CNN quoted two sources as saying that the Ukraine issue was one of the reasons, while another official said there were many other disagreement issues.
Deputy Secretary John Rood, who was opposed to withholding military aid to Ukraine, stepped down on February 19 at the request of President Donald Trump.
“As far as I know from Minister Esper, you asked me to resign as Deputy Minister of Defense for policy. Senior government officials appointed by the President always serve for the President’s satisfaction, and so, as he suggested, I resign and the resignation takes effect February 28. / 2020, ”Mr. Rood wrote in a letter to President Trump dated February 19.
This information was later confirmed by President Trump on Twitter.
“I would like to thank John Rood for serving our country, and wish him well with his future work,” Mr. Trump said, sharing information from Bloomberg News that said, Rood “faces pressure to resign from those who have lost faith in his ability to run President Trump’s programs.”
Anonymous officials told CNN Rood disagreed with the Trump administration over a number of issues including Afghanistan and Ukraine. The officials also said Mr Rood was often viewed as not closely aligned with some of the policy changes expected by the White House and Pentagon officials.
Another official, meanwhile, said the disagreement between Vice President Rood and some of Trump’s key policy positions included skepticism about peace talks with the Taliban as well as a reduction in rules. model military drills with South Korea during dialogue with North Korea. In addition, Mr. Rood also promoted a “more aggressive” approach to Russia by supporting Ukraine.
Mr. Rood is the top defense official of the Department of Defense and oversees aspects of the Pentagon’s relationship with U.S. partners and allies.
He was also involved in confirming to the US Congress that Ukraine had implemented significant reforms to receive $ 250 million in security aid.
Hours after the July 25 telephone call of President Trump with Ukrainian President Zelensky, another exchange also received attention, which was the email that Vice Minister Rood sent to Secretary Mark Esper – then only took office 2 days.
In an email to the minister, Rood said that “holding security aid at this point would undermine our defense priorities with a key partner in competition with Russia.”
Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Relations, declined to comment on the resignation of Deputy Rood due to disagreements over Ukraine.
“I have no information to draw conclusions,” Mr. Hoffman said.
Earlier, President Trump fired two key witnesses in the impeachment investigation: Alexander Vindman, a leading expert on Ukraine at the National Security Council and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
A Trump adviser said that at the time, the dismissal of key witnesses during the impeachment was to spread the message that opposition to the President was unacceptable.
Extend the list to leave the Pentagon
“I want to thank John Rood for his work at the Pentagon. John has played a crucial role in a number of Defense Department issues, including the modernization of nuclear deterrence, efforts to increase the contribution of NATO allies, Defense Report. capitalization and the implementation of the Defense Strategy. Wish you all the best in your future work, ”said Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a statement dated February 19.
Rood is the latest senior official to leave the U.S. Department of Defense in recent months after Defense Department Chief of Office Eric Chewning, Assistant Secretary of the Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver and several other officials.
John Rood has served in the Trump administration since January 2018, under then-Secretary James James Mattis. He used to hold various positions in the Department of Defense in his predecessors, and also worked for the CIA. He also holds several roles with major US military contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.