Germany Removes Restrictions on Military


Germany Removes Restrictions on Military

Germany finally threw away any semblance of post-World War II contrition with the release of its latest “white paper” on defense last week.

Tremendous tensions are building below the surface of the media spin and political rhetoric that spill forth in the daily news of current events amid this century’s global disorder.

Something is about to break—something big.

Far bigger than the continuing military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Larger by far in the totality of its effect on the nations than any of its plethora of present mutually destructive skirmishes, famines, catastrophes or pestilential plagues. Though these continue to destroy millions of souls each year as America, Britain and their fellow English-speaking nations grow fat on bloated credit and out-of-control national debts, this collection of continuing, ever-building, seemingly unsolvable international woes will vastly pale into apparent insignificance by that which is even now building on the world scene. And when it breaks—which will be soon, very soon—it will literally shake all nations with the most powerful geopolitical earthquake in history.

The focus of these great events will ultimately be the city of Jerusalem. The action, primed by the present tensions arising from Iran’s pushy foreign policy against the West, now involving its threatening of the European supporters of Israel, will flow primarily from the European continent.

The seeds of this great future world event were sown long ago with the creation of a nation—a nation consisting of a group of mixed tribes that emerged over time from the great migrations from Mesopotamia, heading northward to the Black and Caspian Seas, then trekking west, following Europe’s great river systems, to eventually settle between the Oder and the Rhine Rivers, their southern border being the Alps, and to their north, the Baltic and North Seas.

Thus settled in Central Europe, these tribes ultimately evolved into numerous petty statelets, each posing no real threat to the world at the time, yet which together within the 17th century were responsible for 30 years of bloody and horrendous warfare—religious war—among themselves. This Thirty Years War finally terminated with a treaty of exhaustion famously known as the Peace of Westphalia, concluded in 1648.

These were the Teutons, the Deutschevolk, that grand mix of Germanic tribes that longed for identity, for unity as a people, for a national soul. They finally got it, courtesy of that great Prussian statesman Count Otto Von Bismarck, master of the art of treaty-making. In fact, not only did they get a national identity, but they also got an empire to boot!

In 1867, Bismarck became chancellor of the North German Confederation. His striving for German unification, together with the lust for Lebensraum (an expansion of territory giving more “room to live”), set a pattern that would be repeated in the future.

By 1871, this confederation of German states quickly expanded into the German Empire following Bismarck’s successful challenge to France’s supremacy in Europe in the Franco-Prussian War. In 1871, Bismarck became the first chancellor—the “Iron Chancellor”—of the German Empire. This empire grew intercontinentally in the remaining decade of the 19th century to eventually include regions of Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

By 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm had led Germany into the greatest war that this world had witnessed to that date. Though figures vary, well over 8 million souls were slaughtered in that Great War, billed at its end as “the war to end all wars.”

It wasn’t.

Barely 20 years following the guns falling silent on the Western Front, Germany was enmeshed yet again in a conflict that was to end with far greater loss of life, far greater trauma and destruction of property, than was possible through the weapons of destruction employed in that first great world war. The term holocaust took on a newly horrific meaning.

What began with Hitler rolling into Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, ended in 1945 with Hitler’s Nazis vanquished and Germany in surrender. The German nation, less than 75 years on from its creation under Bismarck, lay in ashes.

To ensure that a unified Germany would never again pose a threat to world peace, and thinking the world had learned its lesson, the three world leaders of the victorious Allied nations met at Potsdam July 17 through Aug. 2, 1945. They carved Germany up between them, eliminated the German High Command (the military top brass) and declared that never again would Germany be permitted to rise as a military threat to the peace of the world.

It did not last long.

Barely 10 years after Germany’s surrender, on May 6, 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Feeling that without a continental army of sufficient strength facing down the mighty ussr on Germany’s eastern flank, the whole European continent lay exposed to Communist domination—amid great debate, Britain and America allowed, encouraged and cajoled the German nation to rearm! The result was the creation of the German Bundeswehr only months after its attaining membership of nato.

There followed 35 years of German involvement under the nato umbrella, as part of the great Cold War standoff, during which Germany and the Soviet Union stared at each other across the divide that split the city of Berlin between east and west.

Then came Nov. 9, 1989.

The Berlin Wall tumbled. Within a year, Germany was officially united once again as a single nation. Within another year, the united Germany’s first foreign-policy move, recognizing Slovenia and Croatia as nation states independent of greater Yugoslavia, had instigated war in the Balkan Peninsula.

The Balkan wars are now part of late-20th-century history, as is the fact that they were used to legitimize the use of the German Air Force, and later ground forces, in combat zones outside of their home borders for the first time since Germany was vanquished, “never to again pose a threat to world peace” over 60 years ago.

Track forward to the present day.

Last week, the German government laid out its strategy for developing a military force with the capacity for intervention in any theater deemed vital to German interests anywhere on the globe.

Called the white paper on German defense, the document outlines a strategy for Germany fast-tracking the nation’s military machine into one of world-class status capable of intervening on at least five fronts simultaneously.

Running under the headline “Germany in Radical Shake-up of Military,” the Financial Times of London reported, “Germany will on Wednesday adopt the most radical restructuring of its military since 1945, turning the Bundeswehr into an international intervention force, according to an internal cabinet strategy paper …. The 133-page strategy paper argues that the capacity of the Bundeswehr must be expanded to allow for the deployment of a total of 14,000 troops to five international missions simultaneously …. The paper confirms conscription will be retained” (October 24).

The same day, Associated Press reported, “Germany’s government on Wednesday approved new security guidelines that affirm a growing international military role and set the scene for more German peacekeepers to serve in trouble spots across the world. ‘An important role in the future shaping of Europe and beyond falls on the united Germany,’ says the review drawn up by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. It amounts to another step away from the caution and isolation born of Germany’s World War ii legacy” (emphasis mine).

To those who followed the broadcasts and the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong throughout his long ministry—and who still remember—those words ring as an electrifying endorsement of the power of biblical revelation. One can only imagine the degree of faith required for a man to face the world with the declaration that Germany would arise one more time to wreak havoc on this world, in a gigantic sign of the imminence of the return of Jesus Christ to Earth, when that nation lay as a beaten hulk in its own ashes 61 years ago. Herbert Armstrong declared that nation will be the instigator of the most horrific of “wars to end all wars.” He repeatedly broadcast and wrote that it is destined to lead a world-ruling empire of stupendous power, economically, militarily and yes, even religiously. He powerfully underscored that though its rule is prophesied to be brief—less than a few years—the havoc it will wreak in that time will leave other nations reeling in awe at the swiftness of its deployment and the destructiveness of its power over those perceived as its enemies, chief of which will be those who aided and abetted it in its rearmament after the last great global conflict!

To those who still have ears to hear, last week’s action by the German government is a ringing endorsement of the powerful prescience of a mind willingly led, influenced and guided by God in its analysis of world events as to their inevitable outcome.

Yes, the world may gloat, but Herbert Armstrong was right! Just how right he was is now daily becoming apparent as we teeter on the brink of great global events leading to the greatest geopolitical intervention of all time, the return of Jesus Christ to vanquish all enemies of peace and install His government, globally, for a thousand years of peaceful restitution of this war-torn, war-weary Earth!

It is time to really pray, “Thy Kingdom come”!