As we approach the new millennium, we face the potential for unprecedented turbulence on our near horizon. Whether we focus on the caldron of the Middle East, the instability and preparations for war in Russia, the rise of China as a superpower, the emergence of the European Superstate, or the dissipation of the resources of America, it appears to be naive to expect smooth sailing over the coming decade.
Jesus warned us that as we approach the end times there would be "wars and rumors of wars..." and that "nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom..." As we continue our series reviewing "The Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse,"1 we now turn to the Red Horseman:
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. - Revelation 6:3, 4
Trends in Modern Warfare
Ever since the gun powder revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries led to the emergence of the nation-states, the economies of scale in violence have steadily increased. The mercenary armies of the 16th century rarely exceeded 20,000 to 30,000 men; in the 17th century they doubled and in the 18th century they tripled. In the 19th century the trend continued: in the Civil War (1861-1865), over 600,000 federal troops were mobilized.
The 20th century was the bloodiest in history. In World War I, over 63,000,000 men were mobilized and at least 8,500,000 killed. In World War II, the total mobilized was about 107,000,000. (Battle casualties don't include over 100 million killed by Stalin and Hitler in death camps or their equivalent.)
The 21st century will increase technology for destruction. Beyond the atomic bombs of World War II, which still dealt with only "point targets," the thermonuclear bombs of the present are wide area weapons. Furthermore, today an intercontinental ballistic missile can reach anywhere in the world in less time than it takes to read this news journal; from a satellite orbit, it is only a matter of a few minutes. Casualties of a full-scale nuclear exchange have been estimated to over half of the population. (Such an exchange seems to be hinted at in Ezekiel 38:22 and 39:6.)
Notice the technology that is implied in Jesus' warning:
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. -Matthew 24:22
Did the requisite technology for this prophecy exist prior to our present nuclear age?
Preparations for the Next War
We don't like to think about the unthinkable. However,
If you don't look the facts in the face, they have a way of stabbing you in the back.
- Winston Churchill
Our present geopolitical horizon is a virtual caldron waiting to boil over. Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt continue to arm for another confrontation with Israel, who no longer has a nuclear monopoly in the Middle East, and our current policies continue to eliminate her conventional options. The increasing instability in Russia also appears to be positioning for potential confrontations and intrigues in the Middle East.
In the last two years, Russia has: commissioned a new aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov; commissioned the largest ballistic missile cruiser in the history of the world, the Peter the Great; begun construction of the 5th generation of Borei class of ballistic missile submarines with an ultra-modern hull, beginning with the Yuri Dolgoruki; begun construction of the new Severodvinsk class of nuclear attack submarine; refitted all Typhoon class ballistic missile submarines with upgrades of the SS-N-24/6 missile; and developed a new stealth bomber. Russia's new submarines are larger and quieter than anything western navies put to sea, according to Admiral Jeremy Boorda's assessment before Congress, before he committed suicide.
The Air Force's National Intelligence Center concluded in a recent report to Congress that even with its social and economic problems, Russia still retains "the largest force of land-based strategic missiles in the world." The Department of Defense estimates that Russia would need only to fire about 15% of its ICBMs to destroy 65-85% of U.S. silos. Russia's ICBMs are in harder silos and on mobile launchers, making them less vulnerable to an American counterattack.
Russia is also preparing ambitious underground facilities. The development at Yamantau Mountain complex, presently underway, is an underground city about the size of the Washington Beltway and employs over 60,000 construction workers! And Russia continues to practice preemptive nuclear strikes against the United States:2
oFebruary 21, 1997: Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin "was at the Odinstovo nuclear command center, overseeing an exercise whose assignment was 'to destroy the U.S. in less than an hour.'" 3
oSeptember 1997: Three day exercise, included test firing ICBMs, submarine-launched missiles, and bomber-launched cruise missiles.
oApril 1998: Russia's Strategic Bomber forces carried out simulated nuclear bombing raids against the United States in an exercise that included test firings of long-range cruise missiles.
oOctober 1998: Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces practiced a mock nuclear attack, firing an ICBM at the U.S., coordinated with the Russian Strategic Bomber force.
And they continue ever more frequently. I'm told that now they occur so often that we no longer even go on alert when these "practice exercises" occur.
The emergence of China as a major superpower is another dominant factor in the strategic lineup of the next several decades. 4 China is also preparing for a war with the United States that it believes is inevitable. Out of the 18 CSS-4 long range ICBMs, 13 are presently targeted against the United States. 5
According to the Cox Report to Congress,6 virtually all of our most deeply classified programs have been compromised through espionage, including the W-88, our most advanced warhead, the Lagrangian equations (which permit nuclear development without testing), the EMP technology (electromagnetic pulses which can disable all microcircuits in a region from a high altitude nuclear detonation); and the neutron bomb (which can destroy people without damaging real estate). According to Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, illegal bribes and campaign contributions (commonly known as "Chinagate") virtually funded the last several elections and have treasonously compromised the current administration to the highest offices in the land. 7
(On December 31, 1999, China takes over the Panama Canal, a major strategic logistic asset over which we fought several wars and for which many have died.)
What is equally disturbing is the current exposure of the United States. (Critics would call it "reckless endangerment of the American people.")
President Clinton has overseen the destruction of two-thirds of America's nuclear weapons stockpile. He has also declared that America will no longer attempt to deter a missile strike upon a launch by Russia: our doctrine is to sustain a first strike before attempting retaliation! 8 This appears not only foolish, but an invitation to disaster.
Our troop levels have been slashed over 30%; our remaining battle troops are diffused throughout the Middle East, Bosnia, and elsewhere. Budgets have been cut, with even remaining funds diverted to social programs, etc. Our cruise missile inventory is virtually depleted. The Navy has decommissioned almost half its ships: 600 (1991) to 336 today (the lowest level since 1938). Our "Open Skies" policy now permits Russian and Chinese planes to fly over and photograph U.S. military bases. (The fact that America may be ripe for God's judgment was explored in our recent briefing pack, Hosea, Can You See?.)
It clearly is a time for intensive spiritual preparation for all of us. We know not what the coming year will bring, but to assume that it will be "smooth sailing" would appear incredibly naive. We strongly urge all of our subscribers and supporters to commit themselves to a personal program of serious study and prayerful preparation for the potential clouds on our current horizon. It can be an unparalleled opportunity for ministry for those who are prepared.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.-Proverbs 22:3 (27:12)
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Next month: Behold A White Horse. Who does he represent? (Some say Bill Clinton!) Stay tuned.