Russian President Vladimir Putin will continue to solidify his annexation of Crimea before making his next move, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely said.
"He'll pause now and continue to firm up his support and strength and control in Crimea before he even attempts to do anything in the greater Ukraine," Vallely told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Wednesday.
Russian-backed forces took over Crimea's naval headquarters and two other facilities on Wednesday, a day after Putin signed a treaty declaring the territory a part of Russia.
Story continues below video.
"He's a very smart man, he's a major chess player, he plays hard ball against what we call soft power, which is what Kerry and the Obama administration and the Europeans are trying to do. And you can't. When somebody is playing hard ball and hard power, soft power does not affect them. That is why sanctions won't work," Vallely, chairman of Stand Up America and a senior military analyst for Fox News, said.
But he does not believe the Obama administration will choose to take military action against Russia.
"They're believers in soft power, which we know won't work against hard power. They, the Russians, and the rest of the world know that we have very weak leadership in the United States. They know that we are a nation of words now, a nation of rhetoric, empty suit rhetoric. So we say, well, we'll take serious action if they cross a certain red line like they did in Syria. Nothing ever happens," he said.
"We have the weakest, most incompetent national security team we've ever had in America. And the rest of the world knows that, so Putin will continue to do what he wants to do and will get away with it."
Vice President Joe Biden is finishing a two-day trip to Eastern Europe to meet with the leaders of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, now members of NATO.
Biden has said the United States is committed to Article 5 of the NATO pact, calling for collective self-defense if one nation is attacked.
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.