US defence secretary Robert Gates says that both the US and Afghan governments agree the American military should remain involved in Afghanistan after the planned 2014 end of combat operations to help train and advise Afghan forces.
Gates told a group of American troops on Monday that it would be just a small fraction of the presence that the US has today.
A soldier asked Gates about a long-term military presence, and Gates noted that Washington and Kabul have recently begun negotiating a security partnership.
He mentioned no details.
Later Monday, Gates was to meet with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.