(CNN) - The escalation of violence in Syria can be directly tracked to the United States' unwillingness to get involved in the country, Sen. John McCain asserted Sunday.
"Because of our failure to assist, because of our failure to lead other willing nations in the region like Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and others, the situation has now deteriorated to a situation which is really, really very dangerous," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."
The Arizona Republican's comments came as fierce clashes erupted on Sunday between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels in Aleppo, Syria's most populated city.
Opposition activists said an entire building collapsed in the city after being targeted by a tank belonging to al-Assad's regime. The latest violence comes after 16 months of bloodshed that began in March 2011, when a fierce government crackdown against protesters morphed into a nationwide uprising against the regime.
McCain, the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that the situation in Syria could be remedied but that it would be unnecessarily difficult given the lack of action by President Barack Obama's administration.
"It is retrievable, but it is far, far more difficult and complicated than if we had weighed in a long time ago," he told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
McCain said Obama and his administration have "relied on the goodwill of Russia" in their dealings with Syria, calling that approach "shameful."
"We keep pushing the reset button that Russia and China - and now we are bound by the decisions of the U.N. Security Council which are dictated by Russia and China," he said. "We need to get arms and equipment to them and establish a buffer zone."
Israel re-enters focus ahead of Romney trip
Romney trip to highlight foreign policy flashpoints
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
Here we go again. Sticking our nose in another country's business. We seem to spend more time trying to fix everyone elses problem except ours. Let's try cleaning up our own backyard before trying to clean up theirs. Start paying attention to the problems here at home. Every time we try to help other countries, it backfires. And we end up spending more money overseas trying to make friends than we can afford. We need to start pouring money into OUR economy. Let's get back up on top like we were in the 50's and 60's.
John McCain – He never met a war he didn't like, even someone else's civil war. Makes you wonder if all those years confined in Vietnam didn't warp his thinking.
Will someone please ask Field Marshall McCain how he plans to pay for this reckless intervention he insists on? Obama's policy is prudent, both militarily, diplomatically, and economically. We don't need to spend another ten billion dollars to open another can of worms.
Senator McCain is always ready for a fight! So glad he is not our POTUS. Can't imagine how many conflicts he would have talked us into had he actually had the power to do so.
Seeing how no one in the Republican Party is speaking in more moderate tones or at all for that matter, then we are forced to assume that a President Romney would do just as John McCain suggests. McCain is wrong. Syria could be the tipping point into World War 3.
Russians have a military port that serves the Mediterranean in Syria. If we attack the Syrian government, then what happens to the status of the Russian military port?
Iran has been suspected of covertly smuggling arms to the Assad regime? If we attack the Syrian government, then how long do you think that Iran is going to continue to sit quietly in the background when their smuggling routes become chocked off?
John McCain is not thinking this all the way through to an exit strategy.
Senator McCain is my senator and all he does at every opportunity go on T.V. and oppose anything that the President stands for. He should be speaking about gun control to save so many lives HERE in the United States. You know the reputation that Arizona has and McCain just contributes to the negative thinking. He should concentrate MORE on what is happening right now in this country. He still thinks he's running for the president on the U.S. It's time he should retire. He voted AGAINST equal pay for women – need I say more.
Stay out of it. It's always GOP that wants to get us involved in someone elses war. Stay away from Syria and let them handle it themselves.
John McCain is a difinition of the word shameful.
Excuse me, Mr. McCain, I think Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have plenty of their own resources to get involved if they felt even a twinge of responsibility. Syria is their neighbor, not ours. They just want to keep us fragmented and spread thin because it weakens us.
If Romney wins Im sure there will be plenty of wars to fight.
Geez. Another war?
Look, why don't we just save time and effort and just bomb the entire middle east and then start from scratch. All this destroying things piecemeal is very ineffective.
Where is the Arab League ? , let them be the first to put blood on the table. President Obama ended the war in Iraq and will have our troops out of Afghanistan within another year. And McCain wants more war,this guy want's our young men and women to die for his ego. Mr. McCain why don't you spend more time cleaning out your Republican party with the likes of Michelle Bachman and Trent Franks.
The world does not want or need the US to be it's policeman. I agree with other posters. John McCain is the definition of shame.
I'm ashamed the first few commenters are (likely) Americans. They ignore Obama's adventurism in Libya (without congressional approval) and damn McCain for suggesting a broad based, but US led, peacekeeping mission in Syria. I seem to remember Clinton making a moral argument over just such a thing. Hmmm...
Its the ridiculous people such as these who can't engage in a rational evaluation of circumstances which will impact the US eventually (afghanistan?) which is why the US's foreign policy is so schizophrenic and poorly crafted. The fruits of this outlook will not be good for the US in the comming generation.
I blieve he's on Helliburton's payroll now. So we need to go there and give Helliburton a couple of trillion more of our taxpayer money so they may keep buying our government to let them hhave they're way. By the way John, 30,000 people die in this country each year from guns and the lack of control in this country. That is a way way bigger problem for us in this country then Syria is for us.
McCain, the war expert, will always champion war. Why do so many Americans disagree with him on that?
I blieve he's on Helliburton's payroll now. So we need to go there and give Helliburton a couple of trillion more of our taxpayer money so they may keep buying our government to let them have they're way. By the way John, 30,000 people die in this country each year from guns and the lack of control in this country. That is a way way bigger problem for us in this country then Syria is for us.
Why is this clown so willing to send other people's kids off to war in a country who's inhabitants probably hate us?
Another war? So they can then complain Obama spends too much money? And McCain is one of the more moderate republicans...
It is really a blessing that this man is not our President.We will be fighting wars in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Libya ... did I miss any other counties? What is WRONG with Mr. McCain?
"Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran" was McCain's foreign policy.
How many wars do the Republicans want us to fight, now they want to add Syria and Iran to the mix.
we don't need any more BUSH mentality. unless georgie and dicky and friends want to go and fight we shouldn't even think about it. let all of the chickenhawks neocons fight.
the only thing shameful is this so called war hero is a senator. the right will waste all the money to war all over the world but they will complain everyday about spending that same money on programs in america, tell me what is more shameful????
Thanks God this man were not elected President, our young men will be fighting and dying in so many country. He
wanted President Obama to put men on the ground in Libya, Syria, Egypt, I am sure he would have start a war in Iran and North Korea. Being a prison of war, he gave a lot, and we thank him for his service, but we just can't be the
police in every country. Wars is very expensive.