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Gregory Johnsen

Near East Studies Scholar, Princeton University

Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.

Editor’s Note: I recently read and subsequently tweeted about Submergence, the new novel by J.M. Ledgard.  Then I asked one of the smartest people I know – Brian O’Neill – […]
This week The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda and the Battle for Arabia was released in the UK. For those wanting to get a sense of the book, I urge you […]
On Thursday, John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to be the new director of the CIA, went before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions. I watched all three and-a-half hours […]
On Christmas Eve, Sudarsan Raghavan of the Washington Post wrote a detailed article about a September air strike in which the US attempted to kill ‘Abd al-Rauf al-Dhahab, whom it […]
On December 23 – the same day the US carried out an apparent drone strike in the al-Baydha governorate of Yemen, apparently targeting ‘Abd al-Rauf al-Dhahab – AQAP released a […]
US officials continue to maintain as they have publicly for some time that in Yemen the US is only targeting the top 10-15 leaders of AQAP, whom it believes are […]
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about security in Sanaa and my own sense of unease during my last trip to Yemen.  That piece drew several comments both […]
Editor’s Note: Today I’m thrilled to have a guest post by Adam Baron, an excellent journalist, who is working and writing from Yemen.  Today, he wrote a must-read story on […]
Today I published an op-ed in the NY Times, arguing that the “Yemen model” approach to counterterrorism is deeply flawed.  I also suggest a way forward for the Obama administration […]
In the latest issue of New York Review of Books, Robert Worth reviews The Last Refuge along with Edmund Hull’s book, High Value Target. Worth opens like this: Yemen is […]
Earlier today Bruce Riedel, writing for the Daily Beast, posted the first review of The Last Refuge.  His review opens like this: Obama will have to face the growing menace […]
On Tuesday, October 2 the lights in Sanaa went out.*  The power cut in the Yemeni capital wasn’t particularly surprising.  Yemen has been suffering rolling blackouts for years; a problem […]
Earlier today an apparent US drone strike targeted and killed ‘Adnan al-Qadhi in the area of Sanhan, just south of Sanaa. I say apparent drone strike, because while there is […]
There are a lot of nightmare scenarios when it comes to the Middle East.  Some of these are already visible on the horizon as the New York Times outlines in […]
I will do my level best not to turn this site into a constant stream of book promos and the like in my transparent attempt to sell copies – I’ll […]
Today Foreign Policy published the first excerpt from The Last Refuge. The piece is largely drawn from Chapter 13 of the book, entitled Policy Shift: Here is the opening as […]
Today Abigail Fielding-Smith published what I think is a fantastic piece of journalism on southern Yemen and Aden.  I encourage all of you to read her fine piece. Indeed, as […]
For those of you who live in New York, I would like to invite you all to come out to the Overseas Press Club in Manhattan on Monday, November 12 […]
Hurricane Sandy hit Waq al-waq hard – although, mercifully, not nearly as hard as many who are still suffering – knocking out power and forcing us to become one of […]
This week the Washington Post published a three-part series it entitled “Permanent War.”  The first piece, by Greg Miller, talks about the disposition matrix and sets the stage for the […]
Fall is a busy time, school starts and big books you’ve been waiting to read for months finally get published.  For myself, and by extension Waq al-waq this fall has […]
Feelings are difficult to quantify and contextualize.  By nature they are fleeting and nearly impossible to judge according to any accurate barometer and yet they are still there dancing around […]
As some of you may know, I recently took a short trip to Yemen to see for myself how things on the ground had changed since Salih was forced to […]
Despite appearances I have not forgotten about Waq al-waq, and while I’ll spare you the usual and tired excuses for my lack of posts I will direct you to the […]
Ed: Brian O’Neill, the co-founder of Waq al-waq, returns home with this piece on today’s attack on the US Embassy in Sanaa. (Before we start, I’d like to thank Greg […]