Germany Removes World War II Restraints From Its Military
For decades, the Trumpet has warned that Germany’s military will rise. Today, that military is undergoing drastic change, yet few are concerned. Those who express concern or criticize the nation’s recent developments are accused of Germanophobia. The media are actually cheering on Germany’s new military focus. The defense minister, Boris Pistorius, is currently Germany’s most popular politician. Yet there is reason to be concerned as he works to cast off post-World War ii restraints on the German military.
“The roots of the Bundeswehr’s challenges run deep,” Deutsche Welle wrote on May 18 in “Germany: Defense Minister Battles Bundeswehr Bureaucracy.” “Established along with the federal republic shortly after the end of Nazi rule, ‘distrust’ in the military legally kneecapped it from the get-go, Klaus Wittmann, a retired German brigadier general, told DW. Article 87 of Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law, puts a wall between the armed forces and the administration of it. That placed procurement authority for the military beyond the reach of the military itself.”
Wittmann blames the Allies for Germany’s current military failure, giving the impression that an outdated system is suppressing Germany. (Kind of like the Versailles Treaty “suppressed” Germany after World War i.) Deutsche Welle continued:
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 facilitated a change in mindset. A new sense of urgency, most concretely represented by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s “Zeitenwende” address a few days into the war, has largely overtaken German sensitivities about military power.
Unlike those who came before him, Pistorius has the wind at his back and is clear about the security reality he stepped into. He has shown an interest to learn on the job, Wittmann said, and listen to what his military counterparts say they need. …
Despite the goodwill, Wittmann said he will wait for results—and feedback from troops—before he is willing to proclaim mission accomplished.
It sounds like “German sensitivities about military power” is something to overcome and the defense minister should just do what the military wants. Deutsche Welle’s only criticism is that things are not moving fast enough.
The German media is playing a critical role as a kingmaker. Throughout the term of Pistorius’s predecessor, Christine Lambrecht, the media attacked her so strongly that she resigned. The situation is very different for Pistorius.
Business Insider revealed that Der Spiegel reporter Konstantin von Hammerstein failed to disclose to his chief editors that his daughter Elisabeth was working as a speechwriter for Pistorius while he wrote a cover story titled “Boris Pistorius: Minister Perfect?” This same reporter was one of Lambrecht’s biggest critics, contributing to her resignation. Is the German media actively supporting a more assertive, militarily dominant Germany? Consider another example.
On Oct. 19, 2021, German publishing company Axel Springer announced the acquisition of Politico, one of the world’s most influential political news outlets. Here is a little noticed part of the takeover agreement: Mathias Döpfner, ceo of Axel Springer, told the Wall Street Journal that he expected Politico staffers to follow the guidelines outlined by Axel Springer, including support for a united Europe.
Why would this have to be stated? Some are critical of a united Europe as it could give rise to greater German dominance and a united European military. But if you work at Politico, you have to be careful what you write if you believe that.
To facilitate more efficient procurement, Pistorius placed the newly formed Planning and Leadership Staff under a high-ranking military officer, Brig. Gen. Christian Freuding. In doing so, he ignored those who argue that such a high office should be supervised by a civilian.
Imke von Bornstaedt-Küpper, chairwoman of the Association of Civil Servants and Employees of the Bundeswehr, told Tagesspiegel that the new staff would be responsible for reviewing all proposals within the ministry intended for the minister, state secretaries or the inspector general of the Bundeswehr. She said the significant power held by this new military-led staff was “worrisome.” Related warnings had been “ignored,” while confidence in the military leadership was “apparently boundless,” she noted.
Consider this criticism in light of what Wittmann told Deutsche Welle—and you see that there are two opposing views. One is that the restraints that were put on Germany should be upheld to ensure the survival of democracy; the other is that they should be cast off.
The German military is under strict democratic civilian control to prevent an unelected military general shifting the military’s focus away from defense to offensive warfare. Giving the military leadership decision-making power in procurement would empower the experts of the field; however, it would also increase the risk of unchecked militarization or deviation from democratic principles.
Another recent change also gives more power to fewer German military leaders.
“For years, there has been criticism that the Bundeswehr and the Ministry of Defense are dysfunctional and cumbersome—that there are too many staffs and thus a diffusion of responsibility,” Bild wrote on April 5. “One thing is clear: The apparatus must be trimmed down. But so far, no boss has dared to tackle the unpopular reform. Boris Pistorius is now daring to take a risky maneuver and rebuild his house!”
Only weeks into his new role as defense minister, Pistorius fired Chief of Defense Eberhard Zorn and replaced him with Carsten Breuer. Since that time, Pistorius has been closely advised by Breuer, who now has full command of the armed forces. Breuer previously made headlines for overseeing Germany’s Coronavirus Crisis Staff—when the German Army helped the government in the logistical aspects of administering the vaccine to millions of people. (Even though the Army was strictly forbidden after World War ii to serve domestically, the rules have since loosened.)
According to Bild, Breuer “is closely involved, accompanying the minister [Pistorius] on important dates, including to the chancellor’s office.” Together with the top military leader, Pistorius is working on reorganizing the Bundeswehr’s leadership structure to empower fewer to make more decisions more efficiently.
This empowerment of Germany’s military leadership is what United States President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned about in February 1945, when they called for the break up of “the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism ….”
Though leaders have attempted to prevent the revival of German militarism, the Bible prophesies that it will rise in a dramatic way. Revelation 13 and 17 refer to a specific military power as a beast. It also refers to an “image of the beast” that would prove key to reviving this military empire time and again (Revelation 13:15).
As the late Herbert W. Armstrong explained in Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?, this power is the Holy Roman Empire that now awaits its prophesied final resurrection. Mr. Armstrong wrote that the image of the beast is the “counterpart of the civil Roman government.”
It is this government structure that led to the success of German militarism under Adolf Hitler and German kings and emperors before him. Hitler said his government structure came from the Roman Catholic Church. But the Roman Catholic Church copied its government from the Roman Empire. “This church government, or organization, is the image of the beast,” Mr. Armstrong concluded. “It is the pagan political counterfeit of God’s government.”
Here is the danger of this government: It gives absolute power to one man instead of God.
The German military is realizing that if you have 100 people in charge, nothing gets done. Reducing the number of men in charge presents the opportunity for one man to take over. This will get things done—but unless this man submits to God, it will bring colossal evil. That’s exactly what the Bible reveals will happen.
Watch how the government structure of the German military is being overhauled. Watch German militarism revive. And watch as one man takes charge of this empire. Watch as the prophecies of your Bible are fulfilled.
To understand more, read Mr. Armstrong’s free booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?