The troops will be left after a major withdrawal in 2014
The US plans to withdrawal most of its troops from Afghanistan by 2014, but plans to leave a small force. US officially had not publicly said how many troops would remain exactly, but a German official recently said he was told 8,000-12,000 US troops would remain. The Guardian has more:
The US defence secretary has told Nato allies the US will leave between 8,000 and 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when combat ends, according to a senior government official.
Thomas de Maizière, the German defence minister, said Leon Panetta had informed him of the numbers. US officials have yet to say publicly how many American troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
Panetta said earlier on Friday that US officials were planning to leave troops in all sectors of the country, as well as in Kabul. Pentagon officials said the military had mapped out plans to carry on its mission of training and advising the Afghan forces and also leave a small counterterrorism force to battle insurgents.