From the Document: "United States Central Command (CENTCOM) has command authority over U.S. forces in the Middle East and West/Central Asia. CENTCOM was formally established by the Department of Defense (DOD) on January 1, 1983. Its area of responsibility (AOR) comprises Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, West Bank & Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Yemen, Israel, Iran, Turkmenistan, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. CENTCOM is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base (AFB) in Tampa, FL. [...] The Trump and Biden Administrations both described the need to effectively contend--economically, diplomatically, and militarily--with China and Russia as the key national security challenge facing the United States. Accordingly, activities vis-a-vis China and Russia would potentially be prioritized over other strategic challenges that have been prominent in the CENTCOM AOR, including deterring Iranian aggression and countering violent extremist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Some observers maintain that a shift in U.S. resources and focus away from the CENTCOM AOR and toward Europe and Asia is advisable for several reasons. These include the reprioritization of military resources that, according to some, might be better applied to challenges in Europe--especially in the wake of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine--or the Indo-Pacific; skepticism about whether continued investments, presence, and operations in the region would result in strategic gains; and the growing threat posed by U.S. strategic competitors such as Russia and China."
CRS In Focus, IF11428
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/