As the United States prepares to begin sending direct military aid to rebels in Syria, Republican lawmakers criticized the White House for failing to act sooner and urged action to prevent a "blow up" among the war-torn country's neighbors.
"The whole region is about to blow up," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on NBC's Meet the Press, citing the potential effects of Syria's instability on Jordan, Egypt and Israel. "And our foreign policy to me -- I don't understand it. Whatever it is is not working."
The White House announced Thursday that U.S. officials believe the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people in the conflict there. Reports indicate that the aid sent to rebels will take the form of small arms and ammunition provided through a CIA program, which Graham says would not go far enough.
"If we don't do more than add AK-47s into the mix, [Bashar al-Assad] will continue to win," Graham said. "And the King of Jordan is going to become toast."
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said the Syrian crisis has not been "well-handled" and that it's "not clear" what the United States' mission is.
"The question is whether now you're a day late and a dollar short," Cheney said.
Graham and others advocate for a no-fly zone in the area, a measure the White House says would be costly and may not guarantee success.
Chambliss, Udall speak out on arming of Syrian rebelsJune 16, 201302:26
"People need to understand that a no-fly zone is not some type of silver bullet," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters at a briefing Friday.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Meet the Press that the president should listen to the recommendations of military leaders.
"I think that the military alternatives have got to be examined almost day to day. And I assume that's what [Obama's] doing," he said. "And if the military says that we need to implement a no-fly zone, we ought to do it right away."