The ultimate invasion of the Middle East by "Gog and Magog" is well known to most Biblically informed observers.1 The invading forces of Magog - recognized as referring to Russia by most authorities - are wiped out by "hailstones of fire" from the heavens, which also cause an earthquake felt around the world.2 A disturbing aspect of this encounter is that similar "hailstones of fire" also appear to fall on those "who dwell securely in the isles" or coastlands. 3 Some suspect that this could be a hint of an intercontinental nuclear exchange as part of the confrontation with Magog and its allies.4
The climactic intervention by the "Kings of the East" is also a major aspect of the final Biblical scenario.5 The rise of China as a major world power is one of the dominant factors of the forthcoming century.
Two years ago, when we invaded Kosovo and NATO redefined itself as a global police force, we sent chills to both our allies and our adversaries. China and Russia - themselves traditional adversaries - were driven into each others' arms. And now it seems that world events have taken a serious strategic turn. Russia and China are now conducting joint practice operations that deserve careful scrutiny.
The Russians have been practicing nuclear intervention against the U.S. troops on Taiwan in a mock nuclear conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan. During these strategic exercises they included Russian preparations to use nuclear weapons on U.S. forces in Asia.6
These strategic exercises included practice bombing runs with Russian TU-22 Backfire bombers that flew close to Japanese airspace, according to defense officials familiar with a National Security Agency analysis of the Russian war games. An intelligence report based on communications among the Russian forces during the maneuvers indicated that the Russians practiced fighting in Europe and Asia in one of the largest exercises in the past decade.
The Asian scenario began with a Chinese military attack on Taiwan that was followed by the use of U.S. ground troops. Next, China escalated the conflict by firing tactical nuclear missiles on U.S. troops in Taiwan, prompting U.S. nuclear strikes on Chinese forces. Russian forces then threatened to use nuclear missile strikes on U.S. forces in the region, including strikes on troops in South Korea and Japan. Japan's military sent jet interceptors to confront two Russian TU-22 bombers and two SU-27 fighter-bombers that Tokyo said had violated Japanese airspace. Russian denied any invasion of Japanese airspace.
According to the NSA analysis, the TU-22s were equipped with long-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles as part of the Russian intervention on behalf of China during the simulated conflict over Taiwan. During the exercise, Russia also test-fired three strategic nuclear missiles from land-based mobile launchers and from a submarine. Russian President Putin and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev activated the Russian nuclear command and control suitcase known as "cheget." Marshall Sergeyev announced that "all the designated targets were hit by the strategic missiles, which were launched as a training exercise, during the recent live firings."7
Two days later, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Chinese Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Zhang Wannian met in Moscow. Official Russian press reports indicate that military sales from Russia to China would increase 25% annually. These will include Oscar-class nuclear cruise missile submarines, Akula-class nuclear attack subs, and the TU-22M Backfire bombers.
The Asian exercise was the first time Russian forces had practiced fighting the United States in the Pacific region. The European portion of the exercise, pitting Russian forces against NATO, was similar to those practiced in past exercises.
Russia and China have been moving closer together in what many analysts see as an anti-U.S. alliance. Moscow feels threatened by NATO's inclusion two years ago of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, and China has begun turning against what it calls "U.S. hegemonism" since the 1999 war against Yugoslavia. The Balkan conflict also angered Beijing because of the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, which China's government regards as an intentional U.S. attack.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin met Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan in preparation for the signing of a treaty of friendship and cooperation between the countries scheduled for next month.
President Bush has shifted away from the previous position of the Clinton administration, declaring that the United States would do "whatever it takes" to defend the island nation of Taiwan. In a major strategy review presently being conducted for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Pentagon officials familiar with the early drafts indicate that it will recommend a major strategic shift from Europe to Asia to deal with the emerging threat of China.
The People's Republic of China presently targets some 300 ballistic missiles against Taiwan, and its CSS-4 long-range missiles are targeted against the U.S.8 Beijing's steadily increasing military budget - a 17% increase in 2001 - includes medium- and long-range ballistic missile forces capable of hitting American bases anywhere in the Pacific and all regions of the continental United States.
Our Strategic Horizon
It is, indeed, a critical time to "do our homework." We do believe that you and I are being plunged into a period of time about which the Bible says more than it does about any other period of time in human history - including the time that Jesus walked the shores of Galilee and climbed the mountains of Judea. We strongly invite you to challenge this preposterous statement: we need to thoroughly study what the Bible says about the "end times," and then investigate carefully what is really going on throughout the world.
We live in the most exciting times, but we need to be prepared spiritually! It is a very appropriate time to reexamine all of our personal and family priorities.
Behold ye among the nations, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. - Habakkuk 1:5
* * *
For Further Reading:
- Michael Pillsbury, China Debates the Future Security Environment, National Defense University Press, Washington D.C., 2000. A translation of over 600 writings from over 200 Chinese authors published from 1994 to 1999.
- Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro, The Coming Conflict with China, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1997.
- Carl Lawrence, and David Wang, The Coming Influence of China, Vision House, Gresham OR, 1996.
- Steven W. Mosher, Hegemon-China's Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2000.