Leon Wieseltier hates the idea of planning ahead:

The prestige of “the exit strategy” in our culture is another American attempt to deny the contingency of experience and assert mastery over what cannot be mastered—in this instance, it is American control-freakishness applied to the use of American force.

This is a strange psychological explanation for the natural and understandable revulsion many Americans feel for poorly-planned, open-ended, prolonged wars that seem to serve no purpose. Favoring an exit strategy before starting a war isn’t a product of a need to be in control. (If one wanted to psychologize the arguments of interventionists with respect to the need for control, it would take all week to work through the various neuroses, but that’s a waste of time.) It is an acknowledgment that U.S. objectives have to be limited, defined, and achievable before embarking on a policy as dangerous as war. The alternative to this is to have wars that drag on aimlessly with goals that are either completely unrealistic or so amorphous that no one can seriously articulate and defend them. This doesn’t interest Wieseltier, because the only priority right now is getting the U.S. into the war.

Of course, not all Americans share the same revulsion. Many Americans are hawkish like Wieseltier and don’t care about having an exit strategy, or they give the subject so little thought that they say, “Victory is our exit strategy,” and then refuse to define what constitutes victory. The trouble is that many interventionists don’t think the work is ever fully done. Even for delusional Iraq hawks that think the U.S. “won” something, it isn’t enough to declare victory and leave. The U.S. has to remain indefinitely in order to “secure” all those American gains that they have dreamed up. In any case, many hawks are much more concerned to find pretexts for attack.