Paul Mutter is a graduate student at NYU. He has written for The Arabist, Souciant, PBS Tehran Bureau, Mondoweiss, and FPIF. He is doing his MA thesis on the GGC's responses to the Arab Spring.
His military successes might have all been for naught, though, had the British not had reservations about the Hashemites that tempered T. E. Lawrence's boosterism of the Sharif. The Saudi triumphs were acceptable moves in a game of playing one Arab clan against another.
In any event, the Saudis proved colonial bureaucrats’ assessments wrong.
And Hussein was mistaken in assuming that a pan-Arab identity of his invention could smooth over the tribal, linguistic, and sectarian differences among the peoples he wished to incorporate into a kingdom. Hussein's son, Faisal I of Greater Syria, didn't last a year (1920) in Damascus, and Mecca was lost by 1924. Faisal brother’s Abdullah had to settle for the Transjordan after being dissuaded from marching on Damascus – ironically, it is this branch of the family, seen as the weakest, that has survived the longest in power despite threats within and without since the end of WWI.
The Ikhwan eventually turned on their King because he had acceded to British demands to cease raiding into Transjordan and Kuwait in 1927 – whose borders the Ikhwan violated several times in the late 1920s.
Thanks to superior strategy and British-supplied equipment, though, Ibn Saud survived his levies’ rebellion.