A draft deployment authorization agreed by top civil servants on Monday evening would leave 850 soldiers in the country as part of the Nato “Resolute Support” training mission from 1 January 2015.
Under the draft order, German soldiers would mostly be involved in training and advising Afghan military forces.
“The Resolute Support mission has a different character than that of the Isaf [Nato] deployment until now,” the document reads.
“It's not a fighting deployment and isn't aimed at direct participation in fighting terrorism or drugs.”
Troops could still be ordered to protect or evacuate other personnel in the country in case of an emergency, and would be allowed to fight in self-defence.
Along with Nato countries, 14 non-member countries will send soldiers to take part in the new mission. A total of 12,000 troops will be deployed for at least a year.
German soldiers will continue to have a leading role in northern Afghanistan, where they are based at a camp in Masar-i-Sharif.
The cabinet will make a decision on the potential mission on Wednesday before submitting it to parliament in December.
While the number would be a significant reduction from the current 1520 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, it is larger than the 600 to 800 originally expected.