Ali Shihabi speaks to BBC News Hour about MBS’s track record to date
For the last fifty years, the Kingdom’s rulers have kicked a lot of pressing issues down the road. The crown prince is now working to deal with all of these issues quickly and simultaneously. Pluralistic and democratic polities have never been able to effect such dramatic change so swiftly; the successful models have all been authoritarian. With regard to the anti-corruption purge, a message needed to be sent to the Kingdom’s elites that corruption could no longer be tolerated. Yemen is Saudi Arabia’s “soft underbelly” and vital to the Kingdom’s security. MBS watched Iran arm the Houthis until the latter suddenly seized the entire country. Everyone abhors civilian casualties but even the most advanced countries, like the UK and the US, are hard pressed to avoid these in war. In asymmetric warfare, non-state actors use civilian facilities to hide and position arms and to force its opponent to lose the public relations war. The Saudi-led coalition has also made mistakes but it has not deliberately targeted civilians.