Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio poses with Senior National Representatives on Feb. 26 in front of U.S. Central Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. (CENTCOM photo)
TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2008) — Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio told an audience of Coalition Senior National Representatives at U.S. Central Command that they are critical in helping Americans understand the importance of winning the War on Terror.
“This particular war, the War on Terror, presents an educational challenge to most Americans,” said Iorio, who made her remarks on Feb. 26 before an audience of 64 Senior National Representatives at CENTCOM headquarters on Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base. “Most Americans are used to being at war with a single enemy or single country. But this war is different because this time we are at war with an ideology.”
Iorio said it is important for Americans to see the progress being made in the War on Terror and that it will be successful.
“This war is of such a different nature that it is difficult for Americans to see when and how it will end,” she said
There are currently more than 80 nations supporting the War on Terror, and to date 21 nations have deployed more than 16,000 troops to the CENTCOM area of responsibility. Iorio said the international cooperation aspect of the War on Terror and the diversity of nations that have joined the Coalition is changing the way Americans view not only the war, but themselves and the rest of the world.
“This global conflict forces us to think in a different way,” she said. “We now have to think globally. I think most Americans would have had trouble finding Iraq or Afghanistan on a map before the War on Terror.”
The diversity of the Senior National Representatives assigned to CENTCOM can help Americans make sense of the War on Terror, which has proven to be a complex and difficult undertaking.
“What helps us is to have friends and partnerships,” Iorio said. “I think the educational component of this undertaking is so very, very important. The different cultures represented by the Coalition partners are a key component in attaining ultimate victory in the War On Terror. If we can understand our differences and also how we are alike, perhaps we can find a solution to terrorism."
Iorio fielded questions from the audience after finishing her remarks. Addressing how the Coalition could help the Tampa community better understand the role of the Coalition in the War On Terror, she suggested that Coalition representatives go to local schools and speak about the Coalition to students, who then can inform their parents about the global effort required by the war.
The mayor told the SNRs that their presence in Tampa is valued by the community.
“I hope that you always consider Tampa a place you can call home and a place you will want to visit later after your time at CENTCOM is completed."