I had the pleasure of having lunch in D.C. on Wednesday with a bunch of extremely smart people. One of things we discussed was the puzzle of Saudi Arabia. Given that King Abdulaziz – the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia – had no succession plan, and given the fact that he fathered 45 sons by different mothers, why has there never been a palace coup?
You would think that with so many competitors to the throne and so much uncertainty regarding accession, the House of Saud would be rife with levels of treachery not seen since Hamlet. That has never happened. Why not?