Strategic Estimate 2021

By Combined Strategic Analysis Group – CCJ5-G – USCENTCOM
May 2021


USCENTCOM CCJ5 Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG) produces a yearly, forward looking AOR Strategic Estimate for Commander USCENTCOM and staff. This Estimate is the 48th since 2003. The previous Estimate was released on 4 May 2020. The May 2021 Estimate is current as of 27 April 2021.

The Estimate draws together the perspectives of the nineteen international officers currently supporting the CSAG and includes insights for how other countries might interpret US actions in the AOR. These assessments may differ from those produced elsewhere in the headquarters and are not necessarily unanimous perspectives. The assessments capture the diverse views of the CSAG in accordance with the CSAG charter of providing “unvarnished advice from an international perspective.” Readers may note different styles and tones, reflective of different nationalities and languages.

The aim of the Estimate is to present a current assessment of the AOR and provide USCENTCOM with relevant implications and opportunities to pre-empt and/or address developing issues. It supports the USCENTCOM Theater Strategy and Theater Campaign plan.

The Estimate is not exhaustive on the issues across the AOR but intends to inform about the most significant factors in the twenty AOR countries. This assessment will describe the influence from external actors through political, economic, security/military, societal, environmental, and non-state domains. Where applicable, analysis within this Estimate was conducted in the context of USCENTCOM priorities:


1. Deterring Iran
2. Resolving Conflict in Afghanistan
3. Maintain D-ISIS Campaign Continuity
4. Competition with China and Russia


5. Developing Counter-UAS Capabilities
6. ISIS Detainees & Radicalization of IDPs

The Estimate Contains Two Sections:

1. The Middle East and Central Asia South Asia Branch Chiefs highlight the most significant developments in the AOR since the last Estimate.
2. Main body: an assessment of each AOR Country and internal/external influences.

Read the complete paper here.

The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of a number of international officers within the Combined Strategic Analysis Group (CSAG) and do not necessarily reflect the views of United States Central Command, not of the nations represented within the CSAG or any other governmental agency.