German/American Tensions continue

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that Europe can no longer rely on America as a partner and “must take our destiny into our own hands” marks a major turning point in America’s relationship with Germany. Chancellor Merkel no longer uses the word “friend” to describe the United States in her talks to the German people; this is not a small rupture in friendship between the leadership of the two nations.

American and German priorities are different, and this is creating enormous stress between President Trump and Angela Merkel. Germany has built its power on economic rather than military muscle. Given the focus of German power, Berlin has little desire to become snared in American global actions (such as action against Russia regarding Ukraine). The United States has no patience in working through Brussels and wants Germany to be more responsive to the American agenda in the Middle East and Eastern Europe– seeing that America is a major export destination for German goods. In essence the Trump administration sees Germany as not being grateful for the open door it has to the thriving American consumer market.

Remember, that Germany needs the American market for its exports; more than 30 percent of German exports are sent to four countries: the U.S., France, the U.K. and China. The U.S. has been Germany’s most important export market in the last 3 years. Last year, the American market accounted for 8.8 percent of Germany’s total exports and 3.4 percent of its GDP. (As a comparison, France accounted for 8.3 percent of total exports, the U.K 7.14 percent and China 6.2 percent.)

Business tension between the two nations is continuing: For example; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, lectured German Chancellor Merkel about buying American raw materials rather than buying Russian goods. Also of note, after the U.K., the U.S. is the second-largest market for the German car industry. The German BMW, Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen manufacturers produced more than 800,000 automobiles in the United States alone. German companies are the third-largest foreign employer in the United States, with over 670,000 workers. Both countries need each others business.

Another area of stress; The U.S. wants NATO to be a military alliance with all members having a substantial military capability. Germany wants NATO to be predominantly a political organization with a secondary military role; it boils down to the fact that Germany does not want President Trump telling it what it should be doing within the NATO alliance. Germany sees itself as the leader of NATO…not America.

Until now, the pivotal relationship in American foreign policy in Europe has been with Germany. That tie appears to be on the verge of breaking. It will be no small paradox if President Trump has provoked many of the nations of Europe to begin the process of converting itself into a cohesive great power. Meaning, that many European countries will seek to form a greater and even stronger Union (based upon German leadership), as a result of disagreements with America. American leadership in Europe is in decline—someone must fill that leadership vacuum—only Germany can do that.

Bible prophecies describe the final revival of the Roman system as a mysterious beast (Daniel 7:7, 19–20; Revelation 13:1–10; 17:3–8). We believe that history and biblical patterns tell us that this final beast system will be a European system that emerges just before Christ returns—so continue to watch what is taking place in Europe, no doubt Germany will be the leader of this end-time “monster”. Germany is not an aggressive power today—but that will change in the near future—Steven LeBlanc

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