A King, a President and the Fate of MbS

By Ambassador Gary Grappo, Former U.S. Ambassador to Oman

Grappo served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He’s currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver.

Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, (MbS) are confronting a crisis. How they manage to extricate the kingdom will have potentially long-term consequences for the kingdom, its relationship with the U.S. and for its image worldwide.

It is tempting to exaggerate such situations. In this case, the drip, drip, drip of information coming from Ankara and Riyadh seem to all but confirm that this was no less than an officially orchestrated mission to snuff out the life of widely known opposition Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and then cover it up. So, this situation is different, and the only question remaining is who ordered the hit.

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