With the anointment of Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] as heir to the Saudi throne, any doubts over the continuation of policies that have shaken up the Middle East have gone. Western diplomats already referred to the 31-year-old as "Mr. Everything," because of his control over most aspects of domestic, foreign and defense affairs. His elevation ends a behind-the-scenes struggle for power and answers the question of what would happen to his plans for Saudi Arabia when King Salman, now 81, dies or steps aside. The most ambitious of these, Vision 2030, seeks to recalibrate the economy to end the country's near-total dependence on oil revenue... MBS's plans require tearing up the social contract that's kept the family in power since his grandfather, Ibn Saud, founded the kingdom in 1932. It was one of state largesse in exchange for obedience to an austere autocracy. That said, there's a strong desire for change among many Saudis. Official statistics show that half the population is under 25. He remains popular among the young, even though some Saudis are becoming unhappy as subsidies and public sector jobs are withdrawn, according to Dorsey. ... But internationally, there are also ramifications... Last month, the prince again raised the stakes in the regional rivalry with Iran, saying that dialog was "impossible" as they fight a proxy war in Yemen. He also led a multi-nation effort to isolate neighboring Qatar, causing a rift among fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. That also looks set to turn into another long and potentially fruitless test of wills as Iran and Turkey come to Qatar's aid. ... The problem is what comes next. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State questioned Saudi Arabia's justification at striking out at Qatar by cutting it off from diplomatic and transport links. The bombing campaign in Yemen aimed at destroying the rebel Houthi forces that Saudi Arabia sees as proxies for Iran, meanwhile, appears to have no end in sight. Two years later, it has become bogged down, bloody and increasingly unpopular.''

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