Key lawmakers from both parties say frustration with the White House among the top military officers is at its highest level in decades, the product of President Obama’s cautious approach to the wars in Syria and Iraq and an indecisive inner circle of White House advisers who, critics say, have iced the Pentagon out of the policymaking process.

“There’s a level of dissatisfaction among the uniformed military that I’ve never seen in my time here,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain in an interview. “For some of us who are a little older, let’s go back and read the Pentagon Papers — what the administration is doing is the kind of incrementalism that defined much of the Vietnam conflict.”

The Arizona Republican is known as a fierce critic of President Obama’s foreign policy, but his complaints were echoed by an unlikely source: Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.