Washington (CNN)Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, pledged Wednesday to help Jordan obtain the sophisticated weaponry it needs to ramp up its fight against ISIS, one day after the militant group burned a Jordanian pilot to death.
McCain vows to help Jordan secure advanced weapons
McCain and other senators met with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday, just as ISIS released a video of the Jordanian pilot's brutal execution. McCain said he would get to work immediately with his counterpart in the House, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), to pass legislation that would speed up the process for Jordan to obtain more advanced weaponry.
"He needs some types of weapons very badly," McCain said on CNN's "New Day." "We'll be working immediately to try and achieve that for him."
McCain blamed a "huge bureaucratic bottleneck in the State Department" for the difficulties Jordan has faced in obtaining certain weapons permits and contracts.
He said the Jordanians have been "frustrated" without the additional weapons, but would not go so far as to say that the U.S. ally has been hamstrung in its fight against ISIS.
McCain once again slammed the Obama administration for having "no strategy" in its fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and called on the U.S. to escalate its role in the conflict.
"We need to have a no fly zone in Syria. We need to arm and equip the Pesh Merga. We need to have a free Syrian Army. We need to have more American boots on the ground," McCain said, referring to additional special operations units and the deployment of American forward air controllers, who would direct U.S. airstrikes from the frontlines.
"ISIS is winning. We are neither degrading nor destroying ISIS," he added, reprising a claim he has made in the past.
While a U.S.-led coalition finally expelled ISIS from the key city of Kobane in Syria, McCain called the U.S. gains against ISIS "miniscule."
Pentagon officials estimate the U.S. has killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters since the start of the campaign, but the group is continuing to replenish its ranks thanks to the continued influx of foreign fighters.
McCain's gripes about the Jordanian's troubles in obtaining more weaponry are not the first when it comes to assisting allies with new weaponry. McCain on Wednesday again criticized the Obama administration for failing to give the Ukrainians lethal weaponry, a policy the U.S. is now considering changing in the face of continued Russian aggression.