Rood notes in his email to the secretary that “placing a hold on security assistance at this time would jeopardize this unique window of opportunity and undermine our defense priorities with a key partner in the strategic competition with Russia.”
The Pentagon declined to comment on the expected departure.
As head of policy at the Pentagon, Rood helped oversee implementing the Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy, which placed a greater emphasis on countering China and Russia, as well as overseeing the Nuclear Posture Review, which called for changes to the US nuclear arsenal, including the addition of new low-yield nuclear weapons.
Rood joined the administration in January 2018 serving under then-Defense Secretary James Mattis. He has had numerous policy jobs at the Pentagon in previous administrations and also previously worked for the CIA as an analyst. He has also held senior roles with major defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
This story has been updated with additional information.