German Navy—Next Stop Gaza?

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German Navy—Next Stop Gaza?

Was German naval deployment off the coast of Lebanon a harbinger for its further deployment in the Middle East?

That Germany is back on the world scene as a rapidly developing military power is beyond question. Since the Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, reunifying the nation, forces have been at work building a cadre of senior German military personnel well schooled in military strategy and effective diplomacy.

The expansion of Germany’s postwar military role began with its senior service, the German Navy, the Bundesmarine.

Before the 1990 outbreak of the Balkan Wars, the Bundesmarine’s main areas of operation were the Baltic, the Norwegian and the North seas, which it patrolled in the service of the nato alliance. The specific Cold War objective of the Bundesmarine’s deployment under nato was to prevent the Soviet Baltic fleet’s access to that region.

After Germany reunited and the ussr collapsed, the Bundesmarine’s role shifted from one of defending its nation’s home waters to an outward, southern and eastern perspective, deploying to the Mediterranean for nato during the Persian Gulf crisis in 1990, to the Persian Gulf after the start of the Iraq War in 1991, then joining the naval blockade against Serbia in 1992. These successful missions engaged in as part of the Western alliance foreshadowed the further extension of Germany’s military presence beyond European waters, beyond the Gulf perimeter, into the heartland of the Middle East.

Fifteen months ago, the German Navy took command of the maritime component of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (unifil). This marked the German Navy’s first official deployment into Middle Eastern waters since World War ii. Ostensibly, the reason for this deployment was to secure the coast of Lebanon from arms smuggling. The German Navy’s operations in the region would appear to have been a resounding success, at least in scaring off any arms smugglers from penetrating the area, for not one smuggler has been captured since the Bundesmarine took on this role.

This has led some to muse that the whole exercise has been a giant PR gambit to condition certain Middle Eastern powers, the United Nations and the United States into accepting a wider remit for Germany in the Middle East. As reported, it has succeeded in “positively influencing an otherwise skeptical Lebanese public perception of European [German] engagement in the Middle East” (January 29). If this is the case, as a PR exercise the Bundesmarine’s deployment off the coast of Lebanon has succeeded brilliantly, for, having received full marks for this particular contribution to Middle Eastern security, it now appears that Germany may be offered an expanded role in the Middle East.

German journalists report that “government advisors are considering the German naval deployment along the coast of the Gaza Strip. German naval ‘experience acquired off the coast of Lebanon … could serve possibly as a precedent for similar maritime missions,’ according to a recent publication by the German Council on Foreign Relations (dgap), for example off the coast of the Palestinian Autonomous Territory” (ibid.).

Enter the tiny, embattled nation of Israel into Germany’s current Middle Eastern military strategy.

Military cooperation between Germany and Israel tracks back to the conclusion of secret accords between Franz Josef Strauss, Germany’s defense minister at the time, and his wily contemporary in Israel, the now president of Israel, Shimon Peres. Negotiations between the two began as far back as 1957. By 1962 they had matured into a secret agreement for Germany to supply Israel with armaments and military training for the Israel Defense Forces.

Since foisted off onto the public as Germany’s obligation to “protect Israel,” being its due penance for the Holocaust, German Middle East policy is in fact geared to achieving, by diplomacy, trade, aid and military assistance, that which Rommel was denied in battle: the extension of German hegemony into the strategically oil-rich Middle East. This strategy has recently taken on even greater urgency due to Russia having gained such a dominant position in the German energy supply market, a strategic weakness that the dominant European national economy cannot afford. It is crucial for Germany’s future that it diversify the provision of its energy sources. The Middle East is Germany’s closest, most accessible and most economical means of supply, next to Russia.

Following the union of East and West Germany in 1990, Germany’s foreign policy has increasingly taken on globalist tendencies—the same tendencies that for some time have characterized its aggressive business strategies. Ever since the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, that tendency for the expansion of Germany’s global influence has been steadily reflected in the extension of the nation’s military activities outside the continent of Europe.

Now, with the Israeli war cabinet having plainly endorsed the use of German forces in the UN effort in Lebanon, with the Bundeswehr planning to deploy a rapid reaction force in Afghanistan during this summer, and with German advisers in negotiations with the U.S. and Israel over the prospect of securing Gaza, the German nation is quietly easing into position in the Middle East, a position that is destined to grow into becoming the dominant force in the Middle East peace process (Daniel 8:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

With the stationing of its navy off the coast of Lebanon in October 2006 as part of a UN initiative, Germany now has its navy deployed throughout the whole of the Mediterranean, one of the world’s most strategic waterways, from Gibraltar to Suez, and is currently seeking to extend its coverage of the Levant. South of Suez, the Bundesmarine continues to patrol the crucial Persian Gulf waters. Ensconced within those three strategic locations—the eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan and the Gulf—is the richest oil-producing triangle in the world!

The Bundesmarine could well extend is patrols beyond the waters of Lebanon to the coastal periphery of Gaza within months. This will simply add to the presence of German police already on the ground in the region.

As notes, “Since Nov. 30, 2005, EU police detachments, with German participation, had been monitoring Palestinian border controls” (ibid.). These very astute German journalists observe that the combination of the unifil force and the EU police presence in the vicinity of Israel “highlight the EU and German intention to establish their independent police and military presence in the Near East. The efforts to take on the appearance of a neutral mediator between Israel and Arab countries are being accompanied by efforts to strengthen those forces willing to cooperate extensively with the West, as unifil and German (affiliated) initiatives show. The UN and the West are sealing Lebanon off from Syria, while massively pressuring Beirut to limit its relations with Damascus and enhance them with the EU …” (ibid.).

The same source points out that “Berlin and Brussels have started similar initiatives in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories, where EU police have already been active since Jan. 1, 2006 …. Germany is also participating in this deployment, which was prolonged last December. The mission is to implement the development plan for the Palestinian police and to instruct the leading personnel of the police in the Autonomous Territories. By supplying equipment, such as the recent supply of radio equipment to the police in Nablus, Berlin is also contributing to the establishment of the Palestinian repressive apparatus.”

Now with the highly influential dgap proposing to the German government that it further extend its military presence in the Middle East by deploying the Bundesmarine into the Gaza coastal strip, this simply enhances Germany’s position as the leading nation in the unifil Maritime Task Force, placing it in a prominent position to influence future Middle East maritime strategy, as usual, under any particular appropriate umbrella, be it the EU, UN or nato.

As further observes, “With the build-up of a German police and military presence in the vicinity of Israel, Berlin is strengthening Western [EU] positions. By conspicuously adopting a mediating role between Tel Aviv and Arab forces, Germany is at the same time laying the basis for enhancing its positions in the Near East—also in sharpening its profile in contrast to Israel and the usa.

So it is that the very nation that only 60 years ago led a tyrannical fascist/Nazi axis to try to seize power over the Middle East, and from there dominate the globe, could soon be parked on one of the most strategic borders of the tiny, embattled nation of Israel, only a short hop from Jerusalem!

Any doubt that this will happen is eliminated for the student of Bible prophecy. Believe it or not, this southward and eastward march of the European Union, right on up to the borders of Israel, then on into Jerusalem, is prophesied in your Bible to happen in the not-too-distant future.

The marvel of it all is that this will have been achieved either at the invitation of, or, at the very least, with the direct encouragement of, nations once declared by the old Axis powers (now among the leading nations within the huge combine of the European Union), to be their rank enemies—the U.S., Britain and the Jewish nation of Israel, nations that once fought tenaciously and with real purpose to keep these other powers out of the crucially strategic Middle East.

How short is our memory!

How devastating will the fruits of our nations’ tendency for forgetfulness yet prove to be.

Read our most revealing booklet History and Prophecy of the Middle East to get a real grasp on just where Germany, the EU and the Middle East are heading.