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Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood, and Riki Ellison at MDAA's Congressional Roundtable at the Capitol Building on September 17, 2019.

Yesterday, we asked the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood, to provide a status update on each of the six missile defense policy initiatives stated by President Donald Trump on January 17, 2019 at the release of the MDR. Here is the transcript of Under Secretary Rood’s update on the progress of the President’s missile defense initiatives.

  • “First, we will prioritize the defense of the American people above all else.”
  • “Second, we will focus on developing new technology, not just investing more money into existing systems.”
  • “Third, we will protect the American people from all types [ballistic, cruise, and hypersonic] of missile attacks.”
  • “Fourth, we will recognize that space is a new warfighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way.”
  • “Fifth, we will remove bureaucratic obstacles to dramatically speed up the acquisition and deployment of the new technology.”
  • “And sixth, we will insist on fair burden sharing with our allies.”

– President Donald Trump at the release of 2019 Missile Defense Review.

Under Secretary John Rood presented an overall assessment of the current status of missile defense and an MDR update that is included in his opening remarks in the transcript.

We’re going to focus on well missile defense is noteworthy, so this year you saw the president request in his budget request 12 billion dollars for missile defense, that included $9.4 billion for the Missile Defense Agency and about $2.5 billion for the US Army and we produced a National Defense Strategy that talked about the reemergence of strategic competition amongst the great powers and talked about the great concern that we have about China’s growing ambitions coupled with a desire to challenge the international order and the international rules-based order in a way that poses a threat not only to the United States but to our partners and those that have worked so hard to develop that system. We also see Russia conducting a range of destabilizing activities around the world, a malign influence, things such as interfering in the elections of other parties, political assassinations of opponents using chemical weapons, violation of international arms control agreements and the like. So, we see China and Russia promoting an authoritarian model that challenges freedom that challenges this international rules-based order. We’ve also seen as Riki talked about Iran with the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East, they continue to modernize and expand their arsenal. We also see North Korea continuing their missile program of pace including some of the recent launches of shorter-range systems. So, the Missile Defense Review  said in order to address this evolving challenge to our security we needed a comprehensive approach and the roles for missile defense are things like the importance of protecting our homeland our forces and our friends and allies that we needed to diminish the value of coercive capabilities, one of the things that we see our adversaries or potential adversaries developing missiles for is in order to exercise a coercive element to their policy.

– John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, on September 17, 2019 at MDAA’s Congressional Roundtable.

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Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.