3,409. 2/27/2002

On February 27, 2002, Central Command leader General Tommy R. Franks said to the Senate Armed Services Committee: " 'The Central [Persian Gulf] Region is of vital interest to our country and our allies. Sixty-eight percent of the world's proven oil reserves are found in the Gulf Region, and 43 percent of the world's petroleum exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz. Qatar contains one third of the world's natural gas reserves. The developing energy sector of the Central Asian States, with the potential for discovery of additional oil and natural gas reserves, further emphasizes the importance of the Central Region to America and the world. Operating within, and staging from, our area of responsibility are terrorist organizations with global reach. These networks pose a direct threat to our citizens abroad and at home, while Iraq and Iran are likely developing weapons of mass destruction which potentially threaten our deployed forces and regional friends.' USCENTCOM's [U.S. Central Command's] core objectives are to enhance U.S. security, promote democracy and human rights, and bolster American economic prosperity. To meet these goals, we promote regional stability, ensure uninterrupted access to resources and markets, maintain freedom of navigation, protect U.S. citizens and property, and promote the security of regional friends."

 – “Statement of General Tommy R. Franks,” House Armed Services Committee, February 27, 2002, Tommy Franks, 2/27/2002

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