JERUSALEM, Israel — As Russian forces conduct a major military exercise this week in northwestern Belarus, one man has ominous words to describe the latest global aggression directed by President Vladimir Putin.
“After 16 years of writing about radical Islam I’m personally convinced that Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than radical Islam, “ Joel Rosenberg, bestselling author of numerous books on radical Islam and the Islamic State, told Breitbart News.
“Dubbed Zapad — or ‘West’ — 2017, it’s the latest edition of a quadrennial large-scale drill that was once a key mobilization for the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact,” the Washington Post reported. “This year, only the forces of Russia and Belarus are involved, but given the tensions surrounding Moscow’s relations with Europe and the United States, it’s no surprise the exercise is being treated as a momentous geopolitical act.”
Ironically, the Post’s reporting on Russia’s move seems to praise the Communist dictator, saying “The exercises will show off a military that has been transformed under President Vladimir Putin into an effective force that has deployed to Syria and Ukraine in recent years.”
But Rosenberg, who has a Jewish father but is now an Evangelical Christian, moved to Israel from the United States several years ago. He calls Putin a “monster” and ticks off a list of the threats posed by Russia around the globe, from the invasion and annexation of Crimea in the Ukraine to insertion into conflicts in the Middle East, including Syria.
The Post reports Russian officials have said the exercises will involve 12,700 troops and 680 pieces of military hardware, including 138 tanks.
“But Western officials suggest that the numbers are probably far higher, with estimates ranging from 70,000 to as many as 100,000 participants,” according to the Post.
They’re calling it a “defensive” exercise, developing the scenario of an invasion from the imaginary aggressive nation state of Veishnoriya, but analysts say it more likely could be a scenario of possible Russian aggression toward the Baltic States — Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which are all NATO allies to the U.S.
“The storyline of the exercise sees militant groups linked to Veishnoriya and backed by the West infiltrate the border — ironically in perhaps much the same manner as the ‘little green men,’ widely assumed to be Russian soldiers, who appeared in Ukraine in 2014,” the Post reported.
“The illegal militias are backed from abroad, providing them with armaments and naval and air capabilities,” explains a summary from the Russian defense ministry. “In order to neutralize the opponents, land forces will be deployed to cut off their access to sea and block air corridors in the region, with the support of the air force, air defense forces, and the navy.”
But leaders in the region worry that Russia has a more sinister plan, including leaving behind military equipment that could be later deployed.
“We can’t be totally calm,” Lithuania’s defense minister told reporters. “There is a large foreign army massed next to Lithuanian territory.”
Rosenberg said the West should share those concerns, and while a majority of Americans do see Putin and Russia as a threat, the concern has been over-shawdowed by the very real threat of ISIS and even North Korea. Rosenberg wrote about that fact early this year after commissioning a poll to gage specifically what Americans think of Putin and Russia.
Sixty percent of respondents said they believe Putin has global ambitions, picking the answer that states Russia wants to “regain the glory of Mother Russia by expanding the territory and influence of Russia in Europe and the Middle East, including by military force.”
Rosenberg has extraordinary credentials for his perspective on America’s enemies, earning him the nickname of a “modern day Nostradamus.”
In 2002, Rosenberg opened his debut novel, The Last Jihad, with Muslim extremists using an airplane in a kamikaze attack on the president of the United States. Rosenberg wrote that scene before the 9/11 terror attack.
In his second novel series, beginning with The Twelfth Imam (2010), Rosenberg tells the story of a young CIA operative who uncovers the shocking truth about Iran’s nuclear capabilities and the threat it poses to the U.S. and Israel.
The Third Target (2015) was the first novel in Rosenberg’s series about a New York Times reporter who chases a story about ISIS. J.B. Collins sets out to confirm a rumor he’s heard suggesting that the terrorist group smuggled weapons of mass destruction out of Syria.
Rosenberg’s upcoming novel is focused on what seems to be his latest prophetic piece of fiction. “The Kremlin Conspiracy” will be released in March.
Rosenberg didn’t want to reveal too much about his new book, but he did cite a real-life NATO poll that said if Russian decided to capture the Baltic states it could do so in 60 hours.
“So I go back to my premise: Vladimir Putin is more dangerous than radical Islam,” Rosenberg said, adding that Americans better “wake up before it’s too late.”
“Putin is the greatest geo-political threat that the West faces,” Rosenberg said.
Aside from writing best-selling novels, Rosenberg worked for many years in the conservative movement in Washington D.C. and has spoken to audiences and met with religious and government leaders all across the U.S. and Canada and around the world, including in Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, Turkey, Afghanistan, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, India, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Rosenberg has also spoken to audiences at the White House and the Pentagon, addressed members of Congress on Capitol Hill and members of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.
He is the founder and chairman of The Joshua Fund, a nonprofit educational and charitable organization.