Published: Thu, February 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Man With One of Pentagon's 'Most Important' Jobs Is Out

Man With One of Pentagon's 'Most Important' Jobs Is Out

The Pentagon's top policy official, John Rood, is leaving his position at the end of the month, the department announced on Wednesday. "Senior administration officials appointed by the President serve at the pleasure of the President, and therefore, as you have requested, I am providing my resignation effective February 28, 2020".

CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed. Bloomberg's sources say "some senior national security officials had lost confidence in Rood's ability to carry out Trump's agenda", and CNN's sources describe instances in which Rood's position was in opposition with that of the administration, for instance, his skepticism about peace talks with the Taliban.

"It's my understanding from [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper that you requested my resignation", Rood wrote.

"Around the world, the men and women of the policy team have worked tirelessly to defend the security of our nation, and to preserve the system of alliances and relationships with our partners that are critically important to America's security and prosperity", he said.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with the many talented and devoted professionals in the military and civilian ranks of the Defense Department", Rood wrote.

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon John Rood authored emails pushing for the aid to be released, according to CNN.

"The president can make a decision to go in a different direction, so I'm not going to speculate on the motivations", Hoffman said, noting that James Anderson, who is serving as Rood's deputy on a temporary basis, would take over the post until a permanent replacement is appointed.

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In a statement, Esper said Rood had "played a critical role on a wide range of DoD issues including modernizing our nuclear deterrence capability, efforts to increase burden sharing by our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, our Missile Defense Review and implementing the National Defense Strategy". "I wish him all the best in his future endeavors". "And he said that, "I have certified that the government of Ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defence institutional reforms for the goal of decreasing corruption" and making other improvements".

Rood became linked to the impeachment inquiry into the president in part because he was the senior defense official who certified in a letter to Congress in May that Ukraine had made "sufficient progress" towards defense and corruption reform that allowed the $250 million in security assistance funding to flow.

Rood's assessment at that time appeared to contradict the position of the White House, which has maintained that it temporarily blocked USA aid to Ukraine over concerns about corruption. Democrats accused the president of conditioning the security assistance on a public announcement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Rood's certification appeared to undermine the argument made by Trump's defenders in the impeachment process: that the aid was withheld because of the president's concerns about corruption in Ukraine.

Mr. Trump was impeached by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December, but was acquitted of both by the Senate earlier this month.

The Senate confirmed Rood, a former vice president for worldwide sales at Lockheed Martin, in January, 2018.

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