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J.P. Lawrence

J.P. Lawrence is a downrange reporter covering Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lawrence joined Stripes in 2018. He previously reported for the San Antonio Express and Albany Times Union. He has written in the U.S. and Africa for the New York Review of Books, Vice, the Intercept and the Associated Press. He served in the U.S. Army and went to Bard College and Columbia University in New York.

Email: lawrence.jp@stripes.com


New generation of Taliban fuels battles in northern Afghanistan

After years of resisting Taliban control, Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Badakhshan has become yet another battleground in the fight for control of the country, thanks in large part to a long-term shift in the Taliban’s recruitment strategy, observers say.


Afghan government is open to talks with the Taliban, but only with a cease-fire

The Afghan government is ready to pick up peace negotiations with the Taliban after they were abruptly called off by President Donald Trump but the insurgents must first agree to a cease-fire, Afghanistan’s president said Monday.


Suspected American ISIS sniper indicted on terrorism charges

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov faces a possible life sentence after accusations of providing material support to ISIS and training terrorists in weaponry, according to the Justice Department.


Soldier killed in Afghanistan was compassionate leader, say those who knew him

Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, who died in a Taliban suicide bomb explosion Thursday, was described as a “mainstay” in his unit by his leadership.


US soldier killed in Taliban suicide bomb attack was on second Afghanistan deployment

Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico, died when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, the Pentagon said in a statement Friday.

US soldier killed in Taliban suicide bomb attack was on second Afghanistan deployment

Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico, died when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, the Pentagon said in a statement Friday.


US servicemember, Romanian soldier dead in Taliban suicide bomb attack

The name of the U.S. servicemember killed is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of his family, a NATO statement said. The Romanian Defense Ministry identified the soldier as Cpl. 3rd Class Ciprian-Stefan Polschi.


Man who tried to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Hezbollah, Iraq gets 30 years in prison

An arms dealer who tried to buy anti-aircraft missiles and sell them to clients in the Middle East was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison, the Justice Department said.


A decadelong program to ‘turn the tide’ in Afghanistan is ending, long after military shifted its focus

A 10-year military program aimed at creating cultural experts in Central Asia will shut down next year, ending what some Afghanistan veterans said was a once-promising effort that fell victim to shifting Pentagon priorities and leadership changes.


The incredible shrinking MRE: New tech zaps rations into a third their normal size

Soldiers of the future may be eating bacon and egg breakfasts via tiny food bars. “A complete meal in a bar, that’s my goal,” said Tom Yang, senior food technologist at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center.


‘May God disgrace them’: Families grieve after Taliban strike kills children

Ahmad Faisal, 12, was one of many Afghans coping with the aftermath of a Monday bombing, which the Taliban said targeted a nearby Afghan military logistics depot but left dozens of civilians wounded and killed at least 10 people, including an 8-year-old girl named Feroza.