KABUL (AP) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he's encouraged by the NATO-Afghan offense in Marjah in southern Afghanistan but he's not calling it a turning point in the overall war.
Gates is in Afghanistan to meet with military leaders.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander, says preparations have begun for a crucial campaign to assert Afghan government control over Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban.
Gates arrived in Afghanistan as coalition forces continue operations in the town of Marjah. Marjah is the first major test of the NATO counterinsurgency strategy since President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 new American troops to blunt the Taliban's momentum.