By Lt. James Schmitt, USAF Best Defense guest columnist
If there's one lesson to be learned in the Russian invasion of Crimea, it is that hard power acts faster than soft power. The international outrage against Russia for its actions traveled at a fraction of the pace of the Russian troops moving out of their bases in the region. Consequences for the action will follow "in days, not weeks," according to unnamed U.S. officials, but the entire Russian takeover of the peninsula took less than a day. The slow reaction of the international community in Ukraine follows an ineffectual reaction from the international community in a much more deadly Syrian conflict. International inaction was likely part of Vladimir Putin's decision-making calculus when he was planning, allegedly for weeks, Russia's advance.