U.S. Marines Launch Major Operation in Afghanistan

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 1, 2009; 5:32 PM

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, July 2 -- Thousands of U.S. Marines descended upon the volatile Helmand River valley in helicopters and armored convoys early Thursday morning, mounting an operation that represents the first large-scale test of the U.S. military's new counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

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