US Central Command
Area of Responsibility
Overview
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Area of Responsibility
Religion
Language
Political Systems
US Interests
Area of Responsibility
 Hotbed of activity in recent history
 Iran Hostage Crisis
 Attacks on Marines in Beirut
 Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait
 OEF and OIF
Area of Responsibility
 USCENTCOM established 1 Jan 83
 Focus on potential Soviet invasion of Iran gave way to
concern over Saddam Hussein
 Desert Shield/Storm
 Humanitarian crisis in Somalia – Operation Provide Hope
 Khobar towers attack
Area of Responsibility
 USCENTCOM established 1 Jan 83
 Focus on potential Soviet invasion of Iran gave way to
concern over Saddam Hussein
 Desert Shield/Storm
 Humanitarian crisis in Somalia – Operation Provide Hope
 Khobar towers attack
Area of Responsibility
 Territory
 Establishment of USAFRICOM on 1 Oct 2008 pulled six countries
from USCENTCOM
 USCENTCOM currently responsible for twenty countries in Asia and
Africa
Area of Responsibility
 History of the Region
 The Crusades
 Rise and Fall of Soviet Union
 Establishment of Israel
 Fundamentalist Islam and Militant Islamic
Terrorism
Area of Responsibility
 History of the Region
 The Crusades
 Rise and Fall of Soviet Union
 Establishment of Israel
 Fundamentalist Islam and Militant Islamic
Terrorism
Area of Responsibility
 History of the Region
 The Crusades
 Rise and Fall of Soviet Union
 Establishment of Israel
 Fundamentalist Islam and Militant Islamic
Terrorism
Area of Responsibility
 History of the Region
 The Crusades
 Rise and Fall of Soviet Union
 Establishment of Israel
 Fundamentalist Islam and Militant Islamic
Terrorism
Religion
 Home of three of world’s major religions
 Judaism
 Christianity
 Islam
 Commonalities
 Abraham
 Sacred texts
 Jerusalem
Religion
 Dominance of Islam
 Majority of USCENTCOM nations are Muslim
 Except for five countries, 90% of countries’ population is Muslim
 Five Pillars of Islam
 Recitation of Creed
 Daily Prayer
 Almsgiving
 Fasting
 Pilgrimage to Mecca
Religion
 Sunni-Shi’a Split
 Sunnis
 85-90% of Muslims
 Abu Bakr succeeded Mohammed
 Current imams not inspired
 Shi’as
 10-15% of Muslims
 Ali ibn Abi Talib succeeded Mohammed
 Current imams are infallible manifestations
of God
Language
 USCENTCOM AOR is linguistically diverse
 Most common languages are Arabic and Persian
 Great variety in regional and country dialects, e.g., Afghanistan has two
official languages, Dari and Pashto
 Arabic language somewhat standardized in Middle Eastern
countries
 Turkic languages – Kyrgyz and Kazak – are common in Central
Asian nations
Political Systems
 Majority of countries are republican or democratic;
however, some are only nominal representatives of
democracies
 Fallacy to assume all USCENTCOM nations are
authoritarian or anti-Western
Political Systems
Afghanistan—Islamic Republic
Oman—Monarchy
Bahrain—Constitutional Monarchy
Pakistan—Federal Republic
Egypt—Islamic Republic
Qatar—Emirate
Iran—Theocratic Republic
Saudi Arabia—Monarchy
Iraq—Parliamentary Democracy
Syria—Authoritarian Republic
Jordan—Constitutional Monarchy
Tajikistan—Republic
Kazakhstan—Republic
Turkmenistan—Presidential Republic
Kuwait—Constitutional Emirate
United Arab Emirates—Federation
Kyrgyzstan—Republic
Uzbekistan—Republic
Lebanon—Republic
Yemen—Islamic Republic
US Interests
 Continued focus of Global War on Terror
 Afghanistan and Iraq
 Usama bin Laden killed in Pakistan
 210,000 US military members serving in
USCENTCOM AOR
 USCENTCOM Mission
 Respond to crises
 Promote cooperation among nations
 Deter/defeat state and nonstate aggression
 Support development/reconstruction to establish the conditions
for regional security, stability, & prosperity
Summary
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Area of Responsibility
Religion
Language
Political Systems
US Interests
Homework
 Prepare for Lesson # 12
 U.S. Policy
 Unified Combatant Command (UCC) Brief
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