NATO plans for post-2014 Afghan force

Turkey has also said it’s considering taking the lead in Kabul, Hagel said.

“We're transitioning, not leaving,” the Defense secretary told reporters Wednesday.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the new mission will be primarily focused on training and will be significantly smaller than the force currently in Afghanistan.

Hagel and NATO did not put any numbers on the size of the post-2014 force, saying that more specific plans will be developed in the coming months.

Hagel also did not address whether there would be a counterterrorism component to the U.S. forces that remain in Afghanistan after 2014, something U.S. officials have suggested they will keep there to assist the Afghan security forces.

“We intend to be there for the long haul, and I made that commitment very clear today, as well as financial assistance,” Hagel said.

NATO forces are drawing down ahead of the plan to transition control of security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

A force ranging between 8,000-12,000 troops has been suggested to remain in a non-combat role after 2014, but that number has not been finalized.