The Unexpected Ascent of MBS: A Recap

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Image credit: Getty Images)

Nestled amidst the deserts and the vast expanses of oil fields, Saudi Arabia has always been an epicentre of power and politics in the Middle East. The story of Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and his rise to the position of Crown Prince is a truly interesting story that many should know of but do not.

Born in 1985, MBS, despite being the son of King Salman, was not always at the forefront of global politics. His position changed drastically when his father ascended the throne in 2015, and within a short span, MBS was appointed Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister. This rapid rise sparked whispers among royalty and diplomats alike: Was this a mere show of nepotism, or was there a grander vision in play? The most significant jolt in MBS’s journey came with the ousting of Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), the then Crown Prince. MBN was not just another royal; he was recognized for his staunch efforts against terrorism and was held in high regard by international allies, especially the U.S. This meant that the manner of MBN’s removal raised eyebrows across many nations outside of Saudi Arabia. While the official line cited health concerns, darker tales of palace intrigue, alleged house arrests, and coerced resignations painted a scene more befitting a Shakespearean drama than a modern-day monarchy.

Had the traditions of succession been held up, Saudi Arabia under MBN would have been a vastly different landscape. MBN might have cultivated stronger international alliances, focusing on global security dynamics. The country’s socio-economic framework might have evolved, but perhaps without the aggressive push that MBS’s Vision 2030 promises. This vision, lauded by some as revolutionary, seeks to wean the country off its oil dependency, introduce a more open society, and give women a louder voice. But would a more tempered approach under MBN have been better? That’s a question for historians to dissect in years to come.

When examining MBS’s rise, one must confront the moral questions. Was his ascent to power just a reflection of ambition unchecked, or was it a necessary move for the future of Saudi Arabia? Power transitions are rarely smooth, especially in a monarchy bound by traditions. However, the means to an end always bring about moral dilemmas. From an outsider’s perspective, the sidelining of MBN might seem opportunistic, even ruthless. Yet, for proponents of MBS, it was a step toward modernity and reform.

In conclusion, the tale of MBS’s ascent to power is not just about one man’s ambition but also about a nation grappling with its identity in a modern world. The true legacy of this shift in power, for better or worse, will unfold in the decades to come.

Written by Vincent Kikano

Share this:

You may also like...