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"Presence buys you influence, which is built on trust; You can't surge trust."
– GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, FORMER U.S. CENTCOM COMMANDER
The U.S. Army Central area of responsibility (AOR) spans more than 4 million square miles, stretching from Northeast Africa, across the Middle East, to Central and South Asia.
The 20 nations of the AOR include: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.
These nations have varying forms of governance, from emerging democracies to hereditary monarchies, autocracies, and Islamist theocratic regimes. Visit the U.S. Central Command website to learn more about each country.
This area is populated by more than 550 million people from 22 ethnic groups, speaking approximately 18 languages with many dialects, and practicing a variety of different religions.
The broad demographics of the region create opportunities for tension and rivalry. The Central Region has historically been among the least stable corners of the globe.
U.S. Central Command cites, “Adversarial relationships among neighboring states, widespread ethnic and sectarian struggles, malign influence and destabilizing activities, cyber-based threats, and growing arsenals of sophisticated conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction all combine to imperil enduring U.S. vital national interests, as well as those of our trusted partners and allies.”
This geographic region intersects three continents. Within this are globally vital commercial sea lanes, flight corridors, pipelines and overland routes. The importance of maintaining stability in this region is further supported by its role as a primary supplier of natural resources. Disruptions in the supply of these resources can have implications which reverberate worldwide.