Many think President Trump is pushing Germany to remilitarize, but he is actually giving in to what Germany demanded decades ago when NATO was founded.
At the nato headquarters in Brussels at the end of May, United States President Donald Trump once again urged European nato members to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their military. Meeting President Trump’s demands will make Germany and Europe an independent military superpower within nato. Many in Germany, such as Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, are up in arms about Mr. Trump’s demands.
But other German politicians have been calling for this for decades.
Germany is currently only spending about 1.2 percent of annual gdp on its military. Spending 2 percent would mean spending $80 billion—more than any other European state. This would make Germany a military powerhouse within Europe and nato.
Yet it was Germany’s European neighbors along with the U.S. that fought to prevent a German powerhouse in the years after World War ii. Back then, these calls for Germany to do more came not from America, but from the newly formed German government. Many think President Trump is pushing Germany to remilitarize, but he is actually giving in to what Germany demanded decades ago when nato was founded in 1949.
Consider the following quote:
The European nato countries are justified in reading into the text of the Atlantic treaty an obligation to seek ways and means in the future of making their defense possible from within Europe itself, just as America is able to defend herself. An unsuitably and inadequate[ly] armed Europe is of no benefit to America.
If you had read this quote in a newspaper this morning, you would have probably associated it with a statement by a U.S. official—but it is actually a quote from German politician Franz Josef Strauss, taken from his book The Grand Design: A European Solution to German Reunification, published in 1965.
Strauss served under the first German chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, as federal minister for special affairs in 1953 and served later as federal minister of nuclear energy, defense minister, finance minster and, until his death in 1988, state premier of Bavaria.
In 1956, Chancellor Adenauer gave Strauss the extremely challenging mission of building up Germany’s military, as it was yet associated with the crimes committed in Nazi Germany. How he did it is remarkable and the fruit of his labor is coming to fruition today, almost 30 years after his death.
Germany’s Desire to Rearm
Germany lay in ruins after World War ii and its military was destroyed. Allied forces met in 1945 in Potsdam, Germany, and resolved that Germany should be demilitarized and never allowed to remilitarize. Divided in four zones and occupied by Allied forces, Germany lost its sovereignty and its ability to have its own army. As Germany lay in rubble, it was the responsibility of the Allied forces to protect the country from threats inside and outside of its borders.
Under the supervision of the West, Germany was allowed to form its own government in the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany and Konrad Adenauer was made its first chancellor in 1949 over West Germany. Still, Germany was divided and left without an independent army.
This was one of the greatest challenges for politicians in postwar Germany. Though many in Germany condemned the acts of Germany’s past as much as the Allies did, they vigorously tried to reverse some of the rulings made at Potsdam.
A German military in the early years after World War ii was not desired, but it also wasn’t necessary as the Allied forces provided Germany’s and Europe’s security. But as Germany gradually regained its independence, the Allied forces retreated and the question of German rearmament came up again.
Even as the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationwas first founded in 1949, the Allies agreed that Germany must solely rely on the protection of the nato armed forces. nato’s first secretary general, Lord Hastings Ismay, described nato’s goals as the following: “Keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
Chancellor Adenauer realized that a great barrier had to be overcome to regain the world’s trust. But he also recognized that the division between the U.S. and the Soviet Union could serve as an advantage. He thought allying himself with Western powers would give him the chance to raise Germany’s status. Some even considered German participation in the Korean War in 1950, the first time the U.S. called on European nato participation.
While the U.S. considered allowing Germany to rearm to participate in nato missions, France considered allowing Germany to rearm to become a part of a future European army. French Prime Minister René Pleven hoped to channel Germany’s ambitions into a common European army under the supervision of a European defense minister. Thus France hoped that Germany’s military strength could be controlled and used to protect Europe without nato’s help.
But the French parliament did not think like Pleven did, and it prevented the formation of the European Defense Community in 1954 because it feared a strong rearmed Germany would dominate and suppress its neighbors. No one wanted Germany to build a sovereign army that would be left uncontrolled. Although French politicians were ready to accept a remilitarized German neighbor, the French public was not. But Germany insisted on having the right to its own army.
The German government had a clear vision of a remilitarized Europe even before Prime Minister Pleven proposed the formation of a European army in the Pleven Plan in October 1950. According to Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, earlier that year Adenauer gathered multiple military experts who had previously served as top-ranking officers in the Wehrmacht under Hitler at the Himmerod Monastery, where they discussed the principles of German rearmament as well as the nature and structure of future German forces. These leading officers would later take on important offices in the Bundeswehr and nato, but at the time they were discussing how Germany could regain its military might.
Adenauer hoped that the existing threat of the Soviet Union, which had caused the formation of nato and sparked talks of a common European defense union, would also give Germany a chance to rearm. Yet they needed to find a way to make the German rearmament acceptable to the people around them. The French, American and British governments came to the conclusion that German participation in nato would allow Germany to rearm but remain dependent on the overall U.S. security umbrella.
So Germany got its army and joined nato in 1955, but not without clear restrictions: Germany had to wave the right to biological and chemical weapons, its army was to be limited to 500,000, and it was to be under nato command. Just 10 years after the war, Germany again had an army, but its aspirations to contribute militarily was channeled into a collective defense organization.
Even then, Germany was not satisfied and wanted more power in the alliance and hoped to change the design of nato itself. Strauss wrote in his book that he opposed nato’sstructure as “an American protective alliance for free European countries” and instead wanted it to be transformed into “an American-European Alliance of Equals.” In other words, he wanted Europe to be able to defend itself and cooperate with America on equal terms.
Germany wanted to see nato transformed decades before Donald Trump took office and decided to merely use it as a tool to regain military supremacy.
Able to Defend Itself
Even as Mr. Trump puts Germany under pressure, the nation is taking rapid action to restructure its military into something much closer to Strauss’s vision, according to Bundeswehr’s military paper of April, as seen by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (faz). faz wrote: “In the next few years, the Bundeswehr will be positioned to defend its own country and the nato alliance area” (emphasis added).
Referring to the “Provisional Conceptual Guidelines for the Future Ability Profile of the Bundeswehr,” faz wrote that by 2032, the Bundeswehr will be able to defend Germany and nato’s territory on land, on water, in the air, in space and in cyberspace. faz commented: “This is a radical departure from the previous orientation of the Bundeswehr as an army, which has mainly focused on limited missions abroad and only maintained the necessary weapon systems for the defense of state and alliances.”
Plans include three divisions, each having eight to 10 fully equipped brigades. Currently, the German Army only has a third of these troops, seven brigades and some shares in the German-French Brigade. The Navy will soon be able to provide at least 15 ships and boats at once to fight above and under water, as well as against threats from the air. These are ambitious goals, which demand a drastically higher military budget.
The paper also states that Germany will pursue further military integration of foreign units into the German armed forces, as is already happening with a few brigades of the Dutch, Romanian and Czech armies, which can now operate under German command. Germany recently also took on the function as a so-called “framework nation,” working with the armed forces of 15 other nato countries, coordinating the development of military capabilities, and taking on the new role as stability anchor for security in Europe.
Europe’s Nuclear Ambition
But for Europe to be among the big players on the world scene, it also needs its own nuclear weapons. This possibility is now making headlines. The New York Times wrote in March: “An idea, once unthinkable, is gaining attention in European policy circles: a European Union nuclear weapons program. Under such a plan, France’s arsenal would be repurposed to protect the rest of Europe and would be put under a common European command, funding plan, defense doctrine, or some combination of the three. It would be enacted only if the Continent could no longer count on American protection.”
The New York Times statement that this idea was previously unthinkable is not entirely true—it’s exactly what Strauss demanded in his book! He wrote: “The states which have a political federation in view should create within the framework of a European defense community a European Nuclear Council to which the defense ministers of the individual countries belong. … Beyond that, a European nuclear arsenal should be created on French territory and, if Great Britain takes part, on British territory as well.” He wrote that some 50 years ago! Britain left the EU and now it is even more clear that the main nuclear power will be in France and clearly dominated by Germany.
The U.S. today trusts in its military superiority. Compared to any other individual nation, it remains unmatched. But European nations are not only increasing their military spending rapidly, they are also uniting them—most recently even through a common EU military headquarters. The combined military spending of the EU currently ranks second in the world.
Your Bible Foretold It
As previously stated “almost nobody” thought at the time that Germany would get its will—but there was one man who did. That man was the late Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Plain Truth magazine. We detail his Bible-based predictions in our booklet He Was Right. In Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s April 2014 article “Germany’s Urgent and Dangerous Military Decision,” he highlighted some of Mr. Armstrong’s predictions:
In 1957, when Germany was a pile of rubble, Mr. Armstrong said, “Germany is going to rise again with great power.” He said the same thing in 1970. In 1980, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “I have been forecasting this revived Roman Empire publicly since February 1934. Now, it may go together suddenly, rapidly.” It is doing just that today! In 1983, he said, “The Bible prophesies of this coming United States of Europe, a new united superpower, perhaps more powerful than either the Soviet Union or the United States.” He went on to say that we don’t realize the thoroughness of the Germans, and that they are going to carry through what they started in World Wars i and ii in another world war—World War iii.
Although the Trump administration recognizes the great potential that lies within Germany’s capacity to lead military missions, it is blind to the danger of empowering Germany. Some believe that Germany will use its stronger military as an opportunity to support the American-led coalition; history shows that it will not work that way. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry posed the following questions in 2014 about Germany’s military rise:
What does Germany do when it gets a strong military? Do you dare read its history and see? Once that military is in place, it will be put to use! This world doesn’t comprehend that because it doesn’t understand history and Bible prophecy. We just have to look at the truth to understand what we’re dealing with. Everything is moving at lightning speed.
There is a reason why Franz Josef Strauss’s dream is coming true and that reason is greater than he himself could understand. The book of Revelation foretold that men in Germany would work behind the scenes to bring it all about. Mr. Flurry wrote in “A Monumental Moment in European History” in 2011:
But here’s the most astounding and inspiring part of Revelation 17: God put it in the minds of Europe’s leaders to do what they’re doing! Verse 17 reads, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”
God is working out His plan. He has put it in the heart of German politicians to unite Europe to punish America for their sins against Him. But there is good news—this is all part of His plan to turn America back to Him.
Full article: Germany Is Conquering NATO (The Trumpet)
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