In 1999 US forces planned to expand the program to Turkmenistan with a counter-drug exercise using personnel from the 5th SFG at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, subordinate to US Special Operations Command, Central (USSOCCENT), but it is not clear whether this exercise ever took place.
General Zinni understood the long-term imperative of building security relationships in Central Asia, as reflected in his strategy: "the importance of the South and Central Asian subregion will continue to grow as the economies of these countries and access to the subregion's natural resources develop." (20) General Zinni also assigned each subregion to one of his subordinate commanders; USSOCCENT was tasked to act as the lead agency for building relationships with South and Central Asia.
The most important change to the exercise program stemmed from General Zinni's decision to task USSOCCENT
, his special operations component command, to act as the lead agency for building relationships in Central Asia.