WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed David Trachtenberg to be the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy by a 79-19 vote Tuesday.

Trachtenberg, who was announced as the nominee for the role back in March and had been stuck waiting a final vote in the Senate since July, helps fill a key empty seat at the Pentagon.

Trachtenberg was most recently president and CEO of Shortwaver Consulting, which focuses on national security issues. He is a former House Armed Services Committee staffer and, most notably, served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security policy from 2001 to 2003. He also did a stint as vice president and head of strategic analysis at CACI-National Security Research.

He is viewed as a proponent of increasing missile defense capabilities and pursuing a harder line against Russia.

There is currently no undersecretary of defense for policy, with nominee John Rood having only just been nominated last week. As a result, Trachtenberg will slide into that job in an acting capacity, with Robert Karem, who was confirmed as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in May and has been serving as the acting USD-P since, will move back down a spot.

Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.

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