Skip to main content

US top Middle East commander tests new model of deterring Iran

As the Pentagon shifts focus to China and Russia, CENTCOM’s chief is banking on experimentation with unmanned surveillance and artificial intelligence to offset a smaller US footprint in the Middle East.
Lt. Gen. Michael E. Kurilla testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Washington, Feb. 8, 2022.

In an auditorium-style conference room at US Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters, the top general overseeing all American military forces in the Middle East was beaming.

Flanked by executives from Microsoft, Google and Blue Origin, US Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla had just been presented with the best idea he had heard in long time — by a buck sergeant still in his 20s.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.