In the wake of 9/11, President Bush declared a "War on Terror." Troops invaded Afghanistan and the hunt for al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, began.
Under President Bush's orders, U.S. troops also invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, signaling the start of the Iraq War. Their mission was to remove Saddam Hussein, the nation's ruthless dictator, from power and disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction—but none were found. "When we didn't find weapons, I felt terrible about it, and sick about it and still do because a lot of the case in removing Saddam Hussein was based upon weapons of mass destruction," he says.
At the time, President Bush says his intelligence service was certain that Hussein was harboring these weapons. "Many people who became critics of the war later on felt he had weapons of mass destruction," he says. "We had to view Saddam Hussein differently after 9/11. When you saw a threat, you could not let it fully materialize—and the threat that he represented as a sworn enemy of the United States was to give weapons of mass destruction to an enemy that had just attacked us."