Richard Hanania: Iraq war highlights lack of a 'grand strategy' in U.S. foreign policy

Richard Hanania, a writer and president at the Center for Partisanship and Ideology, said on Hill.TV's "Rising" that the lack of long-term planning in U.S. foreign policy is typified by the Bush administration's "War on Terror."

"There really is no grand strategy. They're basically improvising as they go along," Hanania said of the U.S. foreign policy strategy, adding that decisions were instead based on short-term political interests. 

Speaking about the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Hanania noted that about a month after then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was overthrown, former President George Bush "still hadn't decided what to do with Iraq." 

"Basically, Bush just decided to go into Iraq. I think it probably had something to do with the fact that he thought it would be good politics to keep the war on terror going plus some basic vague understanding that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy," Hanania said.

"Iraq was put on the agenda by people within the administration, and basically everything was working out like the U.S. was going to leave after about a month," he added, noting that Bush later changed his mind "to build democracy in Iraq."

Hanania also said that a similar situation happened in Afghanistan because of Osama bin Laden and the aftermath of 9/11. After going into war, the U.S. continued to do what they could "to justify continuing the current policy."

In August, the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years of war, a chaotic ending that quick led to the Taliban taking over Kabul and tens of thousands of people rushing to flee the country.