Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck, investigative reporters for The Wall Street Journal, address the topic differently in “Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power.” For a particular type of reader, this book will be ideal. It is lively and well written and it paints a sharp portrait of the man in the heart.
But be aware that this is a book on an intriguing but narrow topic: MBS’s desire for wealth and how it is tied to his drive for power. On this subject, Hope and Scheck have made quite a few graves and have found some eye-catching tales.
However, many of the stories have not been retrieved. They often seem plausible, but it is impossible to be sure. And as F. Gregory Gause, one of the leading Western academic experts in Saudi Arabia, likes to say when it comes to the royal family, those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.
At times, they claim a narrative consistent with their emphasis on MBS’s weaknesses at the expense of these other dynamics. So the 2020 oil war with Russia, in which Riyadh flooded the market to try to force Moscow to accept collective production limits, is being reduced to a by-product of MBS ‘overriding pride.
Whatever role the ego may have played in it, this version overlooks the fact that the price of oil fell and the Saudis and other producers desperately needed to stabilize it, but Russia refused to do so. In addition, the Saudi decided to flood the market and drive the price down below $ 20 per tonne. Barrel. It forced Moscow to accept cuts in production, and it was a huge victory for Riyadh.
Any alliance is difficult. Even Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt became frustrated with each other – let alone with Stalin and de Gaulle.