Stories by Farah Pandith

Expert Voices

How Khashoggi's murder could reset expectations for U.S.–Saudi ties

Donald Trump walks past the smiling Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 Summit Meeting Center in Buenos Aires
President Trump walks past Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 Summit Meeting Center, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 30, 2018. Photo: Ralf Hirschberger/picture alliance via Getty Images

Recent policy and trade commitments by Saudi Arabia — like its multimillion-dollar Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology (Etidal) and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s modernization plans — have been seen as signs that the kingdom is moving away from the extremist positions of its past.

The big picture: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, however, belies the notion that substantive change has taken place, and has spurred calls for the U.S. to re-evaluate its relationship with Saudi Arabia on economic policy, human rights, counterterrorism, and especially support for extremism.