A Looming Crisis …?

In reality, though, the pool is smaller: those sons who are not genetically Arab are handicapped (at least five of Ibn Saud’s sons had Armenian mothers);

A possible succession crisis in Saudi Arabia does not get enough international attention. Too often, the House of Saud is taken as a monolith in discussions of Middle Eastern politics. Passing reference to venality and cut-throat power struggles often stand in the place of a much-needed analysis of the internal dynamics. Of course, the opacity of the regime makes such things difficult, but it is hard for me to imagine that the Saudi leadership is united behind any single foreign policy, which should, I think, force a rethink of Saudi policies in Lebanon, Iran and elsewhere. As a side note, I have been wondering what happened to Waleed bin Talal, who seemed to have gone silent after Hariri’s assassination. I saw a funny article about a hotel he wants to build in Israel, but other than that, he seems to have dropped below the radar to tend to his incomparable financial empire.

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