BRUSSELS (AP) -- A German official said Friday that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told NATO allies that the U.S. will leave between 8,000 and 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when combat ends.
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters Friday that Panetta informed him of the numbers.
U.S. officials have yet to say publicly how many American troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
Panetta had said earlier Friday that U.S. officials were planning to leave troops in all sectors of the country - north, south, east and west - as well as in Kabul. Pentagon officials have said the military has 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. When asked, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters Friday that no decision has been made on the size of the post-2014 international force.