The Pentagon's announcement that 8,500 U.S. troops have been put on heightened alert is "all about" public relations and not about policy on Ukraine, former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland told Newsmax on Tuesday.
She also told Newsmax's "Wake Up America" that she believes Ukraine is a "done deal" for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"They're not sending troops anywhere," McFarland said of the Pentagon. "They're still in the United States … they're not going into Ukraine. They're going to other NATO countries."
Still, McFarland said she thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin has "won this round."
"Whether he wants to just destabilize Ukraine and prevent Ukraine from joining NATO at the minimum, or whether he wants to have a coup in Kyiv and then have a pro-Russian leader to take his orders so that all of Ukraine comes back under this, under the Russian influence, I think it's a done deal," she said. "I'm worried about the next step."
Instead, if the United States wants to stop Putin, "it's too late on Ukraine," but "we could make a huge difference going forward if we seize back the energy initiative."
The United States already exports oil and natural gas to Europe, but "we could do a lot more," she continued. "We could replace the Russians as the main energy source for Europe. And yet [President] Joe Biden turned that off a year ago.
"That's when he lost Ukraine, a year ago, when he turned off our energy industry, and he allowed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to go ahead."
Meanwhile, Germany has "decided it's all about Germany," said McFarland. "Germany's attitude all along is they want us to help them in Europe to do whatever we need to do in Europe to protect them and keep them safe while they buy oil from Russia … Germany thinks of itself, I think, in the 21st century as one giant Switzerland. It doesn't want to pay for a military, but it really wants to make a lot of money."
McFarland added that she's in favor of strengthening the NATO alliance and the U.S. alliance with individual European countries, but she would do it with economic weapons.
"I go back to my years in the Reagan administration," she said. "He understood that you're never going to beat these guys at their game. You've got to beat them at your game.
"In the 1980s, we had a superior economy. We had superior technology. So Reagan rebuilt American defenses. He fixed the American economy, and then he bankrupted the Soviet Union. We could do that again. "
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