Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said late Friday that President Obama has "mishandled [Syria] as badly as he could" and warned that the U.S. response there "is going to make things worse."
"So a pinprick strike, giving an aspirin to a person who has cancer, is the worst of all worlds."
Graham slammed what he characterized as a "weak" response to Syria, and suggested U.S. reluctance to engage both significantly and decisively in the conflict there could embolden other Middle Eastern nations.
"We're showing weakness in Syria, which makes it more likely the Iranians will march toward a nuclear weapon, which makes it more likely Israel will attack," he said.
He added: "In his effort to avoid war, Obama has spread war. In his effort to reach out and make peace, we have gotten the finger…This war is going to spread outside of Syria. This weak response is going to make things worse, not better."
In a joint statement with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Graham earlier Friday urged that any attacks in Syria "not be merely cosmetic."
"Instead, the goal of military action should be to shift the balance of power on the battlefield against Assad and his forces," the two said.
But Obama on Friday said he was considering only "limited, narrow action," and said that there would be no soldiers sent into battle in Syria.
Graham said on Fox that by telegraphing his plans, Obama had seriously jeopardized American national security interests.
"We don't need boots on the ground, but he has taken off the table an effective military response. So it is the worst of all worlds. Barack Obama has put the American national security interests in Syria and throughout the region in the worst possible position it could be," he said.