"The United States and its partner countries are gradually reducing military involvement in Afghanistan as the Afghan government and security forces assume ever greater responsibility in preparation for the end of international mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Afghan forces are to assume much of the security lead nationwide by mid-2013. The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in June 2011, has been reduced to a 'pre-surge' level of 66,000 as of September 20, 2012, and will likely continue to draw down as the transition proceeds. No U.S. decision has been announced on the rate of that drawdown, or on the size of the U.S. force that will remain in Afghanistan after 2014. U.S. military recommendations for the post-2014 force reportedly range from 6,000 to 20,000, mostly advisors and trainers but including some forces that will continue to combat Taliban forces. The drawdown and post-2014 size decisions will likely hinge on assessments of the performance of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), insurgent strength, and the progress of reconciliation talks with Taliban figures, resiliency. The post-2014 U.S. presence is dependent on finalization of a bilateral security agreement, currently under negotiation with the Afghan government, pursuant to a May 1, 2012, U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement. In keeping with that agreement, on July 7, 2012 (one day in advance of a major donors' conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo), the United States named Afghanistan a 'Major Non-NATO Ally,' further assuring Afghanistan of long-term U.S. support."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html