The Face of European Security

One country in Europe is increasingly showing its willingness to militarily lead the union.
From the September-October 2002 Trumpet Print Edition

The European Union is, of course, a collective product of its member nations. But the most influential and powerful country within this union is Germany. This nation’s influence can be seen in virtually all aspects of the union. Its decisive leadership is proving itself vital to the EU’s development. It has played a critical role in shaping the proposed EU constitution, and its economic and monetary system. While all of the EU nations have contributed, German contributions have been the most significant. Their voice is heard over all others.

One instance of this is a German plan, to be decided upon during an EU constitutional convention in 2004, which would “lay the foundations for what the most ardent integrationists see as an eventual United States of Europe. The proposal is meant to advance a postwar dream of European political unification and reflects Berlin’s efforts to carve a greater German leadership role in Europe, EU analysts said” (International Herald Tribune, April 30, 2001).

In addition, the vision of the country’s corporate leaders is proving to have a significant effect on Germany’s powerful economy. The German economy, though now in recession, is more robust than that of all the other EU member nations. It is supported by a diverse assortment of strong companies. Its industry is founded on post-war rebuilding that saw a nation transform from devastation into a flourishing economy through the generosity of the Marshall Plan.

Over a year ago, the New York Times declared, “Of the three major European powers, Germany appears the most agile and dynamic” (April 17, 2001).

But Germany’s dominance in Europe may most clearly be revealed by its military, diplomatic and security initiatives. In these areas, Germany’s voice, once flexible (out of shame over the country’s negative history), has recently become more strident.

Critical Leadership

Several of the critical leadership roles in the EU are already filled by prominent Germans. Germany, inspired by its diplomatic successes in the Balkans, the Middle East and Afghanistan, and encouraged by its well-received contributions to various peacekeeping missions, is becoming the key player in EU foreign policy. This is particularly the case in policy formulation and tactical planning of the EU’s rapid reaction force (errf).

The errf is the new European military developed so Europe collectively can respond better to crises that threaten the security and cohesion of the Union. This military arm of the European Union is to be ready for action by the beginning of next year. The initial plan is for 60,000 troops to be led by 135 officers from EU nations.

The first and current director of the Military Staff of the rapid reaction force is Lt. Gen. Rainer Schuwirth. Schuwirth, a German, was chosen over France’s Lt. Gen. Marcel Valentin who, also in the running for the role, was passed over for allegedly political reasons. Schuwirth was department chief at nato from 1994-1996. The French are no longer a part of nato’s military command structure. Putting Schuwirth in power avoided tensions between the military structures of the EU and nato.

In this way, German leadership is serving as a convenient link between nato and the EU.

“Schuwirth represents the Bundeswehr’s [German army’s] quiet determination to insert itself between the French and Americans to defuse the smoldering conflict. Unlike the French, who pulled out of nato’s military command in 1966 to assert [military] independence, the Germans hold top positions in nato and will use their transatlantic experience and contacts to shape Europe’s emerging security and defense policy without needlessly or gratuitously alienating Americans” (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 31, 2000; emphasis mine throughout).

So, as nato becomes increasingly obsolete in Europe—its original purpose of containing the Soviet Union no longer existing—Germany is simply transferring its influence from that organization to the new, up-and-coming EU military force.

On the domestic security front, the head of the European Union’s law enforcement organization, Europol, is Jurgen Storbeck, also a German. This critical institution combats organized crime such as drug trafficking, immigration networks, vehicle trafficking, trafficking in human beings including child pornography, forgery of money and other means of payment, trafficking in radioactive and nuclear substances, and terrorism.

Diplomatic Actions

Germany’s assistance in peacekeeping missions thus far has boosted the confidence of many who were skeptical of a country that caused two world wars. Now, because of their efforts in the last several years, the Germans are seen as consistent and unbiased peacemakers. They have been involved in many Middle East mediations, as well as some in Afghanistan. The Germans gained a diplomatic coup by negotiating for the peace process following the war in Afghanistan to be brokered in Berlin.

In addition, they have taken on long-standing American problems. A Los Angeles Times article titled “Germany, Once a Menace, Sees New Future as a Peace Broker” says that “The ambition to broker cease-fires and bolster trust through freer trade has taken German diplomats in recent months to North Korea, Libya and Cuba—all so-called ‘nations of concern’ with which the United States has poor relations and little clout” (Aug. 30, 2001).

It is clear that Germany desires to not only lead within Europe, but also to play a leading role in world affairs.

Military Actions

In 1993, four years after Germany reunited, its Federal Constitutional Court ruled that German forces could take part in armed deployments as long as the German Parliament authorized them. These military operations were to be justified in international law and carried out in cooperation with allies. Germany is acutely aware that its military deployments since World War ii are closely scrutinized. For this reason, it is extremely sensitive to the operations it commits to and how involved it becomes.

Since the Constitutional Court ruling, Germany’s military role has been most noticeable in UN operations. In January, the largest German deployment thus far—around 1,800 naval soldiers—began patrolling the sea lanes off the Horn of Africa. Many have speculated that they are playing a covert role in monitoring Al Qaeda forces in Somalia and Yemen.

In Afghanistan, Germany is leading a multinational brigade in the capital city of Kabul. They have contributed 1,200 of the 5,000 international soldiers. In addition, they have already been involved in diplomatic efforts that substantially contributed to the development of the Afghanistan interim government.

On March 6, the Guardian (London) highlighted Germany’s increased commitment in Afghanistan. “The involvement of German special forces in the latest battle in Afghanistan has cast a spotlight on the way in which [German Chancellor] Gerhard Schröder is—almost stealthily—edging his country into accepting a much more active military role overseas.”

In the Balkans, having instigated the initial crisis by recognizing the independence of Croatia and Slovenia, Germany has been an integral part of the subsequent peacekeeping mission. In fact, Mr. Schröder said in April that Germany is “not in a position” to assume a leadership role in the Afghanistan conflict because of its commitments in the Balkans. It was Germany that developed the Balkan Stability Pact, then led its implementation. The pact was initially headed by German diplomat Bodo Hombach (in January, Erhard Busek, former vice chancellor of Austria, took over). That same month, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed Michael Steiner as the new Special Representative for Kosovo and chief of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo. Mr. Steiner was formerly the foreign policy adviser to Chancellor Schröder and served as a diplomat in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the heat of the Balkan conflict in the 1990s.

In Macedonia, Operation Amber Fox began on September 27, 2001, and Germany took over the role as lead nation in December. After a three-month extension, they concluded their role in leading the mission in late June 2002. However, Germany continues its commitment to this region through an ongoing military presence and the approximately $140 million it has pledged to Macedonia in reconstruction aid.

Another interesting troop deployment is the 40 to 50 German military and civilian personnel that are part of a 190-person force stationed in Oklahoma City, Okla. The operation, based at Tinker Air Force Base, is using natoe-3aawacs reconnaissance planes to conduct surveillance.

Foreign soldiers on American soil are becoming increasingly common. The German Air Defense School and German Air Force Command for the United States and Canada is located just outside of El Paso, Texas. Alamogordo, New Mexico, is home to the first permanent foreign military base. The Germans use it as a training center.

The Outcome

Historically, the German people have repeatedly risen, over time, even when severely beaten down, to become a primary driving force within Europe. Recent and current German actions back up the reality of the nation’s resilience and tenacity in pursuing their national goals.

An increasingly powerful Germany is involved in every major aspect of the European Union, as well as many facets that stretch outside of that scope. Watch for Germany to seize more control of the collective European processes it so effectively influences. Germany is destined to become the visionary, and the most powerful backer of each major EU institution in defense and security matters.

The Bible reveals that the EU, with Germany at its head, will become a superpower. Prophecy proclaims that Germany will lead the last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. The Bible describes today’s rising German-led European Union as the king of the north.

This king of the north, God says, will be used as His tool to correct Britain and America. “O Assyrian [modern-day Germany], the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isa. 10:5-6).

Those truly are hard words to believe! But that is what your Bible says is about to occur. What is happening now is setting the stage for the most Earth-shattering, life-altering events in the history of man.