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Cpl. Rob Reese, left, a civil affairs Marine with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, climbs out of a creek in Marjah, Afghanistan, last week after disposing of ammonium nitrate that Marines found while searching a farm compound. The chemical can be used for fertilizer, but was banned by the Afghan government because insurgents use it to make improvised explosive devices. Dan Lamothe//Staff

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I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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