Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood discusses making changes to space policy in advance of the Space Force, and what the NDAA has in store for his job.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan says that standing up the Space Force will take billions of dollars. Not only that, but Congress needs to approve any funding that will go towards that. John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, says that part of his role is in making sure that the transition goes smoothly, and that plans for the Space Force’s backbone are currently being drawn up “Space is an incredibly important area, and we’re very proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in the United States over the years… We have some steps that we will be taking, our first priority is to establish a space operational command at the defense department devoted to the day-to-day activities in space,” said Rood. “This is a very equipment intensive field, not labor intensive, and so the rate at which we can put new capabilities in orbit or on the Earth supporting space activities is critical.” Section 902 in the National Defense Authorization Act presents changes to the role of the Under Secretary for Policy. Rood says that the changes to the position will allow him to do his job more efficiently. “It’s a difficult title to explain to people, but what it means is looking at the global environment, seeing what the trends are that most concern us in the United States, how do we want to posture ourselves?” said Rood. “What the NDAA did this year was clarify that the Under Secretary of Policy will play a leading role in the formulation [and implementation] of strategy.”