Monday, July 15, 2024

The Hook: What Does Israel Have That The Gog-Magog Coalition Will Covet?

The Hook: What Does Israel Have That The Gog-Magog Coalition Will Covet?

Sometime in the future, a war will break out. In today’s world, that would seem a normal activity, as there are always conflicts brewing somewhere. But this war will be different because it was foretold more than 2,500 years ago by the Jewish prophet Ezekiel and is referred to as the Battle of Gog and Magog.

According to the book of Ezekiel, Israel will be invaded by a confederation of nations that includes Russia, Iran, Libya, Turkey, and others. (See “The Invaders“) The big question is: Why?

Why will these nations invade? What does Israel have that these nations will covet? For years, sound Bible teachers speculated that Russia’s motivation would be its desire for a warm-water seaport it could use year-round for exporting and importing goods. Russia’s ports are often frozen due to the region’s extremely frigid temperatures.

Many Bible scholars pointed to this motivation when Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1979; and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) did so as well in a CIA report dated January 2, 1980:

The Soviet military movement into Afghanistan positions USSR armed forces little more [than] 400 kilometersby air from the Indian Ocean, and it revives speculation concerning the century-old Russian quest for a warm-water port.

Other Bible teachers suggested Russia and its allies might want the minerals found in the Dead Sea. However, those minerals hardly seem significant enough to provoke an invasion of the magnitude described in Ezekiel.

The Bible says these hordes come “to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out [their] hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” What does Israel have that these nations will want?

Under the Sea?

The answer may lie about a mile underneath the Mediterranean Sea.

The Tamar, Leviathan, and Karish natural gas fields located off Israel’s shores contain such massive amounts of natural gas that Israel could become a major exporter to Europe. Tamar began pumping in 2013, Leviathan in 2019, and Karish in 2022.

In 2022, the European Union (EU) signed a memorandum of understanding with Israel that “eventually could see significant quantities of Israeli natural gas shipped to Europe via Egypt,” wrote political analyst Soeren Kern.2 He added,

The EU is desperately trying to reduce its dependence on Russia, which supplied around 40 percent of the bloc’s gas imports in 2021. Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the European Commission, the EU’s administrative arm, proposed reducing imports of Russian gas by two-thirds before the end of this year [2022].

Dr. Karolina Zielinska, a senior fellow in the Israel-Europe project, said, “Mediterranean gas has already enabled Israel to become self-sufficient . . . with regard to electricity generation: plans have been made to phase out the coal used for this purpose by 2025.”

Already, others are claiming the natural gas belongs to them. The terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebanon is putting roadblocks in Israel’s way. Zielinska said Hezbollah, “which to a large degree acts as an executor of Iran’s will and tightens ties with Russia, is continuing to step up its rhetoric and actions. As a consequence, it is becoming the biggest threat to the implementation of the plan to export Israeli gas to Europe.”

In light of these developments, it seems reasonable that natural gas could become a bone of contention, making it worthwhile for Russia (Magog), Iran (Persia), and their allies to invade Israel in hopes of seizing the gas fields as “plunder” and “booty.”

Possible Land Grab?

Clearly, the invaders will come from what today constitutes much of the Muslim world. Iran has been working with Russia for years to develop nuclear power and a nuclear bomb.

These nations’ intense hatred for the State of Israel is legendary. The Islamic religion maintains that any land once possessed by Islam belongs to Muslims in perpetuity, no matter who preceded or followed the Islamic presence. They see all of Israel as belonging to them forever.

It could be that Russia’s allies join the fray, hoping to redeem the land for their god, Allah.

Massive Failures: Former US Army Sniper On Trump Assassination Attempt

Massive Failures: Former US Army Sniper on Trump Assassination Attempt

UPDATE: BlackRock Pulls Ad Featuring Trump Shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks

UPDATE: BlackRock Pulls Ad Featuring Trump Shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has pulled down an ad that momentarily featured Trump shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks in the background.

As The Gateway Pundit previously reported, hours after Thomas Matthew Crooks opened fire on Trump and several supporters at Trump’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, Investigative reporter Laura Loomer uncovered a BlackRock ad from 2022 that briefly features Thomas Matthew Crooks.

In an official statement, BlackRock shared, “In 2022, we ran an ad featuring a teacher from Bethel Park High School, in which several unpaid students briefly appeared in the background, including Thomas Matthew Crooks.”

BlackRock shared that Crooks and other students were not paid to be featured in the ad

Per The New York Post:

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, has pulled an ad that briefly featured Thomas Crooks, the 20-year-old who shot and wounded former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

The company said Crooks was a student at Bethel Park High School and appeared in the 2022 ad with other unpaid teens.

On The Threshold: The Catalyst That Will Suddenly Change Everything

The Catalyst That Will Suddenly Change Everything

When I wrote about nearness of the seal judgments (Revelation 6) a couple of years ago, I thought that by now, they surely would have at least begun.

The globalists themselves seem frustrated at the lack of progress in implementing their agenda. The WEF (World Economic Forum) joined with the UN last fall in recommitting themselves to attaining all of the UN’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. They know something is holding back their diabolical plans to enslave the world under a totalitarian Marxist regime. We know it’s the restraining force of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).

The closer we get to the start of the Day of the Lord, the more we understand how the Rapture will serve as a catalyst to jumpstart many of the events we read about in the book of Revelation.

I imagine an electronic jigsaw puzzle where all the other pieces light up after someone puts the last one in its proper place. In this case, it’s the Rapture. It’s the missing piece.

We Are So Close

It’s never been more apparent just how rapidly the world will descend into utter chaos following our disappearance.

Paul described the antichrist as the “man of lawlessness” and wrote that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2:37). The increase of lawlessness in just the past ten years staggers the imagination. Who would have ever thought we would see a sign on the streets of San Francisco warning thieves they would face prosecution if they stole items exceeding $950 in total value?

Major store chains in the U.S. report shoplifting in billions of dollars per year.

Inflation in the U.S. is much higher than reported and hurting many, many people. Even so, it’s only by the Lord’s restraining hand that we have not yet reached the dire economic conditions described in Revelation 6:5-6. It’s clear that such astronomical inflation is right on our doorstep. I say this because of what I see in America:

  • Our national debt is rapidly approaching $35 trillion. We have added over $2 trillion dollars to that total since October 1, 2023!
  • The printing of money to cover America’s massive national debt will lead to devastating hyperinflation; it’s unavoidable. Many wonder why this hasn’t already happened.
  • Illegal immigration is also accelerating the current pace of inflation. The money that the government prints and gives to people breaking the law in this way increases the demand for the same amount of goods; this is the fundamental cause of inflation.
  • Fires at food processing plants, the bird flu, and the globalists’ plans to curtail farming and eliminate cattle will continue to put upward pressure on food prices everywhere in the world.

I could cite much more evidence pointing to the nearness of all the judgments of Revelation chapter 6, but it’s time for good news.


Russia and China launch joint military drills

Russia and China launch joint military drills

Russian and Chinese naval forces have started joint exercises in the Pacific, the Defense Ministry in Beijing said on Sunday.

The three-day ‘Maritime Joint-2024’ drills are being conducted near the Chinese city of Zhanjiang. They will train naval forces’ ability to address security threats, maintain international and regional stability, and boost the strategic partnership, according to a statement. 

“The fourth joint maritime patrol in the western and northern Pacific Ocean” conducted on Sunday “did not target a third party and had nothing to do with the current international and regional situation,” it added.

Two vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet are participating in the annual event, TASS reported on Monday, citing the fleet’s press office. 

Crews will conduct air defense exercises and drills involving anti-submarine aviation, as well as resupplying on the move and sea rescue training.

The naval cooperation comes amid mounting tensions between China and NATO members. In a document adopted after last week’s summit in Washington, the US-led bloc alleged that Beijing has been working with Moscow to “undercut and reshape the rules-based international order.” The communiqué also claimed that China has been providing dual-use materials and components to Russian arms manufacturers amid its conflict with Ukraine.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has dismissed the allegations as “groundless,” insisting that Beijing “has always been a force for peace and stability in the international community.”Wang urged NATO to focus on dialogue and establishing “mutual trust,” instead of dishing out allegations against Beijing.

The Chinese government has repeatedly rejected the Western framing of the Ukraine conflict, which has presented it as an unprovoked act of aggression by Russia. Instead, Beijing has cited NATO’s expansion in Europe as a key cause.

Trade between Russia and China has boomed since the West imposed an array of sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict, which forced many international businesses to exit the country.

South Korea and US to Hold Joint Nuclear Drills on Korean Peninsula

South Korea and US to Hold Joint Nuclear Drills on Korean Peninsula

At a meeting chaired by National Security Office chief Jang Ho-jin, deputy ministers from the foreign affairs, unification, defense ministries, and the deputy head of intelligence reportedly reviewed the implementation of measures based on the agreements reached at the NATO summit in Washington and agreed to meticulously carry them out.
Seoul plans to practice nuclear force management and nuclear operations on the Korean Peninsula in joint exercises with Washington, according to the office of the South Korean president.
"To effectively implement the 'Guidelines for ROK-US Nuclear Deterrence and Nuclear Operations on the Korean Peninsula,' it has been decided to systematically and separately advance exchanges of information, consultations, joint planning, and execution regarding nuclear weapons management on the Korean Peninsula. The necessary exercises will also be conducted during the annual South Korean-American government-wide simulations (TTS) and defense and military staff exercises (TTX)," the press release stated.

Additionally, procedural and technical preparations for the earliest possible initiation of information exchanges with NATO regarding North Korean weapons were decided. 

The participants also agreed to promptly implement agreements with NATO member states in the fields of nuclear power, energy, defense industry, and other areas discussed by the South Korean president with the leaders of 12 respective countries and the NATO secretary general.
Last week, US and South Korean defense ministry representatives signed the "Guidelines for Nuclear Deterrence and Nuclear Operations on the Korean Peninsula" on the sidelines of the NATO summit, which include provisions for "non-nuclear support" by Seoul for Washington's nuclear operations in emergencies. 
Under the new guidelines, the allies will aim to "increase the frequency and level" of deployment of US strategic assets on the Korean Peninsula. The document stipulates intelligence sharing, joint planning, preparation, and execution of operations, with South Korea expected to play a more active role in these processes.

Israel Struck By Worst West Nile Fever Outbreak in Quarter of Century

Israel Struck By Worst West Nile Fever Outbreak in Quarter of Century

Israel has registered the highest in 25 years infection rate of West Nile fever, with 440 people infected and 32 dead, the Kan broadcaster reported on Monday, citing the Israeli Health Ministry. 
While in 2000, the previous record year, 425 cases were reported throughout the entire period, the first seven months of 2024 have already surpassed that number, the broadcaster said, adding that from 2000, the annual median infection rate amounted to 100 people. 
Israel has for years been dealing with seasonal outbreaks of the disease, usually from July to November, the ministry said. This year the spike occurred earlier than usual, which might be connected to climate change and increasing temperatures providing a friendly environment for mosquitoes, the main carriers of the disease.

The disease is caused by West Nile virus, which is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The disease can result in damage to the central nervous system in the form of meningitis and encephalitis, as well as present in a flu-like form with headaches, fever and sore throat. However, about 80% of people who are infected do not show any symptoms. There is no vaccine available for people to prevent West Nile fever. The sick person does not pose a threat to other people.
The disease mainly spreads in tropical and subtropical regions, but has been increasingly recorded in non-tropical countries, such as Spain and Greece.

Terry James: Pernicious Planners

Pernicious Planners for Post-Rapture
Terry James

Walking through our living room the other day after being outside, I remarked to my wife that the one-worlders are intending to take away our air-conditioning. It was at an hour the temperature in our state had reached a heat index of 115. And that included considerable humidity. It was about as bad as it gets here during the summer.

It was unimaginable that such a thing as removing air-conditioning could actually be in the planning–at least for us here in America. That would cause a riot was my fleeting thought as I then turned to other things.

But turning the thermostats up or down, depending upon the season, is just one of the changes towards the new way of life being planned by the New World Order architects.

Klaus Schwab, perhaps the top spokesman for these globalist would-be masters, has instructed the elitist followers of globalism that they must “force” humanity into a world ruled by artificial intelligence and other dehumanizing technologies. He has intimated to them and us that all under their coming rule will “own nothing and be happy.”

We must, the mantra goes, do this for the good of the planet. There are too many “eaters” and too many abusing the earth through carbon-footprint damage. Ultimately, the population must be brought below two billion worldwide (that’s the latest figure I’ve heard). I guess the figure of five hundred million as the top population allowed to exist was somehow changed with the mysterious and sudden removal of the Georgia Guidestones a few years ago.

When confronted with the question—“What about those who jet around the world, like Mr. Schwab and others of his ilk, and their carbon footprints?”—the answer is similar to that given by Schwab’s fellow elitist, John Kerry. He has answered it by saying something to the effect that their activities are critical to see to it that the planet survives, so their travel requirements are justified. (In other words, they know what is best for us.) I guess that makes them gods in their own eyes, and they expect us to agree, as the following excerpt somewhat informs.

World Economic Forum founder and director Klaus Schwab, speaking at the WEF’s recently concluded summer meeting in China, has informed his elitist followers that ushering in the globalist agenda will require humanity to be “forced” into a “collaboration” with the unelected organization.

And the time for forced collaboration has now arrived.

Schwab made the declaration during his opening remarks at the WEF’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as the “Summer Davos,” in Dalian, China.

He praised China for its economic policies, which are seen by the globalists as the model of top-down centralized planning in a high-tech surveillance state run through smart cities, smart EVs, smart homes, smart appliances, smart meters, AI, digital IDs and CBDCs, all of which hold one thing in common—they come with on-off switches not under the control of the end user, which is we the people.

In their ideal world, we live as slaves at the privilege of our masters. We get out of line, they can cut off our electric power, our electric car, our electronic digital money, everything.

This is why Schwab told his globalist comrades at a previous meeting two years ago to expect an “angrier world.” When you force people to live in ways that controvert their best interests, it tends to make them angry!

They know their policies related to a green economy, perpetual wars, severe restrictions on travel, farming, eating meat and a host of other activities considered crucial to a middle-class lifestyle will be extremely unpopular and cause civil wars on top of the world war they already have planned.

Remember, as the 2023 World Governments summit, the globalists told us that there would need to be a “shock” event in order to usher in a new world order. Now they’re being even more honest and telling us that we will be FORCED to accept their new world order.

Hamas's 'Popularity': Attempt To Deceive The American Public?

  • "If you notice, there is a growing dissatisfaction in the West Bank, from the Palestinians, about Hamas," Biden said during a press conference. "Hamas is not popular now."

  • It seems that Biden does not want the American people to be aware that most Palestinians in the West Bank are enthusiastic supporters of Hamas, as that would discourage them from endorsing his idea of creating a Palestinian state there.

  • The broad support Hamas enjoys among the Palestinians, including those who live in the West Bank, means that a Palestinian state would be ruled by the same terrorists who masterminded and carried out the October 7 atrocities against Israelis.

  • Biden appears to be convinced that hiding the fact that most Palestinian people support Hamas from the American people will make it easier for him to promote the insane idea of pressuring Israel to accept a state that is controlled by Hamas and other Iran proxies, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

  • Hamas is not only deeply committed to refusing Israel's right to exist, it has also openly announced that it will use a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem as a springboard to eliminate Israel and murder as many Jews as possible.

  • Biden's claim that Hamas is "not popular" among the Palestinians in the West Bank actually contradicts analysis by US intelligence agencies showing that Hamas's popularity has significantly grown after the terrorist group's attack on Israel on October 7, 2023...

  • The latest poll, released on July 10, 2024, showed that since the October 7 attack, satisfaction among the Palestinians in the West Bank with the "performance" of Hamas murderers and rapists has risen to 82%.

  • When asked who the public would prefer to control the Gaza Strip after the current war, 71% of Palestinians in the West Bank chose Hamas, compared to 46% in the Gaza Strip.

  • The reason Hamas has such high popularity among Palestinians is because it seeks to destroy Israel though jihad (holy war).

  • With respect, President Biden, it was after its members murdered, sexually assaulted, tortured, and abducted hundreds of Israelis on October 7, that Hamas became even more popular among the Palestinians.

  • It is time for Biden and his administration to come clean with the American people about the Palestinians: the majority of them favor destroying Israel and murdering Jews.


JD FARAG: A Thief In The Night

J.D. Farag

Pastor JD answers the question of whether Jesus, comparing His return to “a thief in the night”, is referring to believers or non-believers concerning the pre-tribulation rapture, or His 2nd coming.

10 Burning Questions

10 Burning Questions That Every American Should Be Asking About The Trump Shooting

The people that guard our leaders are supposed to be the most highly trained security personnel in the world.  So how could something like this have happened?  As I mentioned in a previous article, I have been trying to put the pieces together.  To me, it appears that we either just witnessed incompetence on an epic scale or something more insidious was going on out there.  The American people deserve answers, and hopefully we will get them.  But I think that one thing is clear.  I don’t see any possible way that the head of the Secret Service, Kimberly Cheatle, can be allowed to keep her job.  There is no way that this shooting would have happened the way that it did if competent people were running the show.

 10 burning questions that every American should be asking about the Trump shooting…

#1 How did the shooter get so close without being seen by the Secret Service?  It is being reported that he was able to crawl on to a roof that was just 130 yards away from Trump

How on earth did a gunman who was acting suspiciously crawl onto the roof of a building 130 yards away from where former president of the United States was speaking and manage to fire at least eight shots before he was taken down?

That is just one of the damning and terrifying questions that are unanswered after the assassination attempt on Donald Trump that is being described as an enormous security failure.

Terrifying new video from TMZ has captured the moment Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, lay down on the roof of a nearby building, in full view of horrified Trump supporters, and fired towards the stage.

#2 Why weren’t security personnel on that roof?  Every roof that had a direct line of sight to Trump should have been covered, and a former SWAT commander is saying that what we just witnessed was “a fundamental security failure”

Steve Nottingham, a former SWAT commander in Long Beach, California, called Saturday’s shooting “a fundamental security failure.”

He has worked security details for visiting world leaders, including presidents, and now trains officers on how to respond to critical incidents. He pointed at likely breakdowns in the pre-event scouting and real-time monitoring of places a gunman could shoot from.

“They were behind the curve, because they should have had those places covered ahead of time,” Nottingham said.

#3 Why didn’t authorities respond when they were warned about a man with a gun?  One witness says that he repeatedly tried to warn law enforcement about the shooter but he was ignored

A man who was present at the Pennsylvania rally where former President Donald Trump was grazed by a bullet during a failed assassination attempt Saturday night said police ignored him when he told them there was a man with a rifle crawling on a rooftop moments before the shooting.

In the immediate aftermath of the deadly shooting, a man wearing a red “Trump 2024” visor spoke to BBC News from the community of Butler and claimed he tried to warn law enforcement officers about imminent danger regarding the president.

“Probably five to seven minutes of Trump speaking… we noticed a guy crawling – bear crawling – up the roof of the building beside us, fifty feet away from us,” the man said.

#4 According to testimony from another eyewitness, the shooter actually had time to “move from roof to roof” before he started shooting at Trump.  If people in the crowd could see this movement, why couldn’t the Secret Service?

An attendee at former President Donald Trump’s rally at the Butler County fairgrounds says he saw the alleged shooter on a nearby rooftop as Trump was delivering remarks to supporters Saturday.

Trump is safe after he was rushed offstage by Secret Service agents and whisked away to a secure location. Blood could be seen coming from his face after shots rang out. The shooter was fatally shot by a Secret Service sniper, law enforcement sources told CBS News.

Ben Macer told KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Borraso that he was up along the fence line and “saw the guy move from roof to roof. [I] told an officer [the alleged shooter] was on the roof.”

#5 Once the shooting started, why did it take so long for the Secret Service to get to Trump?

There should always be agents just a couple of steps from Trump at all times.

But somehow Thomas Matthew Crooks was able to get off at least eight shots at Trump.

As I watch video of the incident over and over, it seems like an eternity before Secret Service agents get there.

After Trump is shot, there are several long seconds before a couple of agents finally get to Trump.

If the shooter had better aim, Trump would not have survived.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino is calling this entire episode a “catastrophic failure”

Actively communicating with a number of former colleagues from the Secret Service about the assassination attempt.

This is an obviously catastrophic failure and NO excuses should be made, or even attempted.

The failures are profound and questions must be answered about ground surveillance, air surveillance, post-stander support, and counter-sniper advance work and response.

We have ONE job, and we came within inches of a deadly failure today. An uneventful failure is NOT a success.

#6 Why was security so much better at previous Trump rallies?  One man that was there when Trump was shot said that there was a “noticeable” difference between security at this rally and security at a previous rally that he had attended…

Robert D. Philpot said he attended a Trump rally at the Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport during the previous presidential campaign and immediately noted that the location had a lot of buildings similar to those from where the shooter took aim during yesterday’s attack.

“Every rooftop of every hanger had three, four five guys on top,” said Philpot, noting that armed Secret Service and law enforcement were everywhere.

“First thing I did when I got here yesterday, was I did a complete look around at every rooftop and I said to myself that’s strange, I don’t see one cop, sniper, nothing, I don’t see anything, and I just thought that was kind of weird,” said Philpot.

The eyewitness said it was “so noticeable” that the security was so lax for yesterday’s event compared to the one he attended four years prior.

#7 U.S. Representative Mike Waltz claims that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas turned down requests for better Secret Service protection for Trump on multiple occasions.  Why did he do this?…

A House Republican lawmaker is alleging that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas denied stronger Secret Service protection for former President Trump multiple times.

Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., made the accusation hours after Trump was grazed by a bullet at his Saturday Pennsylvania rally.

“I have very reliable sources telling me there have been repeated requests for stronger secret service protection for President Trump. Denied by Secretary Mayorkas,” Waltz wrote on X.

#8 Did inflammatory rhetoric inspire the shooter to do what he did?  As J.D. Vance has aptly observed, the Biden campaign has been labeling Trump as “an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs”

Today is not just some isolated incident.

The central premise of the Biden campaign is that President Donald Trump is an authoritarian fascist who must be stopped at all costs.

That rhetoric led directly to President Trump’s attempted assassination.

And many have pointed out that less than a week ago Joe Biden stated that it was time to put a “bullseye” on Trump…

President Joe Biden reportedly told donors on a phone call on Monday that it was “time to put” former President Donald Trump “in the bullseye.”

“Biden told donors on a private call this afternoon: ‘It’s time to put Trump in the bullseye,’” Kenneth P. Vogel, a reporter with the New York Times, wrote in a post on Monday.

#9 I think that the timing of this shooting was very interesting.

If Trump was killed just before the convention, he would not be the Republican nominee.

So who would have come out of the convention as the replacement nominee?

#10 How will this shooting affect the general election?

When Ronald Reagan was shot, his poll numbers went up dramatically.  Will the same thing happen to Trump?

The polls already suggest that Trump is likely to win back the presidency in November, after a torrid few months for his opponent and a criminal conviction that has had little impact on his popularity.

If history tells us anything, the events of Saturday will only increase his support. In the months after Mr Reagan was shot, the newly-elected Republican president saw a poll boost of eight points.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the poll numbers, but already Trump’s odds of winning in the betting markets has been spiking

On Saturday, prior to the assassination attempt, Trump’s odds of winning the 2024 presidential election were 8/15 (65.2 percent) according to William Hill, a U.K. based betting company. However, after the shooting, this was slashed to a 4/11 (73.3 percent) chance of Trump achieving victory.

We really are moving into a time of unprecedented chaos, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

The Roots Of World War III

The Roots Of World War III

The American diplomat and historian George F. Kennan called the First World War the “seminal catastrophe” of the 20th century, and he wrote two lengthy books on the events that led to the outbreak of that war: The Decline of Bismarck’s European Order and The Fateful Alliance. He also included one of his lectures on the First World War in his book American Diplomacy. Reading these works of history gives one a better sense of the root causes of that war, which included policies, decisions, and events that occurred decades before June-August 1914.

When the war began in the Balkans after the assassination of the Austrian archduke and his wife in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, few foresaw that the conflict would eventually engulf most of Europe and parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and result in the toppling of four empires (Romanov, Hohenzollern, Hapsburg, and Ottoman), the deaths of more than 10 million combatants, the aerial bombing of cities, the use of poison gas, the carving-up of territories in the Middle East that would engender conflicts that continue to this day, the creation of revolutionary secular ideologies that led to an even more destructive war and a Cold War that followed it. When Kennan reviewed the major diplomatic and international events in the rest of the century, he remarked that “all the lines of inquiry” led back to World War I.

Today, with wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and a gathering storm in the western Pacific, there is concern that the world is lurching toward another world war. 

All three conflicts involve at least one nuclear armed power. Some respected strategists and observers believe that an “axis” of autocracies (Russia, China, Iran, and perhaps North Korea) are collaborating to undermine the global order produced by the end of the Cold War, and are urging the United States and its allies to become more deeply involved in these conflicts. Some have even urged the formulation of a “grand strategy” for winning the Third World War. The “lessons of Munich” have been invoked along with Churchillian-like warnings about the need to confront aggressors now to deter future aggression. Those who counsel prudence or restraint, or who promote diplomatic solutions to these conflicts are often labeled “appeasers” or worse.

Today, the wars between Russia-Ukraine/NATO/US, Israel/US-Hamas/Hezbollah/Iran, and the China-Taiwan/U.S. dispute are regional conflicts that if not limited and resolved may expand into a global conflict among nuclear powers–a Third World War, which, to paraphrase George Kennan, would be a catastrophe from which there would be no recovery and no return. 

Yet, the United States under the Biden administration seems intent on continuing and escalating its involvement in Ukraine, even as it sends mixed signals about our intentions in the Middle East and the western Pacific. Adding to the danger is a growing perception both here and abroad that the American president is cognitively unfit for the job of commander-in-chief and chief diplomat.

Should, God forbid, World War III evolve out of these regional conflicts, historians of Kennan’s depth and insight may trace its roots to the early post-Cold War years when successive administrations expanded NATO and positioned the alliance on Russia’s European borders despite vigorous protests from successive Russian leaders (Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin), and prophetic warnings from Kennan and several other experts on Russia and international affairs (including Richard Pipes, Edward Luttwak, Jack Matlock, Jr, Paul Nitze, Fred Ikle, Sam Nunn, Marshall Shulman) that NATO enlargement would produce an aggressive Russian reaction. 

Now, some in the West are calling on the U.S. and its allies to invite Ukraine to become a member of NATO even as Ukraine’s war with Russia gives no sign of ending. This caused more than 60 foreign policy specialists and scholars to pen an open letterto NATO leaders urging them not to invite Ukraine into the alliance.

 “Moving Ukraine toward membership in the alliance,” the letter states, “could make the problem worse, turning Ukraine into the site of a prolonged showdown between the world’s two leading nuclear powers and playing into Vladimir Putin’s narrative that he is fighting the west in Ukraine rather then the people of Ukraine.” Such a move, the signers contend, “would reduce the security of the United States and NATO allies, at considerable risk to all.”