CHICAGO - Canada is preparing to announce ongoing funding for the Afghanistan military in line with contributions already pledged by other NATO countries.

How much Canada will cover of the estimated $4.1 billion annual bill for the Afghan military post-2014 is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday at the close of the NATO meetings in Chicago.

The 28 member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are meeting for two days with the future of Afghanistan at the top of their agenda.

At issue is both NATO's exit strategy from the decades-long war but also what happens afterwards.

While the meetings weren't intended to be a pledging conference, NATO's secretary-general said late Sunday he is optimistic that the required total needed to sustain Afghan's military will be reached.

"It is a responsibility for the whole of the international community but I'm sure that NATO allies and (International Security Assistance Force) partners will pay a fair share of the overall bill," Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a closing press conference.

"We are on the right track."

While the NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan ends in 2014, Rasmussen reiterated the alliance's commitment to continuing training the Afghan military after that date.

The original plan had been for a security force that numbered 352,000 strong, but the size has been reduced to around 230,000 in recognition of the cost to maintain it.

Countries including Australia, Germany and the U.K. have already made financial pledges to that end and media reports have suggested that Canada has been asked to contribute $125 million.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay hinted Sunday that the money will form the extent of Canada's commitment to the country once Canadian military trainers leave in 2014.

He told reporters covering the Chicago meetings that a key element of discussions has been the sustainability of Afghan security forces once the NATO-led mission there ends.

"That doesn't necessarily mean troop contributions or trainers," he said.

"That means giving the Afghans the resources that they need to continue to make progress and hold the fort."

But he wouldn't elaborate, saying only that the prime minister will made an announcement on Monday.

Canada pulled its combat troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2011, leaving behind a team of 950 soldiers to help train the Afghan security force.

Those soldiers are expected to be fully out of the country in 2014, in concert with the final pull out of all NATO combat troops.

Rasmussen said Sunday that he expects the Afghan military to be able to take over security in the country in 2013 but NATO forces will remain combat ready until the end of 2014.

Newly-elected French President Francois Hollande has already declared that he will withdraw all French combat troops from Afghanistan by year's end, but German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle cautioned that "withdrawal competition" among countries with troops in Afghanistan could strengthen the terrorist threat.

And German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stood "very firmly" behind the principle of "in together, out together."

For his part, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his country welcomes the end of the war "so that Afghanistan is no longer a burden on the shoulder of our friends in the international community, on the shoulders of the United States and our other allies."

Earlier Sunday, Fogh Rasmussen said he wanted Canada's continued involvement.

"I would hope Canada would be in a position to contribute to the training mission after 2015," he said on his way into the meetings Sunday, adding he also respected that it was a decision for Canada to make.

MacKay said Canadians are proud of what's been achieved in Afghanistan, pointing to literacy rates and education levels as indicators of progress.

And while he acknowledged the sacrifice that's also been made _ including the lives of 162 Canadians _ he said it's important for Canada to remain involved.

"We don't want to see Afghanistan ever deteriorate into a situation where they are again an incubator and an exporter of terrorism," he said.

"We also have a broader responsibility, I would suggest, as a caring compassionate country to see the people of Afghanistan have hope, have a future."

Nearly 3,000 members of NATO have been killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began and they were honoured Sunday prior to the start of the meetings.

As leaders prepared to take a break for summit talks for their traditional family photo, thousands of demonstrators upset with the war in Afghanistan, climate change and the erosion of union rights marched through downtown Chicago.

- with files from The Associated Press

Earlier on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • An anti-NATO protestor flashes peace signs during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bleeding anti-NATO protestor is comforted after a scuffle with police during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A bride and groom walk past as Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A Chicago Occupy Wall Street Protester marches down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, Illinois, May 19, 2012, on the eve of the NATO summit. After a decade in Afghanistan, NATO leaders gather for a key summit May 20, 2012, hoping for a show of unity in the final two years of combat -- even though allies are eager to bring troops home. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A NATO protestor is arrested after refusing to let go of a police bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Amy Rule, Rahm Emanuel

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, center, and wife Amy Rule, during their arrival at O┬'Hare International airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O┬'Hare International airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Amy Rule

    President Barack Obama center, talks with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel right, and his wife Amy Rule left, before boarding Marine One, after arriving at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Saturday, May, 19, 2012. Obama traveled to Chicago to host the two-day NATO summit. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Chicago O'Hare International Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • President of France Fran├žois Hollande arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Ivo Daalder

    Ivo Daalder, US Ambassador to NATO sings during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • A protester sits in front of Chicago police officers on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A protester marches next Chicago police mounted patrols on Michigan Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • A police officer wrestles with the hand of an NATO protestor who refused to let go of her bicycle, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • An anti-NATO protestor commandeers a police barricade during a march, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • A protester holds a sign as he marches during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Magode

    Chicago police officer captain Magode, center, talks with protesters on State Street during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Police officers line up as protesters march during a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • NATO Flags

    Flags representing the NATO countries are displayed at Wrigley Field in a pregame ceremony before an interleague baseball game with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

  • Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • NATO demonstrators march towards Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • Sheik Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Brent Vincent Betterly, Jared Chase, Brian Church

    This combo made from undated photos released Saturday, May 19, 2012 by the Chicago Police Department shows from left, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, N.H., and Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The three men arrested Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Chicago, accused of making Molotov cocktails with plans to attack President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's home and other targets during this weekend's NATO summit, according to prosecutors at a court hearing Saturday. The three were arrested in a nighttime raid of an apartment in the city's South Side Bridgeport neighborhood ahead of the two-day meeting. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters march down Montrose Avenue to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a demonstration Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters march on Montrose Avenue during a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Occupy Chicago protesters sit in the street outside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaunel's house during a march and demonstration Saturday, May 19 2012, in Chicago. Security has been high throughout the city in preparation for the NATO summit, where delegations from about 60 countries will discuss the war in Afghanistan and European missile defense. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Ivan Gasparovic, president of the Slovak Republic, arrives arrives at O'Hare Airport to attend the NATO Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

  • Protesters walk past Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. On Sunday, the start of the two-day NATO summit, thousands of protesters are expected to march to the McCormick Place convention center, where NATO delegates will be meeting. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester walks past Chicago police officers outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, in Chicago, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protester Chris Litchfield, left, from Wooster, Mass., copies the emergency legal assistance number off the arm of Mitch L. Miller, from Washington, Saturday, May 19 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Garry McCarthy

    Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, right, talks with one of his commanders across the street at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house Saturday, May 19, 2012, ahead of this weekend's NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters gather at Irving Park Brown Line to canvas Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's neighborhood as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters march in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's house as part of a NATO summit demonstration in Chicago, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Who should I be shooting?

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://graph.facebook.com/22914183/picture?type=square" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Keith_Habersberger">Keith Habersberger</a>:<br />John Adams asked this gentleman "who I would be shooting right now?" and he couldn't say... wonder if he ever thinks about the lives of the people he thinks John Adams would shoot? www.imadeamerica.com

  • May 18: Police lined up with bicycles to prevent protesters from entering the street... accept there weren't any protesters after the first few minutes. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: CPD blocked stairwell exits off Michigan Ave at Illinois to push Occupy protesters from the splinter march down Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Ave., as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18, 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • Tom Morello

    Eminent musician Tom Morello performs at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. Thousands of nurses and other protesters gathered for the noisy but largely peaceful demonstration with a broad spectrum of causes, from anti-war activists to Occupy protesters to a Chicago Women┬'s AIDS project. The demonstrations Friday were the largest yet ahead of a two-day NATO summit that is expected to draw even larger protests. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

  • A protester tears down a NATO summit banner from one of the bridge towers along the Chicago River at the Michigan Ave. bridge in Chicago. Friday, May 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Nomaan Merchant)

  • A member of National Nurses United, protests at a NATO summit demonstration at Daley Plaza, Friday, May 18 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • Protesters dance in the street as they block traffic during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • A protester pounds out a beat on a newspaper stand as they block traffic while marching through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • May 18: Probably at the older end of the movement. This "greatful grandmother" was a big hit. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • May 18: At the end of the break-off march, people gathered at one of the places where it all began - the horse statue at Congress and Michigan. <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanryanryan/" target="_hplink">Photo by Ryan Williams</a>.</em>

  • Protesters march through the streets of downtown Chicago at a NATO summit demonstration in downtown Chicago, Friday, May 18 2012. (AP Photo/ Nam Y. Huh)

  • An unidentified Chicago police officer removes himself from marching protesters on Michigan Ave., during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Protesters block traffic on Michigan Avenue as they march through the city during a demonstration Friday, May 18 2012, ahead of this weekends' NATO summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)



Loading Slideshow...
  • President Barack Obama, center, and world leaders wave during a photo opportunity at the G-8 Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Michelle Obama, G-8

    First Lady Michelle Obama, rtight, walks with spouses of the G-8 leaders in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington during a White House tour Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • Michelle Obama

    First Lady Michelle Obama, right, walks with spouses of the G-8 leaders in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington during a White House tour, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, right, chats with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper on arrival for the G8 Summit Friday, May 18, 2012 at Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Yoshihiko Noda, Mario Monti, Stephen Harper, Francois Hollande, Barack Obama, David Cameron, Dmitry Medvedev, Angela Merkel, Herman Van Rompuy, Jose' Manuel Barroso

    U.S. President Barack Obama, center, speaks at the start of the first working session of the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., Saturday May 19, 2012. Seated, clockwise from left, are Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso, backs to camera. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

  • Francois Hollande, Barack Obama

    French President Francois Hollande, left, listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the start of the first working session of the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., Saturday May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

  • President Barack Obama, left, listens to British Prime Minister David Cameron during the first session of the G-8 Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • From left, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande and President Barack Obama sit for the first meeting of the G-8 Summit Saturday, May 19, 2012 at Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • President Barack Obama kisses German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the cheek on arrival for the G8 Summit Friday, May 18, 2012 at Camp David, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • World Leaders Attend G8 Summit Hosted By Obama At Camp David

    CAMP DAVID, MD - MAY 19: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2nd, R) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) attend a bilateral meeting ahead of the first working session during the 2012 G8 Summit at Camp David on May 19, 2012 in Camp David, Maryland. Leaders of eight of the worlds largest economies are meeting over the weekend in an effort to keep the lingering European debt crisis from spinning out of control. (Photo by Guido Bergmann-Pool/Getty Images)



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