Would the Crown-Prince Ibn Salman Witness the Collapse of his Saudi Kingdom?

آحمد صبحي منصور Ýí 2017-10-29

Would the Crown-Prince Ibn Salman Witness the Collapse of his Saudi Kingdom?

Published in October 27, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy



1- Ibn Salman has received the consent of the American president – the Godfather of the Saudi kingdom – to be appointed as the next king very soon. The speech of Ibn Salman included talking about the so-called 'moderate' Islam and it is addressed to Europe and the USA – in a type of apology for bloodbaths caused by Wahabism there. Ibn Salman addresses the West obsequiously by talking about huge economic projects inside the Saudi kingdom that will make the West investors and experts gain lots of profits.

2- Yet, Ibn Salman has no guarantee to ascend to power easily; no one can disregard the fury of the main pillars of the Saudi royal family. Ibn Salman is the youngest member of the Saudi royal family members, and old-age is very important in Bedouin culture. Ibn Salman has the least amount of political experience, in contrast to the sons of his paternal uncle Feisal. Ibn Salman deals harshly with those who oppose among the sons of his paternal uncles, especially Ibn Nayef kneeled before Ibn Salman and then got removed. When king Salman dies one day, it will not be easy for the crown-prince, Ibn Salman, to be enthroned; we expect that king Salman would step down while he is alive and leave the throne to his son, who would be the new king under the protection of his father. This transition of power will be similar to what has occurred in Qatar, when Hamad ceded the throne to his son Tamim Ibn Hamad under the auspices – or by the pressure – of the USA.      

3- All of the above does NOT remove the prediction of the collapse of the Saudi kingdom. For instance, the Firil Center For Studies (FCFS) in Berlin predicts the collapse of the Saudi kingdom in 2023. The question is posed now: wouldthe crown-prince Ibn Salman witness the collapse of his Saudi kingdom? Or would he witness the continuity of it within the generation of its founder, Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud?   


Firstly: indicators of the collapse of the Saudi kingdom:


Within the military aspect:

1- As per the strategic studies, the defense expenditure of the Saudi kingdom in 2014 was 81 billion US$, which was 10% of GNP and the third biggest defense budget after the USA and China. The reason of this is not only to defend the Saudi royal family, but also to make the Saudi princes get the commissions of weapons deals. This type of corruption inside the Saudi kingdom is known worldwide.  

2- Yet, when the Saudi kingdom was threatened by Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait, the Saudi king readily sought the help of the USA. The Saudis never engaged into real war; i.e., infantry troops fighting troops of an enemy. The Saudi kingdom never wage war alone; it has enlisted the help of the USA, Egypt, and other allies. This applies to the failed war against Yemen; the Saudis and their allies fought only with warplanes. 

3- Let us remember the following facts below.

3/1: The Saudi army is never qualified to use the expensive weapons bought at exorbitant prices and fill storehouses inside the Saudi kingdom; only experts in the West can use such weapons.

3/2: There is no 100% Saudi army or troops; they consist mostly of mercenaries from Sudan and Pakistan as well as security companies and organizations. It is hardly expected that a free citizen who lives inside a country owned by Al-Saud family would defend this country.  

3/3: The last battle in which the Saudi army engaged was the battle of Sabilla, led by Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud who defeated the Najd Brothers in 1930, before giving his kingdom the name of Saudi Arabia.

4- The Saudi kingdom suffers a financial burden because of the war in Yemen beyond its capacity, as the resistance of the Houthis is supported by Iran. Thus, the Saudi budget is seriously depleted. The Saudis cannot end the war they have waged in the first place; they can no longer bear its financial burden or even make their allies bear it. In addition, the Saudi kingdom financially supports its allies outside the Gulf Cooperation Council, such as Egypt, Morocco, and Sudan. The alternative is to seek a truce with the Houthis, who will win eventually; we think that the end of Saudi Arabia may be at the hands of the Yemenis.    

5- The Saudi kingdom has used its money and allies within mediators to wage a war against Yemen, and it has participated in the wars inside Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria, and Algeria. This made the Saudis provide a huge budget to finance its aggression; for instance, the war in Iraq made the Saudi kingdom pay 48 billion US$. The rest of the wars together have made the Saudis pay 1000 billion US$.    


Within the oil aspect:

1- The Saudi kingdom has raised its the oil production to spite Iran and Russia, but this way, the Saudis have harmed their economy; prices of oil decreased since 2014. Thus the Saudi budget deficit reached 200 billion US$ in the last three years. 

2- The Saudi imminent economic collapse might be avoided if oil prices would reach 100 US$ per barrel to increase its budget, cover the huge expenditures, and make surpluses. It is impossible that the Saudi oil prices would reach 100 US$ per barrel; in fact, the prices plummeted to 26 US$ per barrel.   

3- WikiLeaks have published a secret document which is an American diplomatic telegram sent from Saudi Arabia, asserting that the amounts of Saudi oil reserves are grossly exaggerated and that a high official in ARAMCO provided false information.   

4- The Saudi kingdom has announced the intention to sell 5% of shares of ARAMCO in 2018, as per the 2030 vision of Ibn Salman. This measure aims at facing the budget deficit and the decrease of oil prices and at influencing the OPEC so that the West would disregard investment opportunities in Iran.  

5- Facing this crises, statements of Ibn Salman spread in the media about changing the structure of Saudi economy based on oil and natural gas by relying on the solar energy and the nuclear energy within consulting American, British, and French companies. The long-term of such projects implies that such empty statements in local media aim at promoting the chances of the crown-prince to be enthroned while his father is alive, though Ibn Salman lacks experience and efficiency.    

6- To seek alternatives to oil, touristic investments in Saudi islands in the Red Sea have been suggested, parallel to the speech about the falsehood called 'moderate' Islam. It is in this context that Saudi women are now allowed to drive cars; they will be allowed to have jobs like men. But what about providing job opportunities to Saudi  men first? The problem is to use incentives to urge Saudis to work; they are too lazy and they are used to depending on foreign workers.

7- Yet, media in the West go on criticizing Saudi Arabia more and more as the sole country that finances Wahabi terrorism and has crushed Arab Spring in Bahrain. Besides, the Saudi flagrant violation of human rights is criticized severely worldwide, and this coincides with the weakness of the Saudi influence in the West after shale oil has made the USA and the West depend less on Saudi oil.    


Secondly: could Ibn Salman be considered as a possible solution?:

1- Within this critical times within the history of the third, current Saudi state, would Ibn Salman be able to save his kingdom from an imminent collapse with his speeches and statements about economic change and the so-called 'moderate' Islam?! 

2- We would be optimistic only if Ibn Salman would have totally  different policies; yet, he seems to be a tyrant as he speaks on behalf of others inside and outside his kingdom; for instance, Egypt and Jordan never expressed any views about the NEOM project. Ibn Salman has got his kingdom and allies involved in (1) the Yemeni quagmire within shame and disgrace, and he cannot end this war until now and (2) the Qatar siege that has made no effect whatsoever.  

3- Thus, Ibn Salman is the direct cause of so many problems in the region, with no solutions appearing on the horizon very soon; he never consults anyone and expects blind obedience! The cause of problems cannot be part of any possible solutions, of course.

4- A reckless young man like Ibn Salman should be refused as a husband to any man's daughter; how come that the future of the kingdom, the royal family, and the Saudis be entrusted to him?!

5- This is very serious indeed! (the cursed Mubarak used to utter this silly phrase!), as this situation threatens Arabian people living inside Saudi Arabia, not just the Saudi royal family members.

6- Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud established the Saudi kingdom with military power and with Wahabism, and he became a king who controlled an Arabian nation of many sects, tribes, and races that include Shiites, Sufis, 'ordinary' Sunnites, and Wahabis. Thus, he crushed the shite rulers of Al-Ahsa (now called the Eastern region), where most oil is located and all Shiites inside the Saudi kingdom. Moreover, he annexed some lands in the south that were previously part of Yemen. This means that after the downfall of the Saudi royal family and their Saudi state, there will be civil strife and bloodshed within fierce wars that will involve Shiite and Sunnite Arabian tribes as well as the USA and Russia. Weapons will be sold at exorbitant prices in the East and the West, while millions of weak, innocent victims will pay the heavy price; we fear that the Red Sea will turn reddish because of bloodbaths and that the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea would carry millions of refugees to Europe!    

7- This will be a tragic event and we hope it would never take place; could Ibn Salman avoid the occurrence of such a tragedy?! We continue this topic in our next article.

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