Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens is a research fellow for Middle East studies and head of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in Qatar.

GCC

The GCC will ride out the storm

The GCC will come back together after the storm, bruised and battered but not broken.

The GCC will ride out the storm

Politics

Saudi Arabia and Iran and how we got here

It is US retrenchment from the region that has been the cause of regional competition in the first place.

Saudi Arabia and Iran and how we got here

Politics

This is a big moment for Saudi Arabia

As with all things in Saudi Arabia, change happens slowly and at its own pace.

This is a big moment for Saudi Arabia

Middle East

Best of friends? A new chapter in Saudi-US relations

If the US is not willing to play a hegemonic role in the region, then Riyadh will have to step in.

Best of friends? A new chapter in Saudi-US relations

War & Conflict

The ugly threat of an ISIL with chemical weapons

The use of chemical munitions is becoming the norm in Syria and Iraq.

The ugly threat of an ISIL with chemical weapons

War & Conflict

The YPG: America's new best friend?

The YPG may seem to be good allies on paper, but if Syria's central regions are alienated it may cause more trouble.

The YPG: America's new best friend?

Politics

Change in the name of stability for Saudi Arabia

The wily king appears to have understood that to keep things the same, sometimes you have to make changes.

Change in the name of stability for Saudi Arabia

War & Conflict

Yemen is a defining moment for King Salman

Saudi Arabia may balk at an Iran-backed actor gaining legitimacy through talks but it has little choice in the long run.

Yemen is a defining moment for King Salman

War & Conflict

A big rethink: Security in the GCC

Money and expensive toys don't buy regional stability.

A big rethink: Security in the GCC

Politics

Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah

Can Saudi Arabia manage the turbulent changes in the region without its king?

Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah

Politics

The US and Iraqi Kurds: Good will hunting?

Iraqi Kurds seethe as US tells them to put aside independence dreams - for now.

The US and Iraqi Kurds: Good will hunting?

Politics

Iraq elections unlikely to bridge sectarian divide

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accused of marginalising Sunni and Kurdish voices ahead of April 30 vote.

Iraq elections unlikely to bridge sectarian divide