WASHINGTON (CBS News) - With the White House on its heels after a turbulent week in the Middle East, lawmakers from both parties called on President Obama to be more aggressive on foreign policy.
The U.S.-backed government in Yemen collapsed last week, and the fast-moving developments from the capital city Sanaa seemed to catch the Obama administration off guard. Questions lingered as to whether the American embassy would remain open, and what would happen to U.S. drone strikes against terrorist targets without a cooperative government in place to give the green light.
But White House chief of staff Denis McDonough defended U.S. intelligence and preparation, saying Sunday on "Face The Nation" that the Obama administration was "not surprised" by the apparent coup.
"We knew that this was an ongoing challenge over the course of the last several months that is why we have been pressing on all of the actors to take important steps to address the situation," McDonough said Sunday to host Bob Schieffer. "We are continuing to do that today."
Later in the program, Sen. John McCain blasted the administration's foreign policy, saying that Obama and McDonough "have lost touch with reality." A new strategy, with more American troops, would be more effective, McCain said.
"It is delusional for them to think that what they're doing is succeeding, and we need more boots on the ground," the Arizona Republican said. "I know that's a tough thing to say and a tough thing for Americans to swallow. But it doesn't mean the 82nd airborne. It means the forward air controllers, it means Special Forces, it means intelligence, and it means other capabilities."
Those comments, and as well as McCain's praise for the upcoming speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were covered by the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Times, Politico, The Hill, Newsmax, the New York Daily News and the Jerusalem Post.
Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said President Obama was not going far enough with his campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"I do think we need some special operations in these countries, on the ground, more than just advisors," Feinstein said. "And I think we need to protect our allies -- that's Israel, that's Jordan, that's Saudi Arabia -- and be more pronounced about it."