The Iron-Clay Feet Begin
After the two world wars, what happened to the imperial territory the Turks and Germans presided over? They were fragmented into a mixture of strong (iron) and weak (clay) states in Europe and the Middle East. Hence the apt metaphor of iron-clay feet. Daniel 2:41,42 (NIV): Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
The Western Iron-Clay Foot
Europe transmogrified after World War II. This foot is emerging differently than the eastern foot. Mortified at yet another continental war, postwar Europe endeavored to unite for good. Step One was to unify all steel and coal industries (warmaking essentials). The European Steel & Coal Community was formed (1952). Then Euratom was formed (1957), the nuclear power equivalent. Then the European Economic Community was formed (1957). Finally, the European Union was formed (1993).
The Foot Emerges Economically First
Beneath these Nobel Peace Prize changes runs a Biblical narrative on human nature and ancient Rome that changeth not. The iron-clay foot that emerged in postwar Europe was, first of all, economic. Unsurprisingly, Germany eventually recovered and grew into the continent's best and leading economy, with a few others following. The rest are drowning in debt (as of the time of this writing). Rome's iron, though, is much more than mere economics.
The Full Manifestation Coming
As Muslim migration and refugees threaten Europe's demography and stability, we are witnessing that iron resurface in sentiments and political movements throughout the continent. Biblically, at least two more things will help fully catalyze the iron states: (1) a resurgent, shrewd, aggressive Russia and (2) Israel. As Russia's truculence and political intrigues increase, the iron states in Europe will manifest and bow up. Clay states will also manifest, those incapable or unwilling to ironize. Furthermore, last-days Jerusalem will be a cup that makes the nations drunk (Zec 12:2). The headaches involving Israel will draw out the nations against her, especially that ancient iron in Europe's deeper soul--the iron that authorized the Crucifixion, destroyed Jerusalem once before, and ended Israel's statehood for two millennia.
The Eastern Iron-Clay Foot
The Middle East dramatically transmogrified after World War I. Under the arbitrary colonial thumb and national interests of Britain and France, new states were carved out with no regard to ethnic or religious sensitivities. The region became a troubled, problematic mix of strong nations with Rome's iron essence and weak clay nations serving as proxies or clients or asymmetrical enemies. If you are well-versed in recent Mideast history from World War I to the present, you understand well why there is not peace in the Middle East, you understand well the eastern iron-clay foot.
At the moment, the eastern states that have ironized are Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan. (The eschatological line is drawn at India; a separate subject altogether.) The rest are clay states serving as proxies, clients, weaker allies, or asymmetrical enemies of the iron states. Iraq was an iron state under Saddam's regime, is a weak proxy of Iran at the moment, but will ironize again. Several yet to be fulfilled prophecies indicate an iron Iraq.
Where We Are Right Now: Mini-Phase 4b
This is precisely where we are on God's eschatological timeline: watching and waiting for an iron-clay Europe and Middle East to finalize and settle into place (Mini-Phase 4b, see Chapter 2). When God deems the iron-clay feet have been fulfilled, He will phaseshift civilization into the ten toes phase. That phase is, literally, the last phase of human history. It occasions the Antichrist and the Second Coming.