US and allied military planners are drawing up the broad outlines of a force that would remain in Afghanistan following the handover to Afghan security after 2014, including a small counterterrorism force with an eye toward al-Qaida, senior officials say.
Under the emerging plan, the
US counterterrorism force might number less than 1,000, one military official said. In a parallel effort, NATO forces would advise Afghan forces at major regional military and police headquarters but most likely have a minimal battlefield role, with the exception of some special operations advisers.
Final decisions on the size of the US and NATO presence after 2014 and its precise configuration have not been made by the United States or its allies.