May 10, 2018 | The Hill

The delicate balance of the US-Saudi relationship

Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power, major reforms have swept the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer and Varsha Koduvayur argue in The Hill that while bin Salman’s Vision 2030 deserves credit, there is far more work to be done in the Kingdom.

An excerpt from the op-ed follows:

“For all the signs of revitalization, there are still signs of the old Saudi Arabia. Mohammed bin Salman, during his landmark interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, prevaricated when asked about Wahhabism. The young royal audaciously claimed, “There is no Wahhabism.” The head of a major Muslim charity also balks when asked to address the policies of the past – the way that Saudi Arabia exported radicalization. Refusing to speak specifically about his contribution to the rise of extremist groups across the region, he insists instead that reform is now in progress.

However, none of this resonates with Middle East watchers who have any sense of history. To fully embrace moderate Islam, the kingdom must be transparent about where it went astray. Moreover, Riyadh must follow up with transparent proof that its radical funding streams are drying up abroad.”

Read the full article from The Hill here.

Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism-finance analyst for the US Department of the Treasury, is senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JSchanzer.

Varsha Koduvayur is a senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where she focuses on the Gulf. Follow her on Twitter @varshakoduvayur.

Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.