For the past two years, leaders of the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization member nations have been drafting a new strategic concept for the alliance. With nato’s original raison d’être having been long outmoded, since the end of the Cold War 20 years ago the alliance has struggled to justify its continuance.
Hence the current moves to reinvent nato. What is its role in today’s present disordered world, where no single nation dominates the global power equation?
A New Strategic Concept
Gainsayers will still maintain that the United States is the single most powerful nation on the Earth; just witness the deployment of its naval force globally and its prominence in the two continuing high-profile theaters of conflict, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet one shouldn’t be fooled by appearances. In reality, both America’s will to fight and its economy are profoundly broken. Its economic condition is worse than that of Greece. This is leading to an inevitable drawdown in all theaters where American forces are deployed. These days, any pipsqueak nation can tweak Uncle Sam’s nose and flee the scene without fear of any really powerful reprisals. This sorry state of affairs is only added to by the public declarations of a president uncommitted to pursuing, or even attempting to recapture, any concept of American greatness.
Thus it is that the nations of Europe, realizing that their postwar protector is fading, seek a new life for nato that will continue to help secure the Continent from threats by its enemies.
Since the end of the Cold War, nato’s membership has nearly doubled as it has absorbed former Soviet states, many of which joined the European Union. Now even Russia seeks an alliance with nato, something Germany is keen to promote so as to secure its eastern flank from a repetition of past problems in that area. Though nato cut its military contacts with Russia after Moscow invaded Georgia in 2008, those contacts have since resumed. Now the two sides are planning a joint review of “21st-century threats.”
More important to Europe’s security as America draws down its military presence there is the European Union’s partnership with nato. “The EU and nato are taking further steps, hand in hand, with a view to deepening their relations,” reported Europe’s World. “[T]he EU has proceeded to the signing of a set of agreements with nato in order to obtain access to its infrastructure. Otherwise, the EU, especially in difficult missions, does not have sufficient capabilities to carry out peacekeeping operations by itself” (March 19, 2009). The reality is that the EU is using nato as its proxy war machine in pursuing its imperialist agenda.
In November, representatives of nato member governments will assemble for a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, to review a newly drafted strategic concept for nato’s future.
On July 2, nato’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Lisbon to lay the groundwork for the summit. There he referred to nato as “this unique zone of stability, prosperity and common values.” He compared the current crossroads to the one faced by the alliance’s founding fathers, saying that today’s members are “standing at the threshold of a new era.” The alliance today faces new challenges like terrorism, cyberattacks and piracy, he said, revealing that the new strategic concept will define nato as “a modernized alliance” and a “cooperative team player in a globalized world.”
Interestingly, at the same time nato is seeking to reinvent itself, the German government is rushing to redefine the structure and role of its own military forces.
New German Military Organization
In July, Germany’s defense minister met with Chancellor Angela Merkel and gained her full support for the submission of three alternative scenarios for a revamped Bundeswehr. Commenting on this meeting, Die Welt observed, “Angela Merkel (cdu) devotes a lot of her time to the military these days. Today the chancellor meets with Frank-Jürgen Weise, who is working on the modernization of the military administration, ordered by Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (csu). On Tuesday, Mrs. Merkel, together with her minister, took part in the pledge of 420 recruits in front of the Reichstag building. Beforehand she received Guttenberg at the Chancellery to get information on the military technicalities which are part of the imminent army reform” (July 22).
What is at issue in the reform is, in reality, a reinforcement of the old High Command structure of the German military forces, a structure that the leaders of the Allied nations following World War ii stated publicly they had eliminated with the intention that it never be resurrected to threaten the world with chaos again.
Such is the memory span of the Anglo-Saxons that the binding statement of their wartime leaders has long since faded from their minds. So, here we go again. For a third time within a single century, a German High Command is being advanced to head up a revamped, high-tech German military force with emphasis on its ability to strike quickly in foreign theaters. Any historian worth his salt should shudder at the thought.
This revamping and retooling of the Bundeswehr is being cleverly masked by apparent cost-cutting measures. Die Welt notes that “Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (cdu) made strict rules for the Defense Department, which can only happen with strong personnel cuts of about 40,000 soldiers. Such a reduction, however, brings uncomfortable side effects for politics: the closing down of facilities or the elimination of conscription” (ibid.).
The defense minister is seemingly showing no remorse at wielding the knife to the defense budget. “Guttenberg regards the reform for security-policy reasons as mandatory: Much in the German military still is oriented by the challenges of the last century,” Die Welt continued. “So, even having a present standing personnel force of about 250,000 soldiers, only about 10,000 are available for the constantly growing important foreign country deployments. That’s why Guttenberg gave orders to clean up .… The defense minister, however, has given ‘full support’ to create a ‘Bundeswehr of the Future.’”
One has to see the defense minister’s motive here. Just as he used the Kunduz bombing affair (in which he was accused and later exonerated of trying to cover up misdeeds among German commanders in Afghanistan) to clean house at the top, he is now using the cost-cutting directive as a catalyst to totally reorganize the German military structure to raise it to a status such that it will be head and shoulders above any competing EU member nation.
Since Guttenberg was handed the defense portfolio back in October, he has proceeded at blitzkrieg pace to reinvent the Bundeswehr from the top down. He plans to have the foundation of the reform in place by the end of August and in discussion by the German cabinet and then the cdu and csu party congress shortly thereafter.
A new military organization for Germany—just as nato is developing a new strategic concept.
Coincidence? Not if you understand the true nature of Germany’s position within the European Union.
Apart from the U.S., Canada and Turkey, every other member nation of nato is either an existing or aspiring member of the EU. Germany dominates the EU—economically, industrially, financially and politically. It is now determined to dominate it militarily.
Mark our words: A natural symbiosis will develop between Germany’s “new military organization” and nato under its new strategic concept. And that will not be good news—neither for Europe nor for the rest of the world. One does not have to be much of a student of history or geopolitics to understand the true motives behind the “Bundeswehr of the Future.”
The European Empire
What is really behind nato’s new strategic concept is an effort by European elites to change the alliance’s charter to one consistent with the EU imperialist agenda.
To understand this, we need go back no further than the illegal Balkan wars of the 1990s. Though they started under combined UN and nato jurisdiction, those sorry little wars soon became a sole combined nato campaign when the United Nations withdrew. At that point, as Edward Spalton wrote, “nato changed its character utterly, in contradiction of its own charter. In concert with the developing Western European Union (the supra-national, united armed forces of the European Union) it … became an imperial entity, waging its first war of conquest” (Freedom Today, October/November 1999).
Unseen by most at the time, this was in fact the first territorial war of the seventh and final resurrection of an ancient entity—the Holy Roman Empire. (Request a free copy of our booklet The Rising Beast for more details.)
The reality of what occurred 10 years ago has become even more entrenched in the time since. It is set to be more fully consolidated under nato’s new strategic concept. In 1999, citizens of the 27 nation-states of the EU were, in Spalton’s words, but “pieces in the great game being played with their countries by the unaccountable, undemocratic, supra-national agencies of new nato and the EU.” They are now even more so since the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty on January 1 this year.
There is a great contrast between nato and the EU in respect of their original mandates. nato was established as a protector and defender of the free democracies of the U.S., Britain, Canada and Western Europe. It was the sole bastion of organized international resistance to the forces of tyranny during the Cold War. The European Union, by contrast, was never intended to be democratic. As Edward Spalton so rightly pointed out, “From its inception the EU worked to destroy the sovereignty of European democracies.” In that effort it has now succeeded through the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty/EU constitution.
The EU is imperialist in motive and intent. By definition of its present structure, it is an empire, an expansionist entity of 27 nation-states and a collection of Balkan colonies. The third edition, revised, of the Oxford Dictionary defines an empire as “a large group of states ruled over by a single … ruling authority.” That is an apt description of the EU monolith within the context of the unreadable EU constitution in the guise of the Lisbon Treaty.
In Spalton’s words, the British people have unwittingly become “accomplices in the creation of an old-style continental land empire.”
If you check the history of those European continental land empires, you will find that they have been, over the past 1,200 years since Charlemagne, a continuing string of resurrections of one cruel old enterprise: the Holy Roman Empire! And what we now see is none other than the seventh such resurrection of that same ancient system.
As originally conceived, nato was, as Spalton so rightly pointed out, “an organization of sovereign states cooperating under international law for a limited purpose.” But since the Balkan wars, that role has been confined to the dustbin of history. Today’s nato “has arrogated to itself the right to go adventuring in other states” (ibid.).
It would be a grave enough danger to the world should such an enterprise be permitted to continue. But a far greater danger is posed to the remaining free democracies of the world should nato, in its present imperialist guise, become linked with the EU in pursuing that empire’s strongly Romish/Teutonic objectives.
That, in fact, is what is now happening.
Advancing Germany’s Interests
EU Observer pointed out that “nato and the future of EU defense are closely intertwined” (January 22). That is really understating the situation. As Edward Spalton pointed out, fully a decade ago the EU’s Western European Union (weu) was already “defined as the EU wing of nato. Under the guise of closer cooperation, this is nothing less than the creation of an EU army, navy and air force” (op. cit.). Using Britain as an example, Spalton rightly stated that individual EU member nations are sacrificing their national military powers to the point that “their command will be so integrated with the weu as to be beyond control or recall by Parliament.”
In the very year that the Bundeswehr engaged German forces in combat for the first time since World War ii—deployment of the Luftwaffe in the Balkans—Supreme German Military Commander Gen. Klaus Naumann “gave a strong hint of weu and new nato thinking when he said: ‘German troops will be engaged for the maintenance of the free market and access without hindrance to the raw materials of the entire world’” (ibid.).
A decade later, Germany’s president was forced to resign for making a similar statement. This past May, after visiting Afghanistan, President Horst Köhler said that “in emergencies, military intervention is necessary to uphold our interests, like for example free-trade routes, for example to prevent regional instabilities which could have a negative impact on our chances in terms of trade, jobs and income” (emphasis mine). Whose interests? Obviously the German president was speaking to his own nation about Germany’s own national interests: upholding Germany’s national interests by military interventions outside German borders!
Since 1999, Germany has deployed the Bundeswehr to uphold Germany’s interests, under various EU, nato and UN mandates, in 13 international theaters. These have all been to the south and the east—from Bosnia to the Horn of Africa, from Gibraltar to Afghanistan and right on up to the Mediterranean approaches to the Levant. Long-time Trumpet readers will grasp the significance of this strategy (prophesied in Daniel 8:9).
But why was General Naumann free to tout Germany’s military intervention to ensure trade in its own national interest, and a decade later the German president forced to resign because of an almost identical statement? All we can think of is that Naumann’s prediction was made at the very early phase of Germany engaging in conflicts outside its borders for the first time since World War ii. Naumann’s statement was not seen to be endangering Germany’s postwar pacifist image at that time. His observation was made when Germany still appeared reluctant to engage militarily beyond its borders.
On the other hand, Köhler’s statement struck too close to Berlin’s bone at a time when the Defense Ministry is aggressively revamping the German military forces to take a more overt and effective involvement in such “emergencies.” Köhler’s statement came at an inopportune political moment—while Berlin is actively creating its “Bundeswehr of the Future” to take on a higher profile military role in protecting not only its national interests, but the interests of the German elites furthering their imperialist agenda.
So, as the crucial November nato summit approaches, we see the goals of two key entities merging—the EU and nato—and overarching all this is Germany’s aggressive upgrading of its military machine.
Why is Germany important to this whole equation of revamped European security? It’s very simple. The German Constitutional Court caught the whole of the EU off guard by creating an opt-out for Germany on any EU proposal (which must be unanimous) to deploy EU forces in battle. Of all 27 EU member nations, Germany alone must refer such a proposal to its national government for decision. This effectively places Germany in charge of deciding when and how the EU will enter combat as a combined force.
The Anglo-Saxons created nato, as its first secretary general, Lord Ismay, declared, to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
The great paradox is that nato’s new strategic concept, in tandem with the EU’s security objectives and Germany’s “new military organization,” will result in an alliance with Russia, the Americans pushed out, and the Germans raised up! ▪