Saudi Arabia's Ambitious Bin Salman Will Face Trial by Fire

Article/Op-Ed in The New Arab
Jim Mattis / Flickr
June 23, 2017

Barak Barfi wrote an article for The New Arab about the change of succession in Saudi Arabia:

In recent years, the historically reticent and deferential Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has increasingly discarded the traditions which have protected the insular country from regional tremors that have toppled other monarchies.  
This week's succession shakeup, in which 31-year-old Prince Muhammad bin Salman was elevated to dauphin is just the latest. At a time when Saudi Arabia is facing so many threats and uncertainties, it needs a steady and experienced hand to guide the kingdom. But Bin Salman's trial by fire is unlikely to provide the necessary calming influence.
 When bin Salman was named Deputy Crown Prince upon his father's succession in 2015, the choice surprised many. He was a 29-year-old unknown in a kingdom where royals are slowly moved up the government pecking order. 
In a kingdom and culture that prizes seniority, the meteoric advancement of a young prince was frowned upon.