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The U.S. military has launched the first major offensive of Barack Obama's new Afghanistan strategy, sending thousands of troops to Helmand province under the moniker Operation Strike of the Sword.

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More than 93 percent of the world's opiates are now grown in Afghanistan, with an opium crop that has doubled in the last two years. According to the executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, "No other country beside China in the 19th Century ever had such a large amount of land dedicated to illegal activities."

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