Late President Ronald Reagan wouldn't have ordered the Russian planes that brought down a U.S. drone this week to be shot down, as he won the Cold War by bankrupting the Soviet Union, not through military action, K.T. McFarland, who served in his administration, told Newsmax.
"You don't go to war," McFarland, also a former deputy national security adviser under President Donald Trump, said on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now," while disagreeing with contentions made by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "You don't have to go to war because you have an economic weapon."
McFarland's comments come after Graham maintained Wednesday that if Reagan were still alive, he would have started shooting down Russian planes if they were threatening U.S. assets, including the incident in which two Russian Su-27 aircraft flew in front of an unmanned U.S. MQ-9 drone above the Black Sea and dumped fuel on it. One of the Russian jets hit the drone, causing it to crash.
"If the administration or any of these people who seem to want to beat the war drums, if they were really serious about defeating Russia, they would do one thing and they would do it quite quickly: Stop President [Joe] Biden's war on American fossil fuels," said McFarland. "Let the United States energy industry once again become not just energy independent for America, but energy dominant now."
The U.S. has enough energy to supply the rest of the world's needs, she added, and "we can do it at a much cheaper price than Russia or Iran or any of these countries," she added.
Russia needs energy prices to remain high as "that's how they're paying for this war," McFarland said. "If we wanted to stop Russia dead in its tracks, instead of shooting them out of the air, just bankrupt them. Russia would not be able to afford to keep this war going for even another six months if we use that economic weapon."
With Reagan, McFarland added, there were only two military engagements in his eight years in office, with the war in Grenada finished in just a few weeks and an incident with vessels in the Persian Gulf.
"Other than that, Ronald Reagan did not go to war," McFarland said. "Ronald Reagan used the economic weapons to defeat our adversaries and we have that weapon today, and we should use it."
Meanwhile, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that there was not likely much to recover from the downed drone, and McFarland said that's another example of the U.S. government "making excuses after the fact."
That leads to countries like Russia and China committing acts because they know there will be no consequences, she said.
"China is very quickly becoming the dominant global power, right under our noses," said McFarland. "What happened in the Middle East? There's now a new Saudi Arabia-Iran agreement. Now the Chinese president is going to go to Russia to have a Russia-China alliance, and then he's maybe even going to go to Ukraine and try to play the peace broker there again. We're always reacting."
The U.S. has the ability and the tools to become the dominant world power again, but the Biden administration "refuses to use them," said McFarland.
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