Quil Lawrence

David Aquila ("Quil") Lawrence is an award-winning correspondent for NPR News, covering the millions of Americans who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as they transition to life back at home.

Previously, Lawrence served as NPR's Bureau Chief in Kabul. He joined NPR in 2009 as Baghdad Bureau Chief – capping off ten years of reporting in Iraq and all the bordering countries. That experience made the foundation for his first book Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East, published in 2008.

Before coming to NPR, Lawrence was based in Jerusalem, as Middle East correspondent for The World, a BBC/PRI co-production. For the BBC he covered the fall of the Taliban in December 2001 and returned to Afghanistan periodically to report on development, the drug trade and insurgency.

Lawrence began his career as a freelancer for NPR and various newspapers while based in Bogota, Colombia, covering Latin America. Other reporting trips took him to Sudan, Morocco, Cuba, Pakistan and Iran.

A native of Maine, Lawrence studied history at Brandeis University, with concentrations in the Middle East and Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Arabic.



Mon May 2, 2011
NPR Story

Afghans React To Osama Bin Laden's Death

Afghanistan hosted Osama bin Laden at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most Afghans reacted positively to the news that bin Laden has been killed.


Sun April 17, 2011

Negotiating Afghan Peace With The Taliban, Quietly

Violence is increasing in Afghanistan as the winter snows melt, opening the mountain passes from Pakistan. There has also been a flurry of activity around the possibility of peace talks with the Taliban — which most American and Afghan observers agree may be the only way out of the decade-old war.

The government of Afghanistan, as well as U.S. military leaders, have announced their support for reconciliation, but real negotiations still seem a long way off.

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Tue April 12, 2011

Accusations Of Corruption Rampant In Afghanistan

As the U.S. tightens its belt, some in Congress are calling for more scrutiny of the budgets Americans are boosting abroad.

Last week, Vermont Democrat Peter Welch called on Congress to investigate corruption in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is spending billions of dollars. It might have surprised him to know that a similar conversation was happening in the Afghan legislature.

In a moment of candor, Afghanistan's deputy attorney general said he had arrest warrants for high-ranking government officials, but he feared arresting them.

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Thu April 7, 2011

Airmen On Ground Aid Effort To Avert Afghan Deaths

Six thousand feet up a mountain in Afghanistan's Laghman province, Tech. Sgt. John Oliver is leaning on one elbow in the dirt, sheltering himself from the wind and trying to block the glow coming from his video monitor, the only light under a moonless, midnight sky.

The screen is showing him the view from an F-16, thousands of feet overhead.

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Sat April 2, 2011

UN Staff Killed In Afghanistan After Quran Burned

Violence continues in Afghanistan in response to a Florida preacher's destruction of a Quran last month. Riots in the southern city of Kandahar have killed 9 people and wounded scores. Leaders around the world have condemned the violence in northern Afghanistan, where a crowd stormed the UN compound there on Friday, killing 7 international staff.