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Mr. Russell noted that Ukraine is not a NATO member, which would require the alliance to defend it.

Also, he said, “We have no vital interests at stake in Ukraine.”

He said the real option is to make Mr. Putin suffer. “Russia will pay a mounting political and economic cost to its thuggery, as Putin and his cronies expand their looting activities to what’s left to steal in the Ukraine,” Mr. Russell said.

Mr. Coffey said two Army combat teams remain in Europe: an airborne unit and a one mechanized with Stryker armored personnel carriers. The two tank brigades were deactivated in 2012 and 2013.

“For the first time in 70 years, there’s not a single U.S. tank on European soil that can be used for combat operations,” he said, adding that the Pentagon moved a few tanks back to the Continent for training purposes earlier this year.

The 67,000 U.S. troops in Europe are down from a Cold War peak of 400,000.

Mr. Coffey said a heavy brigade is designated for Europe and based at Fort Hood, Texas. It could be sent to Europe on a rotational basis as a show of force. With regard to air power, the U.S. has F-16s parked at Aviano, Italy, and F-15s at Lakenheath, England.

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said Tuesday that “we’re not actively considering military assistance,” including nonlethal equipment such as body armor.

A defense industry source said Ukrainian officials have been in the U.S. shopping for small arms and communications gear — items the Obama administration is unwilling to provide.

“Certainly, there are requests that have come in from the Ukrainians, but our focus at this point remains on the economic and political support that we’re providing to the Ukrainian government,” the industry source said on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive issues freely.

The Pentagon provided 300,000 packaged meals, called MREs, in March.

“I’m pretty confident MREs won’t stop the Russians,” said Gary Schmitt, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.

The administration’s steadfast opposition to any military aid rankles Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who has said Mr. Obama does not realize that Mr. Putin still lives in the Cold War.

“We ought to at least, for God’s sake, give them some weapons, light weapons with which to defend themselves,” Mr. McCain said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

He said the administration “won’t even share some intelligence with the Ukrainian government. I can tell you from my conversations with people in the government, they feel abandoned by us, and rightfully so. This is shameful.”

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