Trump Hastens Europe’s Strategic Autonomy
United States leading presidential candidate Donald Trump shocked the world over the weekend by stating, “No, I would not protect you.” His words, often taken out of context, have spread like wildfire.
European Council President Charles Michel wrote on X on February 11 that Trump’s “reckless statements” do “not bring more security or peace to the world. On the contrary, they reemphasize the need for the EU to urgently further develop its strategic autonomy and invest in its defense. And to keep our alliance strong.”
This has been Europe’s response to virtually anything that Trump says. But for context, let’s consider what he actually said:
nato was busted until I came along. I said, “Everybody’s gonna pay.” They said, “What if we don’t pay, are you still going to protect us?” I said, “Absolutely not.” They couldn’t believe the answer. And everybody—you never saw more money pour in. …
I came in, I made a speech, and they said you got to pay up. They asked me that question. One of the presidents of a big country stood up said, “Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?” I said, “You didn’t pay; your delinquent?” He said, “Yes, let’s say that happened.” “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever … they want. You got to pay; you got to pay your bills.” And the money came flowing in.
The story evidently revolved around Trump praising himself for getting nato members to pay their share to the alliance. The media ran with the story to portray Trump as a Russian agent that encourages Russia to invade Europe. But does Trump have a point? Why do so many European countries fail to reach the nato minimum spending levels on their militaries?
French President Emmanuel Macron clarified the paradox in 2018 when he called for a “true European army” to protect Europe “with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.” The U.S. is listed alongside Europe’s enemies. Thus Europe’s reluctance to pay its way is more than just penny pinching. It doesn’t want to support the U.S.-dominated system.
Europe’s call for “strategic autonomy” is about more than not trusting the U.S.’s commitment to Europe. It is about wanting their own military and the ability to use it “even against the United States.”
Strategic autonomy also means empowering Germany. Former U.S. representative to nato Ivo Daalder wrote in a Politico op-ed:
Like it or not, Berlin has taken on a much more central role when it comes to Europe’s future security than many may realize —or its population might support. And now it needs to build on this new reality, taking on the leadership role its underlying economic and political power suggests it can and should.
The only question is whether Germany will step up, leading others in Europe and beyond to begin filling the void a retreating U.S. threatens to leave behind.
This is where nato’s and Europe’s quest for strategic autonomy merge. Through nato, Germany can develop an independent European army under the protective umbrella of the United States.
That’s why it is participating in the largest nato exercise since the Cold War: “Steadfast Defender.” Around 90,000 soldiers are training in national and alliance defense through June, and Germany is acting as a hub for northern, eastern and southeastern Europe, contributing 12,000 soldiers to be trained all over Europe.
“The Federal Republic of Germany is at the heart of the major Quadriga 2024 project,” the official website of the German military noted. “It is assuming leadership responsibility, providing armed forces and serving as a huge hub for the required deployment of national and international forces. In this way, Germany demonstrates its capability and reliability as a nato partner. The increased exercise activities associated with this are also necessary in order to further improve operational readiness and defense capabilities and to gain knowledge.”
What we are seeing today is exactly what the late Herbert W. Armstrong foretold. In May 1953, he warned that “10 powerful European nations will combine their forces.” In August 1978, he warned: “The Europeans are far more disturbed about their safety in relying on United States military power to protect them than Americans realize!”
What we are seeing is not a new trend caused by Donald Trump; it is something Europe has worked toward for decades. In fact, it was prophesied in your Bible. But it may be hastened by Donald Trump’s return to the White House.
Daniel 2 and Revelation 17 prophesy of the rise of a united military power consisting of 10 nations, or groups of nations. We are now seeing these powers emerge, and we are watching for the moment prophesied in Revelation 17:13: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
In a moment’s notice, these nations will suddenly unite under the leadership of one nation. To learn more, read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military.”