million.

The fear of nuclear catastrophe is real, with many investing thousands and even millions of dollars into their post-apocalyptic survival.

United States President Donald Trump walked away from nuclear talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Iran’s nuclear program is alive and well. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia has fallen apart. Germany is preparing to build nuclear weapons. The U.S., Russia, China and other nations already have enough nuclear weapons and delivery systems to annihilate every human being on Earth multiple times over.

But will bunkers and stockpiles of food and water really protect what’s left of humanity in the event of a global cataclysm?

A computer program by the American Geophysical Union Journal modeled the results of a small, limited nuclear war. The hypothetical war between India and Pakistan was limited to the use of 100 nuclear detonations, each equivalent to the “Little Boy” bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. This limited nuclear war would have devastating global effects.

According to the model, the Earth’s ozone layer would diminish to “levels unprecedented in human history,” meaning humans around the world would be exposed not only to radiation from the bombs, but from the sun itself. Increased UV radiation would also damage ecosystems in every part of the globe. A worldwide drop in temperatures would reduce agricultural growing seasons by 10 to 40 days per year for five years. The world would see significantly less rainfall. A famine would result.

When nuclear war does come, it will certainly be far worse than a hundred 15-kiloton explosions.

Underground bunkers would be hard-pressed to save humanity from such disruptions of the Earth’s delicate calibration necessary for human—or any—life.

Jesus Christ Himself said as much when speaking of the deadly conflicts preceding His Second Coming. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Matthew 24:21-22). The Moffatt translation of this passage makes it clear that the potential destruction would be so complete that no flesh would be “saved alive”!

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discusses this threat of nuclear annihilation in his free booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’ He writes:

Many nations have weapons of mass destruction—including nuclear bombs. The Prophet Daniel called this “the time of the end”—or as Moffatt translates it, “the crisis at the close”—the crisis of all crises!

This is all tied to the Great Tribulation, or the fifth seal. In this seal, Christ also gives us an insight into the conclusion of the seventh seal—His return. …

No flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22; Moffatt translation) if Christ didn’t intervene and stop nuclear World War iii!

Only God can solve our number one problem: that of human survival. Our only hope physically is to repent spiritually. If nations refuse, individuals can still repent and receive protection.”

We have to take note of this warning message, a message that Mr. Flurry has called “the most mind-staggering prophecy Jesus Christ ever spoke when He was on this Earth. Herbert W. Armstrong called it the pivotal New Testament prophecy.”

Nuclear bunkers cannot protect anyone from the effects of the nuclear war that will be part of the prophesied Great Tribulation. But God can and will protect those who have repented and dedicated themselves to Him! That protection is the physical hope we have if we obey God wholeheartedly.

And there is an even greater spiritual hope connected to our future after Christ’s return! Read Mr. Flurry’s free booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door’ for God’s perspective of the crisis mankind has thrown itself into, and the incredible hope that lies beyond!

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How Russia Conquered Crimea: A Five-Year Retrospective

Armed soldiers without identifying insignia guard the entrance to the Ukrainian Navy Headquarters building on March 19, 2014, in Sevastopol, Ukraine.
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How Russia Conquered Crimea: A Five-Year Retrospective

‘The Ukraine debacle has taken us a giant step closer to World War iii.’

Five years ago today, Russia officially annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. “The Ukraine debacle has taken us a giant step closer to World War iii,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote at the time. If you understand what really happened in Crimea, from the state of the world in the 1980s to the era of Vladimir Putin to today, you will realize why world war looms in the future.

Back in the U.S.S.R.

During the 1980s, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was going strong in its decades-long Cold War standoff against the United States. The Soviet Union consisted of Russia, by far its most dominant nation, as well as Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Russia forged all of these nations and their various peoples into a Communist, nuclear-armed superpower.

But by the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union’s economic, social and political problems were reaching a breaking point, and it began to crack. By the end of 1991, the bloc had totally crumbled, leaving behind Russia and 14 separate republics, which became independent nations.

The West rejoiced at the collapse, hailing it as a triumph for liberty, a conquest for democracy, and proof of the supremacy of the free market over socialism. Most former Soviet nations were thankful for their independence: They began constructing freer societies.

But for Russia, it was a humiliating defeat. Russians trudged through the next decade as a depleted, exhausted, unstable nation.

The 20th Century’s ‘Greatest Catastrophe’

Vladimir Putin lived through the Soviet Union’s collapse and those subsequent years of Russian defeat and humiliation. He became Russia’s president in the year 2000. In 2005, he made a statement that revealed his worldview: “The demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

The 20th century was blighted by World War i and World War ii, which included unspeakable atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing and the Holocaust. The century was also scarred by the Holodomor, inflicted by the Soviet Union on its own people; the Great Famine, inflicted by Communist China on its own people; a nuclear arms race that gave mankind the ability to extinguish all human life; and other catastrophes.

But in Putin’s mind, none of these developments was as catastrophic as the collapse of the Soviet Union. He views it as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century because it decimated Russia’s power over those 14 nations and its power in the world.

His 2005 statement shows that Putin deeply laments the collapse of that Soviet bloc; and three years after uttering those words, he took a major step toward rebuilding Russian power.

Correcting the ‘Catastrophe’

In early August 2008, Russian forces invaded the former Soviet nation of Georgia. The Russians quickly overpowered Georgian forces and asserted control over the two regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which constitute about 20 percent of Georgia’s internationally recognized territory. Suddenly, these areas of a sovereign nation were back under Russian control, just as they had been during the Soviet era.

This was a major geopolitical event, and it sent reverberations around the globe.

A few days after the invasion, as the dust was still settling on the conflict, Mr. Flurry wrote a landmark article about it. He 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!” (theTrumpet.com, Aug. 22, 2008).

‘Ukraine Is Next’

Mr. Flurry went on to specifically name which former Soviet nation Russia would set its sights on next.

“Today, you have [Western leaders] trying to also bring … Ukraine into nato,” he wrote. “I don’t believe Russia will ever allow that to happen. … Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well” (ibid).

Some who read that 2008 article may have dismissed it and forgotten about it a short time later. But on Nov. 21, 2013, political crisis broke out in Ukraine when President Viktor Yanukovych announced he was pulling the nation out of an agreement to more deeply integrate with the European Union. The announcement came after Yanukovych had a secret meeting with Putin, during which Putin pressured him to pull out of the EU deal and to work instead on bringing Ukraine back to closer alignment with Russia.

Just days before this momentous announcement by Yanukovych, Mr. Flurry filmed an episode of The Key of David about the role of Russia and its leader in Bible prophecy. He highlighted Revelation 9:16, which describes an Asian force of 200 million soldiers fighting in World War iii. He also discussed Ezekiel 38:2, which says this massive Asian force will be led by “the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (New King James Version).

Meshech and Tubal, he explained, are early names corresponding to modern Russian cities, and Rosh is a variation of an ancient name for Russia.

In that episode, which first aired on Nov. 22, 2013, Mr. Flurry showed that these are end-time prophecies and he made a bold and specific forecast: He said Putin will likely be the “prince of Russia” that leads this end-time Asian force. “Vladimir Putin could very well become the leader of the 200 million-solider army talked about in Revelation 9:16, because that great army is going to be led by Russia,” he said. “That’s what Bible prophecy says. This great conglomerate is going to be led by the Russians, and perhaps by Vladimir Putin himself. He is a man, I think, that is ideally qualified for such a job. We need to watch him and watch what’s happening in Russia.”

After Yanukovich’s November 21 announcement that he would align Ukraine more closely with Russia rather than with the EU, many Ukrainians were furious. These people didn’t want to see Ukraine controlled by Russia again. Half a million of them took to the streets for mass protests, demanding that Yanukovych step down.

The protests simmered for weeks and in February 2014, they grew violent. At least 67 people died in demonstrations that month, and on the 22nd, Yanokoych fled the presidential palace and eventually went into exile in Russia.

Meanwhile, “little green men” began showing up on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. These were later confirmed to have been Russian special forces. But all insignia had been removed from their uniforms, so Russia was able to officially deny invovlement. The unmarked soldiers seized the parliament building in Crimea and raised the Russian flag there.

By the end of February, these troops, along with pro-Russian Crimean militias, had taken up positions around two of Crimea’s airports and a coast guard base. They had seized numerous government buildings. Ukrainian officials, desiring to avoid more violence and more Russian provocations, ordered the Ukrainian military not to resist. All the while, even though it was clear to analysts that these were Russian operatives and Russian forces, Putin remained silent.

On March 11, as Russian operatives grew increasingly aggressive, Crimea’s supreme council and officials in Sevastopol announced that they would hold a referendum about whether the people of the region wanted to join Russia. The referendum was constitutionally illegal and the vote was sullied with myriad irregularities. It was a sham, basically held at gunpoint. But for Putin, it worked.

On March 18, 2014—five years ago today—a treaty was signed to officially incorporate Crimea, including Sevastopol into the Russian Federation. Much of eastern Ukraine was also left in a state of frozen conflict, giving Russia de facto control over it. So Putin had reclaimed some strategically vital segments of the old Soviet geography for Russian control. He had made a major advance in his goal of rebuilding the Soviet Empire’s power—as five years earlier Mr. Flurry had forecast would happen.

‘Literally a Sign’

In the May 2014 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet, Mr. Flurry wrote about the significance of Putin’s takeover, stressing how his underhanded approach had averted a Western response. “In a stroke, Russian President Vladimir Putin redrew Ukraine’s borders,” he wrote. “Before the West realized exactly what was happening, Russia had captured Crimea without firing a shot. … Russia succeeded in swallowing another nation’s sovereign territory.”

Mr. Flurry reiterated his prophecy about Putin fulfilling the role of the “prince of Rosh” mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2, and he explained that the increasing aggression of Putin’s Russia would hasten the fulfillment of an even more significant end-time prophecy: the unification of Europe. He wrote: “The fear you see in Europe because of events in Crimea is going to cause 10 leaders in Europe to unite in a sudden and dramatic way—and in precise accordance with the Bible’s description of that European empire!”

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry later wrote that, although the direction of Putin’s Russia shows that the world is on the fast track to global catastrophe, there is also great cause for hope tied into these developments.

He explained that the fact that Putin is now in power proves that the most hope-filled event in mankind’s history is near. He wrote:

Mr. Putin’s warfare is going to lead directly into the Second Coming of Christ. … Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign, that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible.

What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away. …

We have to realize that this is all good news because Jesus Christ is going to return to this Earth at the very end of the coming world war. …. Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear.

To better understand the game-changing history from five years ago, and to understand these vital Bible passages and the peril and hope that is connected to them, order your free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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India Signs $3 Billion Nuclear Submarine Deal With Russia

Indian Navy contingents march during the 70th Republic Day Parade at Rajpath, on January 26 in New Delhi, India.
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India Signs $3 Billion Nuclear Submarine Deal With Russia

With a population of 1.3 billion and a strong military, India is almost certain to join an alliance with Russia and China.

India signed a $3 billion contract to lease Russia’s Akula-1 class nuclear-powered attack submarine for 10 years on March 7, ignoring America’s threats of sanctions and showing that it places a higher value on its alliance with Russia and other regional powers.

An agreement was reached between Russia and India after six years of negotiation. Called the Chakra iii by the Indian Navy, the Russian Akula-1 class submarine will likely be delivered to India by 2025. The Chakra iii will be India’s third Russian-acquired nuclear attack submarine. This submarine will replace the Indian Navy’s ins Chakra, another Akula-class submarine leased from Russia in 2012. India acquired its first nuclear attack submarine from Russia in 1988, which India held until 1991.

By signing another weapons deal with Russia, India is ignoring the U.S. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (caatsa) prohibits America’s traditional allies (like India) from purchasing military technology from Russia. This law requires the U.S. to levy economic sanctions on India for making the deal with Russia.

In October, India signed a $5 billion deal to purchase five Russian S-400 missile systems. The U.S. warned India that such a transaction would result in economic sanctions. But India is clearly willing to sacrifice its relatively new relationship with the U.S. in favor of its long-standing partnership with Russia.

Recent trends show that India is shifting its foreign policy away from the West and toward the East. During the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (brics) 2014 summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Even a child in India, if asked to say who is India’s best friend, will reply it is Russia, because Russia has been with India in times of crisis.”

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, relations between Russia and India remained warm and developed into a “special relationship.” In 2000, the leaders of both nations signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership Between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, which produced unprecedented levels of cooperation in defense, economy, technology and security. Russia became India’s largest weapons supplier.

In 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin upgraded the relationship to a “special and privileged” strategic partnership. When Russia forcibly annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, the West protested, but India supported Russia. In 2015, India became the world’s largest importer of armaments with most of those imports coming from Russia. From 2009 to 2013, Russia supplied roughly 75 percent of India’s arms imports.

“Russia has been India’s foremost defense partner through the decades,” Modi said on Dec. 11, 2014. “Even as India’s options have increased today, Russia will remain our most important defense partner.”

In addition to its good relations with Russia, India’s motivation to align more closely with other Asian nations has to do with China. China and India have had a rocky history, but recently, relations between the two have improved dramatically. Our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy states:

[S]ince both nations heartily support Putin’s Russia, and since both are driven by increasingly anti-Western ideologies, it is not unreasonable to anticipate a great thaw in the future of Indo-Chinese relations. Already many signs point to such a shift. …

But somewhat suddenly, things are different. The three [Russia, China and India] are the top shareholders in China’s aiib [Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank], all are part of brics bank, and all are members of the sco [Shanghai Cooperation Organization]. All of these massive institutions are designed to diminish and eventually end the era of Western dominance. …

Many signs today show that global power is shifting from West to East. India has been a key part of that shift, and if it continues to cooperate with Russia and China, it is likely to take on an even greater role.

The book of Revelation describes an Asian bloc known as “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). Ezekiel 38 prophesies that this massive bloc of Asian nations will be led primarily by Russia and secondarily by China. “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet,” (verse 5). Russia and China in Prophecy states:

This passage in Ezekiel goes on to list “Ethiopia, and Libya … and many people” being allied with Russia and China (verses 5-6). Ethiopia and Libya should be translated “Cush” and “Phut.” Although portions of the tribes of Cush and Phut migrated to African nations, the rest settled in areas of India. The context of this passage shows that it refers to modern-day Indians (and perhaps Pakistanis) rather than African peoples.

With its robust military and economic ties to Russia and improved relations with China, India will be incorporated into this kings of the east alliance.

To understand more about India’s role in this biblically prophesied Asian alliance, please request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.

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This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (March 16)

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (March 16)

New Zealand mosque attack, Iran in Iraq, Algerian crisis, and more

Here are five of the most important news stories this week, as well as relevant links to the full articles and videos here on theTrumpet.com.

Day of Tragedy: 50 Dead in New Zealand Mosque Attacks

New Zealand suffered one of its worst-ever massacres on Friday when a heavily armed white supremacist killed at least 50 individuals and wounded 48 others in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The Australian-born perpetrator, identified as Brenton Tarrant, reportedly had been planning the attack for two years and decided three months ago to target the city of Christchurch. He posted his intentions online as part of a 73-page manifesto, which outlined far-right, anti-immigrant views. Tarrant allegedly carried out the attacks in revenge for terrorist acts perpetrated by Muslim “invaders” against Europeans.

Attacks like this point to serious problems in our societies: failures in family that can lead to monsters like Tarrant, the failure of multiculturalism, the spread of terrorism around the world.

Iran in Iraq: Validation of Biblical Prophecy

On Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Iraq for an official state visit, his first since taking office in 2013.

We consider this trip a new start in our relations with Iraq,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on March 9, according to Iran’s Press tv. He discussed “joint interests” and “regional cooperation.” Zarif thanked Iraq for having “refused the unjust and illegal sanctions imposed on the Iranian people.”

Symbolically, Rouhani’s visit was a warm embrace between former bitter enemies that announced to the world, and particularly the United States, that Iraq is now firmly in the Iranian camp, at the expense of the U.S.

This was directly prophesied in the Bible.

Algerian Crisis: Opportunity for Iran, Threat to Europe

Algerian strongman and national hero President Abdelaziz Bouteflika caved to pressure from mass demonstrators and dropped his bid for a fifth term on Monday. “There will be no fifth term,” he was quoted as saying. “There will be no presidential election on April 18.”

With no clear successor in sight, the leadership vacuum presents Iranian-backed radical Islamists with an opportunity to hijack the nation, which would pose a dangerous strategic threat to Europe.

America to Withdraw Troops From Africa

Speaking in Munich on February 20, United States Africa Command Gen. Thomas Waldhauser revealed that hundreds of U.S. troops, including commandos, will withdraw from West Africa over the coming years.

The withdrawal includes 300 commandos, 25 percent of the total stationed in Africa. These are forces specially trained to deal with West Africa’s endemic insurgency problems and provide support and training to the local militaries, which carry out antiterrorism raids.

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China Increases Military Spending Despite Economic Slowdown

China is set to increase its military spending by 7.5 percent over last year, according to a recent budget report by the nation’s annual parliamentary meeting. Although the increase is smaller than last year’s 8.1 percent increase, China is showing the world that modernizing its military remains a top priority despite an economic slowdown and a trade war with the United States.

China’s 2019 defense budget of more than $177 billion is regarded by many analysts as an indicator of the country’s strategic goals. It has already revealed plans to transform its navy in 2019 and beyond.

To understand the significance of China’s growing military prowess, read “China Increases Military Spending Despite Economic Slowdown” and “Why the Trumpet Watches the Rise of China as a Superpower.”

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