Faysal bin Shamlan
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.
Shamlan, as many of you know, was the JMP's candidate for president in the 2006 presidential elections - a bit of a strange response to Salih's call for new blood, but still ...
His death is in many ways a tragedy for Yemen, particularly at this point in the state's history as a number of what I often refer to as "old wise men" are passing away
Here is a short edited section from a recent talk I gave on the subject:
In one book published soon after the civil war, Yemen’s War: The Tribe Triumphs over the Nation, Bashir al-Bakr published a now out-of-date list of more than 30 members of the Sanhan tribe in top military and intelligence posts.
That has continued to be the case although there are two fairly recent trends that make Salih’s regime more fragile than it has been in the past.
First, is that the older generation of politicians and advisers – men like Yahya al-Mutawakkil, Shaykh Abdullah al-Ahmar and Abu Shuwarib – are dying off while other members of the same community are increasingly being marginalized. The younger politicans lack the requisite experience for Salih to be constrained by them, while at the same time they seem to want more in the way of power than they do to advise and consent.