Russia’s movement of troops into Crimea is proof that the Obama administration’s policy toward Moscow is a failure, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Peter Brookes said Friday.

Brookes, who is a senior fellow for national security affairs for the conservative policy research group, told Fox News' Shannon Bream on "The Kelly File" the White House is behind the power curve on Russia. He acknowledged the two countries have a complicated relationship and Obama must walk a fine line, but said the issue should have been dealt with earlier.

“This administration’s policy toward Russia has been a failure,” Brookes said, later adding, “There is some value in strategic ambiguity because you are trying to deter the Russians from going any further, you’re trying to involve yourself in preventive diplomacy, but this should have been done a long, long time ago. And unfortunately this administration, like so many issues, is behind the power curve.”

Brookes said the situation could only get worse if violence against ethnic Russians or Russian citizens in Ukraine escalates.

“This thing easily spiral out of control if there is some sort of crisis or some sort of violence within Ukraine, especially against Russians,” Brookes said. “Putin has shown in the past he will act on these things.”