by Tom Rogan |
The ailing King Salman of Saudi Arabia has replaced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The crown prince is the successor-designate to the Saudi throne.
The first thing to note, however, is that this doesn’t portend any major changes in the kingdom’s pro-U.S. sentiment. Both Mohammed bin Nayef and Mohammed bin Salman belong to the pro-U.S. wing of the House of Saud. They recognize that the U.S. government is crucial to the royal family’s long term survival.
Instead, while there’s a dynastic element to King Salman’s pick (bin Salman is his son), this appointment speaks to looming domestic reforms.
After all, just 31 years old, Mohammed bin Salman breaks the tradition of geriatric Saudi monarchs. By appointing bin Salman as crown prince, King Salman knows he’s laying a foundation for around five decades.
And under the banner of his “Vision 2030” program, bin Salman plans vast changes to Saudi Arabia’s governance, economy and society.