In Saudi Arabia, a Revolution Disguised as Reform

(Washington Post) Dennis Ross - While some portray the Saudis as both "arsonists and firefighters" in the struggle with radical Islamists, having just visited Saudi Arabia, I came away feeling hopeful about the kingdom's future. There is an awakening underway in Saudi Arabia, led from the top. The Saudis' plans for transformation are ambitious, designed to diversify the economy, end overreliance on oil, keep capital in the country for domestic investment, and foster both transparency and accountability. Mohammed bin Salman, the deputy crown prince, was emphatic in telling us that Saudi Arabia no longer has an ideology other than national development and modernization. The Saudis are not imagining Iranian troublemaking in the region or their financing of Hizbullah and other terrorist groups. The Saudi leadership believes the U.S. fails to understand the threat from Iran and its use of Shiite militias to undermine Arab governments. The writer, a counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was a special assistant to President Obama from 2009 to 2011.

2016-09-13 00:00:00

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