CHICAGO - The time has come to finally close the door on more than a decade of Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan, the prime minister said Monday at the end of the NATO summit.

Though Canada will continue to financially support the Afghan army, there will be no boots on the ground once the NATO-led mission concludes in two years time, Stephen Harper said.

"The end date is firm and final," Harper said.

"Canada will not have a military mission after March 2014."

Harper's announcement came as NATO and its partner nations re-affirmed they are on the way out of a long and costly war that has to date claimed the lives of more than 3,000 foreign troops, including 158 Canadian, and thousands of Afghans.

Essentially, they committed to sticking to the plan laid out in 2010: Afghan security forces will continue to take control of combat efforts with an eye towards being in full control by 2013, allowing NATO to slide into a support role until 2014.

"The time has come," Harper said.

"All the benchmarks, all the milestones are being met to make this possible."

After 2014, the 28-member alliance and its partner countries will act in an advisory role and also help financially support the Afghan military's estimated $4.1 billion a year cost.

Canada will contribute $110 million a year to that effort for three years, Harper also announced Monday, following in the footsteps of Germany, the U.K. and Australia who have already announced their own contributions.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that broadly, NATO leaders were making a decisive commitment to the long-term future of Afghanistan.

"The message to the Afghan people is that we will not desert them," he said.

"And the message to the insurgency is equally clear: You cannot win on the battlefield. You should stop fighting and start talking."

The arc of Harper's views on Afghanistan might have been summed up in his body language as he and other NATO leaders began their second and final day of meetings to discuss the alliance's problem child.

Harper was once the strongest proponent of the war in Afghanistan, vowing Canada wouldn't cut and run.

But at the meeting, he rocked back and forth in his chair and didn't even bother to stifle a yawn.

"If you asked me frankly, would I wish it was earlier, I would say yes," Harper said of the 2014 final pullout.

"But I think we're doing it as early as is feasible."

Harper wasn't alone in his fatigue.

Domestic political and economic pressures have made it unpalatable for many of NATO's member nations and partner states to continue playing a combat role in Afghanistan after more than a decade of conflict.

In particular, U.S. President Barack Obama faces an election this year and with it an American public increasingly not on side with a war that has grown since he took office.

The president said the plan reached at the summit was a responsible one.

"I don't think there's ever going to be an optimal point where we say, 'This is all done. This is perfect. This is just the way we wanted it and now we can wrap up all our equipment and go home'" Obama said.

"This is a process, and it's sometimes a messy process."

Canada currently has around 950 soldiers in Afghanistan involved in training the military.

They were assigned to that role following the end of Canada's involvement in combat missions in 2011.

That date too was supposed to be a firm end point for Canada's Afghan mission, until Harper announced midway through 2010 that a training contingent would remain.

So the New Democrats said Monday that they viewed Harper's promise that 2014 was a firm end with some skepticism.

"We certainly welcome the decision as we were calling for it," said the NDP's Jack Harris.

"And we hope that unlike he did in 2011, he actually sticks to this decision and doesn't get further pressure closer to the deadline."

Post-2014, there had been speculation Canada might at least leave some special forces in the country as part of ongoing counter-terrorism efforts or perhaps answer NATO's calls for additional trainers.

But Harper insisted the end means the end.

"There will be no Canadian military mission to Afghanistan after 2014," he said.

"I can't be clearer than that."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he respected Harper's decision.

"At the end of the day, it is a national decision whether a country wants to deploy troops or trainers," he said.

Fogh Rasmussen said he appreciated Canada's financial commitment and also acknowledged Canada's contributions to NATO missions for many years, which he called "very valuable."

The money Canada is extending to the Afghan military shouldn't be considered a parting gift, Harper said.

"We are all determined that the Taliban receive the message that this is not an abandonment of Afghanistan," he said.

"This is a transition to Afghan responsibility but none of us will rest. We will make the contributions necessary to ensure the Taliban does not reassert control over this country."

He said Canada also intends to keep a close eye on how the money is spent.

"The money we are putting into this is to the Afghan military," he said, addressing concerns about financial corruption in the country.

"We are not going to see it used for some other purpose."

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  • 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 OÂ'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 OÂ'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 François 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 WomenÂ'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 WomenÂ'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 WomenÂ'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)