Inadvertently, he could be cleaning up the swamp after all.
John Rood, now former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. (U.S. Army photo by William Pratt)
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
According to reports this morning, John Rood, DoD Undersecretary of Policy, has lost the confidence of the E-Ring leadership at the Pentagon and has been asked to resign.
Rood, as it were, was the guy who complained to Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense, in an email that Trump was holding up military assistance to Ukraine. Rood was in charge of certifying the $250 million in assistance and was confident that Ukraine had achieved the anti-corruption standards in order to receive it. We know now it was held back, and then eventually released. An impeachment trial in Senate last month acquitted President Trump of using the aid to bully the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of his political rival Joe Biden.
Rood appears to be in the crosshairs of an administration that is seeking to rid himself of anyone who might have bolstered the Democrats' (losing) case against him. The spoils are going to the victor, and Trump has been known to cut ties with appointees who aren't sufficiently loyal. After months of impeachment testimony and hearings, the road is wide open for retribution, apparently.
But lest we start lamenting old Rood, it might be worth noting that his presence in the Pentagon was hardly something to celebrate in the first place. Previous to his stint in one of the top civilian leadership positions in the U.S. military, he was vice president of international business at Lockheed Martin, the top defense contractor in the country. Lockheed (which heads the biggest military boondoggle program in the nation's history, the F-35 strike fighter) held no less than $38 billion in federal government contracts in 2018.
Before his stint as vice president of international business, he was vice president of domestic business development at Lockheed, and a vice president at Raytheon, the third biggest defense contractor, which held $17 billion in Washington contracts in 2018.
Of course Rood has other credentials, considering this is the military industrial complex, and the revolving door is always spinning. Rood has been in and out, doing time in the Bush Administration at the State Department and the CIA as well. He even worked on Capitol Hill, as an advisor to Republican Sen. John Kyl.
Sure he had experience, but as we know this kind of experience breeds swamp creatures who can easily flit between the top slots at the Pentagon to the top arms manufacturers and back again. We all know whose best interest they have in mind at the end of the day, and it is not the U.S. taxpayer. It may not even be Ukrainians. That $250 million in assistance included millions in financing so that Ukraine can buy American-produced weapons and technology (read: a boon for contractors like Lockheed and Raytheon).
Good riddance to the swamp creatures, even if it's inadvertent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC for the last decade, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.