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Crown prince performs shock therapy on Saudi ArabiaIn a wide-ranging late-night interview at his palace here, Saudi Arabia's young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman described a new wave of reforms as part of the "shock" therapy needed to modernize the kingdom's cultural and political life. For more than two hours, he discussed his campaigns against corruption and Muslim extremism, as well as his strategy for the region.The crown prince said he has public support, not just from restless younger Saudis but from a chastened royal family. During my brief visit to the kingdom, it was impossible to assess how well MBS' reforms are working.MBS sacked the defense chief of staff and appointed other new military leaders, changes he said had been planned for several years to get better results for Saudi defense spending; he said the kingdom, with the world's fourth-largest defense budget, has only the 20th or 30th best army.MBS said his anti-corruption putsch in November was an example of the shock therapy the kingdom needed, because of endemic corruption.
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