German pacifists signal support for the military
Germany’s Green Party, historically known for its staunch pacifism, is signaling a major change of tone. Green Party chairwoman Annalena Baerbock announced this drastic change in an interview published Nov. 30, 2020, by Süddeutsche Zeitung. She said that the Greens now support more investments in the military, a stronger joint European defense policy, and more cooperation with France, which is attempting to build a European military.
This comes after two of the party’s most prominent members of the Bundestag called for military reforms and professed commitment to the military in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article titled “Why Green Foreign Policy Needs the Bundeswehr.”
German reports identify this and Baerbock’s statement as a clear change of direction. The Green Party was established in 1980 by a group of environmentalists, nuclear energy opponents, human rights activists, social justice activists, Communists and pacifists. The Greens originally opposed the very existence of the German military. But times have changed and, importantly, the Greens have recently become the second-largest party in Germany, according to one poll, and could actually be in a position to join Germany’s next governing coalition—especially as they adopt a less radical position toward the German military.
When even the Greens want deadlier rifles and higher-resolution night vision optics, Germany’s days as a pacifist country are over.
Eastern Europe rejects EU Covid plan
Hungary and Poland vetoed a European Union-wide $887 billion covid-19 relief stimulus on Nov. 16, 2020. They objected to a clause demanding that recipients of the stimulus adhere to the “rule of law,” which is defined vaguely but subjects EU nations to discipline from the European Council.
The provision, known as Article 23, could also give the European Council precedent to act upon majority rulings, rather than the existing requirement that decisions be unanimous.
East European leaders fear that the EU is tying covid-19 relief to obedience to “European values,” as determined by Germany, France and other more powerful countries.
The veto is yet another signal to Europe and the world that the EU’s attempt to govern 27 countries by consensus and in preservation of those countries’ sovereignty is unworkable. Watch for the EU bureaucracy and the EU itself to be pared down. Europe’s more powerful countries will sidestep the concerns of countries that cling to their sovereignty and are reluctant to form a European superstate.
Your Bible prophesies that this is exactly the path Europe will take. Revelation 17:10 prophesies that a “beast,” a symbol of an empire, will be resurrected in Europe one last time. Verses 12-14 specify that it will consist of an international conglomeration of 10 separate kingdoms submitting to one overarching authority. Expect Europe’s 27-nation union to be reduced, one way or another, to a group of 10 that will amass power and steamroll the vetoes and protests of weaker nations. A European superpower is about to rise.
Germany and Russia restart pipeline
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline restarted on December 5 in the Baltic Sea, after a temporary halt due to American sanctions. When complete, the pipeline will change Germany’s relationship with Russia, the United States and the rest of Europe.
The pipeline is expected to bring 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Russia, through Finnish, Swedish and Danish waters to Germany. Workers are focusing on a 10-mile section in German territory, then the final segment: 37 miles in Danish waters.
In December 2019, the United States sanctioned all vessels involved in the project, which halted construction and compelled Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas to pull out of the project. But Germany has found ways around the U.S. as it reaches out to Russia. Once the pipeline is operational, Russia will be able to bypass Ukraine, depriving it not only of transit fees but also of gas altogether, an immensely powerful geopolitical weapon. Russia has already forcibly annexed Crimea from Ukraine and is conducting warfare against Ukrainian troops in support of rebels in the eastern part of the country.
The two most powerful countries in the region, Germany and Russia, allying with each other has ominous historical precedent. Russia and Germany will soon control not only gas prices but the supply of gas itself, a crucial commodity. And as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his 2017 article “Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America,” Russia and Germany working together “is a signal that either or both are preparing for some kind of imperialistic exploit.” He pointed out that the Bible prophesies both Germany and Russia will use their accumulating powers to help bring down the United States.
Iran nuclear architect assassinated
Iranian Gen. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s covert nuclear program for more than two decades, was assassinated on Nov. 27, 2020, when a spray of bullets struck his vehicle on the outskirts of Tehran. Some said he was killed by 12 men in cars and on motorcycles; others say it was a driverless car with remote-control weapons. Regardless, most assume the perpetrator was the Israeli government.
In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a one-of-a-kind press conference revealing thousands of files documenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program; the files had been confiscated by Israeli spies. The records showed that Iran had lied about its nuclear weapons program and intended to continue operating it in violation of the international Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
One document recorded Fakhrizadeh describing in 2011 how to split the project into an officially recognized component and a secret component. Netanyahu told the press, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”
“There is no doubt that he was the core source of authority, knowledge and organization of this program,” Israeli Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told reporters on Nov. 29, 2020. He said that Fakhrizadeh and Quds Force Cmdr. Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in January 2020, were the leaders of Iran’s two major strategic objectives: to establish a nuclear weapons program and to become a regional power.
Iran’s response has been restrained, likely because it believed President Donald Trump would leave office on January 20 and Joe Biden would keep his promise to lift sanctions on Iran and reimplement the nuclear deal, which would further endanger Israel.
This could be why the Netanyahu government has conducted air strikes against Iranians in Syria and met with the Saudi crown prince for the first time. The Trump administration has moved B-52 strategic bombers and its Nimitz carrier strike group into the region, preparing for the possibility of war.
Bible prophecy shows that, despite setbacks, Iran will amass enough power to lead a short-lived bloc of radical Islamists, characterized in Daniel 11 as “the king of the south.” Assassinations and limited warfare will pale in comparison to the bloodshed this bloc initiates.
Read The King of the South.
Russia to build base in Sudan
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved construction of Russia’s first military base in North Africa since the end of the Cold War. The naval facility in Port Sudan will boost Russian power in a region that is already destabilizing due to violence in Ethiopia and South Sudan. It is also a signal that as America pulls out, Russia steps in.
Nearly half of Sudan’s weapons come from Russia, making it Russia’s second-largest weapons buyer in Africa, and a May 2019 agreement has already boosted military cooperation and given Russia access to Sudanese ports. This agreement allows for the base to serve up to 300 Russian military personnel and four warships, as well as Russian air defense and electronic warfare systems.
Over the last decade, America has been slowly pulling out of the Middle East. President Donald Trump said in 2019, “We’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand. The job of our military is not to police the world.” During his first term, thousands of American troops stationed in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home. And the void left by America is starting to be filled by other nations, like Russia.
What if Ethiopia collapses?
Ethiopia may soon erupt into civil war. On Nov. 4, 2020, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed deployed troops in the Tigray region in response to what he said were “months of continued provocation and incitement” against the national government by the Tigray regional government, including an alleged raid by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) against a government army base for supplies. Ethiopia is now under a six-month state of emergency, and government forces are marching toward the Tigray capital, Mekelle.
The TPLF, representing about 7 percent of the population, ruled Ethiopia for about 27 years before losing power in 2018 to Abiy’s government. Abiy’s Oromo ethnic group represents about 35 percent of the population.
Ethiopia has often suffered internal and ethnic division, but war in the Tigray region could shake the entire nation. Foreign-policy analyst Yohannes Woldemariam said that this “is an existential crisis for Ethiopia. It could mean state collapse. The whole region will be affected, from refugees to destabilization” (Telegraph, Nov. 4, 2020). A senior Tigray official told Agence France-Presse that military mobilization “can trigger all-out war. … A small spark can ignite the whole region” (Nov. 5, 2020).
For many years, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has warned that Ethiopia will eventually fall into Iran’s sphere of influence, based on scriptures like Daniel 11:40-43. This is a prophecy that Ethiopia, predominantly Christian, will actually experience an Islamic takeover and ally with “the king of the south,” radical Islam, led by Iran! Conflict in the Tigray region could lead directly to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Putin Accelerates Buildup of Russian Military Power
The Russian Navy set a record last year for the number of advanced vessels it added to its fleet. Its National Defense Control Center said on Nov. 20, 2020, that 35 submarines and warships were “laid down, floated out and accepted for service in the Navy this year,” a 33 percent increase.
Three days later, the Navy announced that a 885M Kazan nuclear submarine had struck a coastal target 620 miles away with a Kalibr cruise missile. This marked one of the final tests the 64-man boat needed to pass before officially entering service. Two days after that, Russia’s newest corvette passed a test of its own by striking a sea target for the first time with a nuclear-capable Uranus missile. The next day, Russia successfully tested a Mach-8 Tsirkon hypersonic cruise ballistic missile that reached speeds of over 6,000 miles per hour. The missile is not only incredibly fast but also maneuverable, making it basically impossible to intercept.
An October 2020 report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies noted that the military of Russian President Vladimir Putin is more capable than at any time since the end of the Cold War and has been used to forcibly annex Crimea from Ukraine, conduct operations in eastern Ukraine, and intervene in the Syrian civil war.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2014 that increasing fear of Russia will prompt European nations to lay aside their differences and unite politically and militarily. To understand why it is crucial to watch Russia’s rise and Europe’s response to it, read Mr. Flurry’s article “The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe!”
China’s ‘Secretive’ Nuclear Weapons Buildup Exposed
United States intelligence documents declassified on Nov. 13, 2020, reveal that China is carrying out a secret strategy to rapidly increase its number of nuclear warheads and the capability of their delivery systems.
The documents, published by the Washington Times, consist of a collection of slides that were shown during a recent briefing for members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They show significant expansions underway at China’s Jiuquan Atomic Energy Complex, a nuclear weapons research facility in Mianyang and a military reactor facility in Leshan.
“[I]t is clear from imagery that China is engaged in a secretive crash buildup of its infrastructure,” Marshall Billingslea, the U.S. State Department’s chief diplomat for weapons control, told the Washington Times. “There is no doubt that China wants to be on par with the United States and Russia in terms of its military and nuclear capabilities.”
Meanwhile, as China’s arsenal grows, it is also developing, testing and refining the equipment needed to deliver its growing number of warheads to their targets.
Billingslea calculates that in 2018 and 2019, China test-launched an astounding 225 ballistic missiles, more than the rest of the world combined.
Nagorno-Karabakh Is Back in the USSR
Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russia-brokered agreement on Nov. 9, 2020, to stop the conflict revolving around the region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus. The deal appears to have brought an end to the fighting, but also represents a boost to Russia’s power in a critical part of the world.
Nagorno-Karabakh is legally part of Azerbaijan, but it is populated by ethnic Armenians and has been under Armenian control since the 1990s. The agreement follows a steady Azerbaijani offensive where Azerbaijan captured Nagorno-Karabakh’s second-largest town, Shusha (Shushi in Armenian). Under the treaty, Azerbaijan will keep Shusha, as well as all other territories Azerbaijani troops have reached.
The agreement is seen as a major victory for Azerbaijan. But the bigger winner is actually Russia, which stationed almost 2,000 Russian soldiers within Nagorno-Karabakh to maintain the peace.
Early in his reign, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He has spent a great deal of his 20 years as Russia’s leader trying to reverse that “catastrophe.” In 2008, his forces invaded the former soviet nation of Georgia and brought a fifth of the nation’s territory under Moscow’s control where it remains to this day. Six years later, he invaded the former soviet state of Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Now he is positioned to do the same in the South Caucasus.