The American Military
Who Can Make War with Him?
"Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
7"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
19"Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet;21"I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
"The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
24The ten horns are ten kings
Who shall arise from this kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
25He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.”
Most Bible scholars agree that the fourth beast in Daniel 7 represents the last great kingdom on earth, the little horn, out of which the antichrist comes – the same one who makes war with the saints of the Most High. Many also believe that the ten horns represents ten nations that at one time made up the core of the Holy Roman Empire. But few have a good explanation as to who the “little horn” represents. Yes, he is the antichrist, but he is more than a person, because he represents a great nation that makes war with the saints and the nations of the earth, the same who makes a covenant with Israel in Daniel 9:27. Who is that nation? Who is that younger horn that makes war against the nations?
The explanation I propose is the most logical I have ever come across. Ten nations from Europe went out to colonize the whole world which included north and south America, all of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia, the islands, Australia. You can hardly find a single nation that was not at one time under one of the Western European colonial powers. There were ten Western European nations that established colonies: Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Russia.
Who is the “Little Horn”?
Where is the “little horn”? In our search for the “little horn” which also happens to be prophetic Babylon, we have to remember God looks at peoples, not geography. Jews are Jews no matter where they live in the world. When the Europeans spread throughout the earth, there were some areas that didn’t have large indigenous populations (or they were killed) where Europeans colonized and transferred their people, language, institutions. We shouldn’t be locked in by narrow geographic concepts but should look for nations that are “extensions” of Europe abroad.
Which nation colonized by Europe grew to become the most powerful of all? And which nation uprooted three other nations (horns) during the colonization process (it should be pointed out that uprooting doesn’t mean killing – just removing them)? What three nations colonized America? The English colonized the east coast. The French controlled the center of the country which was by far the largest portion – from Louisiana to Canada. The Spanish colonized the west from Texas to California. The English were removed by the Revolutionary War, the French by the Louisiana Purchase and the Spanish by the Mexican American War. This left the United States one nation indivisible “from sea to shining sea.”
After World War II most of the world from Europe to Asia was in ruins. The United States emerged as the greatest militarily power on earth. The USSR poked around the edges of our empire and were a threat because of their nuclear capability and missiles but all that ended with the break up of their empire and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. This left America as the sole superpower on earth. The first three parts of this series chronicles the emergence of America as the world power and the spread of its commercial and military influence throughout the world.
The United States participated as a member of the global community in various UN actions such as Korea, Kosovo and even the first Gulf war. After 9/11 and with the invasion of Iraq it moved from a policy of nonintervention and coalitions to aggressive preemptive war. As Chalmers Johnson says,
“From the moment we took on a role that included the permanent military domination of the world, we were on our own –feared, hated, corrupt and corrupting, maintaining “order” through state terrorism and bribery, and given to meglomanic rhetoric and sophistries that virtually invited the rest of the world to unite against us”. (The Sorrows of Empire, p. 284)
Timing is Every Thing
As I mentioned in the last section, there is no doubt that, given time, the U.S. would probably decline. Continual war will lead to more terrorism, and the cost of promulgating war will drain and stretch money and manpower. The record budget and huge deficits just proposed by the Bush administration did not even include the cost of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and whoever is next on the list – Syria, Iran??? Eventually, even if the U.S. could get their hands on Mid-east oil, America would probably bankrupt for many reasons which I have covered in the past several sections. Historically, all empires overextend and fall in the end but some not as quickly as one would expect. Rome lasted a thousand years.
Prophetic timing is another thing. God has his timing, and just as surely as all of the events came together for the first coming of our Lord Jesus exactly as prophesied, they will just as surely happen prior to his Second Coming. There is a convergence of events.
· Israel is back in the land and Jerusalem is the capital.
· The sole superpower in the world happens to be Israel’s closest ally.
· Daniel 11:40-45 makes it clear that the antichrists armies are positioned in the region (and we just happen to be in Iraq)
· All of the countries are lined up for the Gog-Magog War.
· With the death of Arafat, peace appears to be “coming” to the Middle East. A cease fire was announced today, Wednesday.
As a practical matter, a country doesn’t build military capability over night, nor does it extend itself to have a military presence in 130 countries around the world. Many Christians expect America to decline and Europe to rise again, but as we shall see, European countries have very little offensive military capability and presence in the world. Again, this is not something you build over night. Their fragile economies would not even be able to support a build up. And of course, the United Nations, is little more than a debating society for “have not” countries who want to rail on Israel and America. They have no real armies – only what they are loaned by members. Of course other countries could replace America but not that quickly. Further, Revelation 17, 18 and 19 describe the three parts of prophetic Babylon – apostate Christian, a great consuming nation and the military power. So let’s look at America’s military capability.
Who is Able to Make War With Him?
The United States of America spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. The budget for next year is $419 billion, plus another estimated $80 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for a total of $500 billion total. Here are some more facts. The U.S. military budget is eight times China’s, the second largest spender. The US military budget is more than 29 times as large as the combined spending of the seven “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) who spent $14.4 billion, four times more than China and Russia and three times more than all of Europe combined.
You can go to the Department of Defense website and see how far advanced and futuristic American weaponery is compared to other nations. When I was an instructor and Captain at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, and taught photo interpretation, we used Janes Reference Manuals to find out the latest weaponry. If you check today, you will see that the military is moving away from grunt soldiers toward armed robots, unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, laser guided weapons, ceramic armor, smart weapons using artificial intelligence, etc. Our technology makes the military capability of other countries look stone age in comparison. In addition, we have airspace weapons systems, indirect fire systems and all kinds of new weaponry the world can not even conceive of.
The United States has 12 world class aircraft carriers and each is a four acre floating airbase that accomodates 80 aircraft. You will notice from the table that the U.S. has over 1 million tons of displacement, more than the rest of the world’s 18 aircraft carriers combined. Russias largest is only 59,000 tons two thirds the size of America’s smallest carrier.
There are eight operational and two Nimitz-class carriers under construction. The Nimitz Class aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built. With over 6,000 personnel (crew and aircrew), the carrier has a displacement of 102,000 tons, and a flight deck length of over 1000 feet These are floating battle stars with the latest in aircraft, missiles, and electronics.
America has 350,000 soldiers deployed in 700 bases in 130 countries around the world. Chalmers Johnson notes that,
“As distinct from other peoples, most Americans do not recognize -- or do not want to recognize -- that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, our citizens are often ignorant of the fact that our garrisons encircle the planet. This vast network of American bases on every continent except Antarctica actually constitutes a new form of empire -- an empire of bases with its own geography not likely to be taught in any high school geography class. Without grasping the dimensions of this globe-girdling Baseworld, one can't begin to understand the size and nature of our imperial aspirations or the degree to which a new kind of militarism is undermining our constitutional order…Our military deploys well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents, and civilian contractors in other nations... Some of these bases are so gigantic they require as many as nine internal bus routes for soldiers and civilian contractors to get around inside the earthen berms and concertina wire.”
At the same time as we are closing bases in the United States, we are expanding around the world to the Muslim countries south of Russia (all of the …”stans”), Iraq, Eastern Europe, etc. The military refers to these bases as our “footprint” in the world, and many of the smaller bases are called “lily pads” – “to which our troops could jump like so many well-armed frogs from the homeland, our remaining NATO bases, or bases in the docile satellites of Japan and Britain.” (Chalmers) Please see this map in Adobe Acrobat showing military bases and troop strengths around the world. The map below shows military troops and bases around the world as of 2003.
In 2006, the budget goes up at least another $100 billion. Unfortunately, these increases in military spending mean cuts in everything else as can be seen by the chart to the left. This is just another price of empire. Aside from Homeland Security, there will be over $214 billion in cuts over five years in “discretionary” programs such as education, environmental protection, transportation, veterans’ health care, medical research, law enforcement, and food and drug safety inspection. The cost of empire is at our expense.
The cost overruns have been so great in Afghanistan and Iraq, it may be much worse than depicted here. The administration realizes that the financial world will lose confidence in the United States if it continues to run massive deficits. The only answer is to trim everything else out of the budget.
Does this sound like a country bent on peace or war? As the old saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is”, America is showing its priorities to the world and its own citizens. From a prophetic point of view, all America has to do in her desperation, is to maintain commercial and military dominance for a few more years. Obviously, it couldn’t sustain these expenses and expansion of empire in its war on terror and the axis of evil. But it doesn’t have to.
Many Christian leaders believe that, since America isn’t mentioned in prophecy, it must fall away into nothingness so that Europe or whatever country or group of countries they believe the antichrist will come from can arise. But there isn’t time. You not only don’t dismantle an empire over night, you don’t build up a new one either. Again, I would submit that America fits the description of prophetic Babylon perfectly – from its apostate Christianity to its economic and military dominance in the world. Israel is in the land and Jerusalem is a “cup of trembling” to the nations as the forces line up for the Gog Magog war, the defense treaty between the antichrist and Israel, and the beginning of the final seven years.
As Christians in the land of prophetic Babylon, it behooves us to stay on our knees, not get entangled in the economic and political system any more than necessary, and to warn others. It just so happens that our Lord compares the “last days” to the days of Noah.
36"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
It was business as usual – eating, drinking and marrying until the flood came. Brothers and sisters, the flood is coming. Our ark, our refuge is the Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ. He will have a corporate testimony of Christians built together as a spiritual house.
19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)
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