Saturday, October 13, 2018

Brookings Terminates Research Grant From Saudi Arabia

The Brookings Institution has become the latest entity to distance itself from Saudi Arabia over the alleged killing of dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Here is more from the Washington Post:
The Brookings Institution said Friday that it would “terminate” its “sole research grant” from Saudi Arabia, which was earmarked for an analysis of the Saudi think tank sector. “We felt we would be unable to conduct further research with this funding” given the Khashoggi case, Brookings said.

The announcement came after a number of people criticized Washington think tanks for taking Saudi money.

The top of Brookings' homepage currently features a piece by Shadi Hamid entitled "Saudi Arabia is Taunting Trump."  Here is a link to all the center-left think tank's writings on Saudi Arabia.

Brookings receives funding from a large number of foreign governments, including Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Norway, Taiwan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, European Union (EU), South Korea, Japan, France, Netherlands, and others.

After Think Tank Watch posted that Brookings receives money from Aramco Services Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco which is 100% wholly-owned by the Saudi government, a Brookings spokesperson reached out to tell us it will no longer be accepting funding from Aramco "effective immediately."

In related news, the Middle East Institute (MEI) said it will no longer participate in New York museum exhibits and programs funded by Saudi Arabia.

Here is a previous piece about how a think tank speech could have helped trigger Khashoggi's apparent death.

Here is a piece from Vox entitled "How Saudi Arabia Captured Washington," which discusses Middle East funding of various Washington think tanks.

According to Ben Freeman, who directs the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative program at the Center for International Policy, registered foreign agents working on behalf of interests in Saudi Arabia contacted congressional representatives, the White House, the media, and figures at influential think tanks more than 2,500 times in 2017 alone.