American troops marching(33ft/iStock)
American troops marching

Next in Line, Please

America is pulling out of North Africa and the Middle East. Another power is gearing up to fill the void.

America wants out. After 11 years of war, it wants to bring its soldiers home from Afghanistan; it wants to leave the Middle East and North Africa for others to deal with.

The question arises, who will it be? Radical Islam is rising. Disorder is seizing country after country throughout the region. Will anyone actually step up to bring the situation to heel, to help steer events in the right direction?

Right now, at least superficially, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious contender for the job.

When you look closer, however, and start putting events and trends together, an answer begins to surface. There is a foreign power positioning itself to exert control. It certainly isn’t going for shock and awe—at least not yet. But it is working, slowly, quietly and consistently.

Building an Anti-Iran Alliance

The new United Nations peace envoy to Syria is planning to send 3,000 peacekeeping troops to Syria to help quell its civil war. Where will the 3,000 come from? The UN envoy, Algerian Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, feels that his options are limited. He considers African troops too ill equipped, soldiers from neighboring Arab countries too close to the rebels to be considered neutral, and British and American forces tainted in the eyes of the locals because of their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China’s support for the Assad regime rules them out, too.

So, who is left? Only one power: the European Union.

It’s a striking conclusion, because the EU is hardly a disinterested bystander to Middle Eastern affairs. In fact, it is proving itself quite engrossed in them—even yearning to influence their outcome.

In recent years, one of the EU’s main goals for the Middle East has been the creation of a coalition of Muslim nations to act as an anti-Iran alliance. This is evidenced by the EU’s leading power, Germany, steadily improving trade relations with and military investment in nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf states.

Germany is supplying scads of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It has also deployed its federal police to Riyadh to help the Saudis with border security and to train them to squelch uprisings. After the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006, Europe sent thousands of its troops to Lebanon, as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The German Navy still patrols Lebanon’s coast as part of the mission.

Now, the UN is planning to send 3,000 European troops into Syria, which could work to release Syria from Iran’s orbit and absorb it into this congealing alliance. Such a shift would represent a debilitating blow to Iran and a great victory for the EU. In terms of region-wide geopolitics, the stakes in Syria could scarcely be higher, and here’s the bombshell: Years before the Syrian uprisings began, the Trumpet said with certainty that Syria would sever ties with Iran and ally with this anti-Iran bloc that is now solidifying.

Pope Visits Lebanon

The UN isn’t the only tool the EU is using to exert its influence under German leadership. History shows that when Germany wages campaigns of conquest, it tends to do so under the auspices and guidance of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is both a key decision maker in Europe and a tool for extending EU power.

For that reason, the Trumpet was keenly interested in Pope Benedict xvi’s three-day visit to Beirut, Lebanon, in mid-September. “A Middle East without Christians would no longer be the Middle East,” he said during a meeting with Lebanese leaders. “Looking at your country, I also come symbolically to all countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs,” he said. Although the trip into the heartland of Hezbollah was potentially life-threatening to Benedict, it appears to have brought the Vatican nearer to its aim. One Muslim student in Beirut told nbc News that “the pope’s visit is going to make a big difference, especially in the view of what’s happening these days, like the protests. He is coming for peace and bringing Muslims and Christians closer, that’s the important thing. Peace … we need peace.” The visit added to a growing body of evidence that the Vatican actively supports the EU’s goal to create that anti-Iran coalition.

Again, the Trumpet has said for years that Lebanon, too, will ultimately fall in line with this Europe-led coalition.

Alliance Foretold Millennia Ago

How can the Trumpet make such far-reaching forecasts based on these meetings and plans that mainstream media call little attention to? Because of the prophecies of the Bible.

Three thousand years ago, God inspired the biblical Prophet Asaph to prophesy about modern-day Europe—led by Germany and steered by the Vatican—allying with Syria, Lebanon and other “moderate” Arab nations: “For they have consulted together with one consent: … The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them …” (Psalm 83:5-8).

Both Gebal and Tyre in this passage refer to the people of the modern-day nation of Lebanon, while Assur refers to Assyria, which is modern-day Germany. The Hagarenes anciently dwelt in the land known today as Syria. Edom and Amalek both refer to modern Turkey. Moab and Ammon are Jordan. The Ishmaelites are modern-day Saudi Arabia, and the peoples that populate the southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula are also descended from the patriarch of Araby, Ishmael; so from a biblical perspective—regardless of their modern borders—they may be counted among the tribes and clans of Ishmael.

This alliance has never happened in history—yet it is described in your Bible. And, most remarkably, the groundwork is being laid for this group of nations to come together today.

Syria and Lebanon are, in a way, the front line of a cold war against Iran. If the EU can negate Iran’s influence in those nations—and the Bible says it will—then it will deny Iran crucial allies and key locations on the Mediterranean, thus gaining a significant victory.

Europe Invades Africa

There is another front in this cold war: North Africa. There, radical Islam is rapidly making political and territorial gains.

Among the most recent is in the deserts of northern Mali. After rebel troops staged a coup d’état in Mali in March, the country descended into chaos. Islamic groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which have long festered in the region, seized the north of the country.

Why does Mali matter? It is as remote as Timbuktu (literally—Timbuktu is in Mali). But look at it on a map. Northern Mali gives the terrorists a base in the Sahara Desert, from which they can launch attacks throughout Northern Africa. Just over the border, Algeria is a natural gas and oil hub for Europe. Nigeria, the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., is not far to the south. Nigeria, Libya and Algeria are Africa’s top three crude oil producers, providing nearly one tenth of the world’s oil. If Islamic extremism is allowed to take root and spread there, it threatens key energy suppliers of both Europe and the U.S.

Naturally, the threat has attracted the attention of more than just Europe. America’s concern has it also considering military intervention. But Europe is positioning itself so that it will take the lead in any international venture.

On October 9, one of Europe’s most experienced leaders was appointed the special envoy for the Sahel, the region just south of the Sahara that includes northern Mali. As a former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi was a surprisingly high-profile choice. The appointment is also curious considering that Prodi has zero experience in conflict mediation. His appointment seems to have more to do with the EU getting its man into the top job than with Prodi’s actual qualifications.

Prodi’s influence also stretches far beyond Mali. The Sahel extends across North Africa, all the way into Sudan. With Prodi in place, the EU is already preparing to send soldiers to the region. The main focus of this mission will be training Mali’s army to deal with the terrorists in the north, but Reuters reported that the EU troops could also accompany Mali’s soldiers in battle.

Although the mission has the solid support of Germany, France is the one taking the lead. After all, most of the countries involved are former French colonies, and France has the deepest economic ties in the area. This arrangement probably suits Germany. Berlin is happy to let France lead, providing it is in the direction Germany wants to go.

While this area of the world isn’t in the Psalm 83 alliance, it would still represent quite a conquest. It already illustrates how, once again, Europe is taking the lead—ahead of America—in confronting the dangerous spread of radical Islam.

Israel Looks to Europe

Europe’s maneuvers into the void left by the U.S.’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan are not going unnoticed by Israel. On October 2, Israeli officials announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Europe by the end of the year. His goal? To push for more European support of sanctions on Iran. The visit is part of a strategic shift by Israel away from America and toward Europe, the New York Times reported, citing a senior anonymous source.

On October 15, the EU levied a new array of sanctions on Iran, saying it was troubled by what it called Tehran’s refusal to come clean on its nuclear program. Europe also increased diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime. The next day, Netanyahu praised the EU for toughening its stance against what he called “the greatest threat to peace in our time.”

The Times of Israel said the events indicate a shift in Israel’s foreign policy away from the U.S. and toward Europe: “After unsuccessfully lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for support for [a military] strike—or for an American declaration that Iranian activity beyond a certain ‘red line’ would invite U.S. military intervention—Netanyahu’s plans for a European trip to push for tighter sanctions on Tehran seem to signal a shift in policy.”

This too is a shift specifically prophesied in Scripture and about which the Trumpet has been forewarning for years.

The Real Target

Although its efforts are low-key at present, Europe is proactively countering the spread of radical Islam. But is this good news for America, Britain and Israel? If Europe is joining the fight against radical Islam, have they gained an ally?

It may look that way. But the appearance is deceiving.

The Bible actually warns Britain, Israel and America to beware a huge double cross coming from Europe.

Daniel 11 vividly prophesies that a German-led European alliance (the “king of the north”) will defeat an Iranian-led Middle Eastern alliance (the “king of the south”)—decisively dealing with the Islamist threat. But it also reveals that Europe won’t stop there. Daniel 11:41 tells us what happens next: The king of the north “shall enter also into the glorious land.” Europe will conquer Israel. Within a month, this empire will also claim Britain and America as victims (Hosea 5:7).

The rise of Iran may be the catalyst for the formation of the Psalm 83 alliance. But it isn’t the alliance’s ultimate goal. These allied nations say among themselves, “let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). Once Iran is defeated, this German-led coalition will go after Israel—and “Israel” in this context does not just refer to the Jewish nation in the Middle East, but also America and Britain. (You can prove this crucial truth by requesting a free copy of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

For the last 70 years, Germany has had to live beneath the weight of the world’s memory of its World War ii atrocities. But, sadly, the Holocaust did not end with that war. That was only round one. Bible prophecy indicates that there is coming an even worse effort to erase even the memory of the Jewish nation forever!

The same quiet and canny set-up that Germany is employing against Iran under its EU cloak will be used against Israel. A German-led European power will obliterate Iran, and the world may even appear safe for a time. But then will come the double cross. Europe—in the form of a German-led resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—will conquer Jerusalem—and thus ignite World War iii.

This is why it is essential that you see who is now stepping into the Middle East as America’s influence there fades. The Bible is clear: Jerusalem being surrounded with European armies is the sign that World War iii is here (Luke 21:20). But that same event also starts the 3½-year countdown to the return of Christ.

Watch Europe closely. The EU’s mounting assertiveness signals that Christ’s return is drawing near!