Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Friday gave President Obama credit for the death of ousted Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, but he offered more criticism of the administration than praise.
Appearing on CNN's American Morning, McCain said the Obama administration deserves “great credit” for ridding the world of men like Qaddafi and Osama bin Laden. Yet he also said the United States's military involvement in Libya should have been more muscular.
“If the United States had used the full weight of our air power, this conflict would have been over long ago,” said McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I want to thank the British, French, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, who played a key leadership role while we led from behind.”
McCain pushed back against assertions that the multilateral, limited military support for the Libyan rebels should be a model for other interventions. Every situation is "different," he said.
He added that in Syria, while he doesn't see "the military scenario," the United States "certainly could be doing a lot more to provide moral support to the Syrian opposition, just as we did not do when the Iranians rose up."
McCain also criticized the ongoing troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan. Having troops leave Iraq puts the country “in significant danger of having more problems than they otherwise would have,” McCain said, arguing that withdrawal could leave Iraq vulnerable to Iranian influence.
“I can tell you, from traveling the world, that in the world they believe the United States is withdrawing and is weakening,” he said.