26 Items

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Saudi First

| July 05, 2023

This report is based on four extended trips to the Kingdom since the author’s April 2019 paper, Profile of a Prince: Promise and Peril in Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030. While this report will focus primarily on changes in foreign and defense policy in the Kingdom, it also will update readers on the breathtaking changes in economic and cultural life of the Saudi people. 

People inspect the wreckage of buildings that were damaged by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Significance of the Iran-Saudi Arabia Agreement Brokered by China

Belfer Center experts on the U.S.-China relationship and Middle East issues shared thoughts on the significance of the unexpected Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement brokered by China. 

Photo of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud speaking to reporters at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.

(Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Wall Street Journal

Biden Needs to Make Up With Saudi Arabia, or China Will Gain

| Mar. 31, 2022

Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and reflection, begins this weekend. Going without food or water from dawn to dusk humbles and refocuses believers on harmony with Allah and mankind. This might be a propitious moment for President Biden to visit the kingdom and seek forgiveness for a growing list of Saudi grievances that have badly damaged relations between Washington and Riyadh. Notably, the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is refusing to pump more oil to help Mr. Biden in his quest to lower energy prices. 

In this Oct. 14, 2019 file photo, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Center Scholars on Recalibrating U.S.-Saudi Relations After Khashoggi Report Release

Following the release of a report from the U.S. intelligence community on the killing in 2018 of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, we asked several of our Saudi and international relations scholars to comment.  

In the wake of the Khashoggi report, how should the Biden administration recalibrate the U.S.-Saudi relationship?

Khashoggi Report Cover


Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Gazette

Biden May Regret Releasing Report on Khashoggi Murder

  • Christina Pazzanese
| Feb. 27, 2021

Karen Elliott House, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor for The Wall Street Journal who covered the Middle East and foreign affairs for more than three decades before retiring as the paper’s publisher in 2006, spoke with the Harvard Gazette about a just-released 2018 intelligence report that concluded the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabian agents in Turkey was done “on behalf” of and “approved” by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Gazette reporter Christina Pazzanese interviewed Elliott House.

This May. 3, 2009, file photo shows an oil facility in Jubeil, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File

Analysis & Opinions - The Wall Street Journal

Oil Becomes a Risky Game for Saudis

| May 17, 2020

President Trump is playing a tense poker game with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The stakes are America’s oil industry and the U.S.-Saudi alliance.

The 34-year-old prince and the president have been fast friends since Mr. Trump chose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip and received a lavish welcome. The president stood by the prince when he severed relations with Qatar, and again when he was accused of approving the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. But now the prince is threatening America’s oil industry, U.S. national security and Mr. Trump’s re-election prospects.

Fans react as they watch the “Greatest Royal Rumble” event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, April 27, 2018. A previous WWE event held in 2014 was for men only, but Friday night’s event included both women and children in attendance. AP Photo/Amr Nabil

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Profile of a Prince: Promise and Peril in Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030

| April 2019

This report, based on three prolonged trips to the Kingdom over the past year, the most recent in January 2019, will take a deep look at Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who dominates every aspect of foreign and domestic policy, to try to answer what lies behind his Mona Lisa smile. It will also examine the Kingdom’s social progress, its economic stagnation and its growing political repression. Readers will have to evaluate for themselves whether the social progress he has offered Saudis in general—and women in particular—offset his autocratic tactics at home and abroad.