George W. Bush’s reason for removing Saddam Hussein is best explained by three threats forming a nexus in the eyes of the president and his close advisers. The threat of further terrorist attacks combined with the most deadly weapons, and supplied by the most hostile rogue state put Iraq in the cross hairs. The decision was made possible because military, diplomatic, and strategic reasons for taking on Iraq converged in late 2001. Bush made his ‘in-principle’ decision on regime change in January 2002, but followed it with a drawn-out strategy during which he persuaded the American public and Congress while fine-tuning his military options. The United Nations ‘endgame’ did not change Bush’s goals but carried forward tenuous compromises among his advisers and Security Council members, which Bush resolved in January 2003.