WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump has tapped a new assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities — Marine Corps University’s James Anderson — the White House announced late Wednesday.
Anderson, the school’s vice president of academic affairs, has been outspoken in favor of America’s missile defense. He authored the 1999 book “America at Risk: The Citizen’s Guide to Missile Defense,” which details the risk of an attack from Russia, China or a “third-world” power.
In 2012, Anderson voiced skepticism in the pages of Defense News about President Barack Obama’s willingness to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program and Obama’s “unwillingness to credibly threaten military action.”
In the late 1990s, Anderson penned a number of columns raising the alarm about North Korea’s missile program and advocating for swifter development of missile defenses. He was then a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Nominees to the Pentagon job must be confirmed by the Senate. The job’s portfolio includes advising the defense secretary on nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy, as well as security cooperation plans and policies.
Anderson previously served as the director of Middle East policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as director of the Program of Advanced Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
Anderson also served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned a doctorate in international relations and has a master’s degree from Tufts University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
Joe Gould is senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry.