U.S. Troops Fight Afghan Opium Farming

05/17/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Dion Nissenbaum | McClatchy Newspapers McClatchy

MARJAH, Afghanistan -- U.S. Marine Sgt. Brad Vandehei stood on the edge of the small opium poppy field that serves as a central helicopter landing zone for the new military compound that's rising nearby.

"Those are poppies, sir?" Vandehei, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., asked Maj. David Fennell as they gazed at the spiked young plants that should be ready for harvest next month. "Let's burn it down, sir."

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