Europe Is Undertaking a Massive Arming Spree

British soldiers storm an enemy position in a simulated attack during the NATO “Brilliant Jump” military exercises on February 26 in Poland.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Europe Is Undertaking a Massive Arming Spree

Europe is in a prime position to become a military superpower, buying the latest and the best weaponry.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Euronews in February that since the invasion of Ukraine, European Union member states have increased their military spending: in 2022, a total of €240 billion (us$259.2 billion); in 2023, €280 billion ($302.4 billion); and this year, an expected €350 billion ($378 billon).

Those are some astonishing increases.

By comparison, China’s draft budget revealed that funding for national defense will reach $233 billion this year. The United States military budget is about $825 billion for 2024.

But unlike China, Europe has a world-class military industry and can buy from the best in the world. And unlike the U.S., Europe is able to drastically increase its military budget.

Reuters wrote on March 11: “Biden’s Meager 1 Percent U.S. Defense Budget Increase Buys Fewer Ships, Jets.” This supposed increase doesn’t even cover inflation, nor is it enough to restock supplies sent to Ukraine. No doubt the U.S. is still militarily dominant, but there is a trend here we need to watch closely. If you consider America’s astronomical debt; its high expenses in merely maintaining military bases, personnel and equipment; and its deep social division, you see a superpower in decline.

Contrast that to what we see in Europe.

The European industry commissioner said, “We need to change the paradigm and move into war economy mode.” War economy. That means turning the primary focus of the whole economy toward preparing Europe for war. The massive military expenditures are about to get much bigger. Europe is preparing for war!

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported on March 11 that European states almost doubled imports of major arms (up 94 percent) between the periods of 2014–2018 and 2019–2023. The same report notes that France is now the second-largest military exporter, overtaking Russia, which is preoccupied with its brutal war on Ukraine.

On one of its websites, the EU shows that its member states issued over 31,000 licenses for arms sales in 2022 for a combined value of over €176 billion ($190 billion). “With that, the EU remains an important exporter of military equipment and technology,” it states, “sharing about a quarter of global international trade in arms.”

About a quarter of the world’s international arms trade is made by the EU. Only the U.S. ships more weapons around the world. How much power will Europe have if it concentrates its efforts on one single target?

But there is something concerning. The power leading these efforts is Germany—the very nation that started two world wars! Read my article in the April Trumpet issue, “Germany’s Astonishing Military Rise.”

“We Germans have to get involved,” Bild chief reporter Peter Tiede wrote. “Thirty-four years after the unification, it is time to behave as what we are: a power.” They are vaulting themselves right back into becoming a war-making power! Shouldn’t the history of two bloody world wars concern us more? It certainly ought to!

How has Germany gotten all this power? Didn’t the Allies, as World War ii neared its end, pledge that this nation would never again rise militarily? Remember how Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt said, “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world”?

Things have dramatically changed since then!

Germany has a long history of war, even back to ancient times. The Germans are great people, but they have repeatedly given rise to terrible war-making.

Do we really know what’s going on in Germany? I don’t think we do. Many people in the West think Germany is our close friend, but it is not. We have said that for some 75 years.

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.” This is referring to the 10 kings prophesied in Daniel 2 and Revelation 17. Now the EU includes 27 nations, but it will pare down to 10 kings, led by Germany.

The only thing Germany and Europe now need, truly, is political will. With the right leadership, the situation in that country can change rapidly and drastically.

Right now, any proposals need approval not only from the European Parliament but also from all 27 national governments, and these have often been reluctant to cede power on defense and military matters. You can understand why it must be reduced down to 10 nations with one in charge. Germany wants a small group of nations that are absolutely committed to following its lead.

In August 1978, Mr. Armstrong warned, “The Europeans are far more disturbed about their safety and relying on the United States’ military power to protect them than Americans realize.” If that was true then, how much worse is it today?

Keep your eyes on Germany—and on Europe. Bible prophecy shows us where this trend in militarization is leading—and it will soon affect the lives of every person on Earth!