9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill

    By PAUL DE LA GARZA, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 11, 2002

    The events of the past year have thrown a spotlight on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa that is unlikely to diminish any time soon.

    MacDill is home to Central Command and the Special Operations Command. Both have been key players in the war in Afghanistan and would be relied on heavily in the increasingly likely event of military operations in Iraq.

    Central Command, directed by Army Gen. Tommy Franks, has an area of responsibility that is larger than the continental United States. It includes Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    Franks reportedly began drawing up war plans for Iraq not long after Sept. 11. As recently as last month he briefed President Bush on the so-called "Inside Out" option, which would combine air strikes deep in Iraq with a ground assault aimed at the rapid capture of Baghdad.

    Central Command's role is the visible part of warfare, the air campaigns and buildup of American forces. But as President Bush often said after the Sept. 11 attacks, the war on terrorism would also feature unseen operations.

    That's where the Special Operations Command comes in. It was special operations forces -- covert units that go behind enemy lines with as few as three or four members -- that slipped into Afghanistan in the early days of the war, paving the way for a larger coalition force.

    Writing recently in the magazine Foreign Affairs, Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst, wrote, "The Afghan resistance, the Bush administration, its international coalition partners, the U.S. armed forces and the CIA have accomplished what will likely be remembered as one of the greater military successes of the twenty-first century."

    As a result of those successes, Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, thinks that in the future the United States will rely more heavily on special operations forces as it prosecutes the war on terror worldwide.

    Special operations forces reportedly have been training government troops in the Philippines and the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

    Goss, a Sanibel Republican -- and a former CIA man -- says the United States has always been bad at getting rid of the "bad dog," as he put it, in places like Cuba, Kosovo and Iraq.

    Which is why, Goss says, that as the United States adjusts to the terrorist threat -- to an an enemy that will not engage U.S. forces directly -- it will increasingly rely on the unique talents of the special operations forces.

    The war effort hasn't been without its critics. Initially some people, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, complained that Franks was not being creative enough in prosecuting Enduring Freedom. The hollering stopped, however, once enemy strongholds started to fall.

    Franks has also caught grief for his decision to keep his base of operations in Tampa and not in the region as Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, former Centcom commander, did during the Gulf War.

    Adm. Craig Quigley, the Centcom spokesman until a few weeks ago, points out that Franks keeps in constant contact with his field commanders through secure communications and has real-time access to the war zone through the use of unmanned aerial drones. Franks, Quigley says, also travels to the region regularly.

    Unlike the other unified commands, Centcom is based outside its area of responsibility, because of political sensibilities. Besides, the Pentagon says, military planners do not want to provide the enemy with a target like Franks by having him near the front lines.

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    Related coverage
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill