The Path to a New Saudi Arabia

(New York Daily News) Dennis Ross - Saudi Arabia's new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, is clearly now slated to succeed his father, King Salman. He has been given very wide responsibilities as defense minister and overseer of the Saudi economy and its transformation. He believes Saudi Arabia must diversify its economy and modernize. Yet Saudi Arabia is a deeply conservative country where social change will not come easily. The religious establishment will resist change and a diminution of its role. Significant parts of the royal family may also resist as the crown prince cuts off the moneys that have always been available to them. The crown prince sees Iran as an existential threat and is determined to counter it. Saudi Arabia drew a line in Yemen when it saw the Iranian hand in the Houthi overthrow of the Yemeni government. The writer, counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served in senior national security positions in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.

2017-06-30 00:00:00

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