WASHINGTON (AFP) - NATO officers are planning a new US-led military command in southern Afghanistan to prepare the way for a major offensive against the Taliban bastion of Kandahar, officials said Thursday. The new command would oversee military operations in Helmand province where an allied offensive has taken on Taliban forces in Marjah, while an existing NATO command under British leadership would be freed up to focus on a pivotal campaign planned for Kandahar, two defense officials told AFP. The proposal was working its way through the North Atlantic Council, the political arm of the NATO alliance, said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. General Stanley McChrys-tal, the top commander of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, favored the reorganisation as the southern region has seen an influx of troops and become a pivotal focus for the war. US military officers and officials have made clear coalition forces will soon shift their focus to Kandahar City, a Taliban stronghold, as an offensive in Marjah in Helmand province winds down. An administration official last week called the assault in Marjah launched on February 13 a tactical prelude to larger, more comprehensive operations later this year in Kandahar City. There was no date set yet for when the new command arrangement would start and the timing may hang on how long the Marjah offensive lasts, a second defense official said. The plan for a new command was first reported in the Wall Street Journal late Wednesday.