Australia will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan this year and expects all international forces there to be playing a supporting role for Afghan forces by mid-2013.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will take her timetable for Australia's troops to withdraw a year earlier than planned to a NATO conference on Afghanistan in Chicago in May.
"I am now confident that Chicago will recognise mid-2013 as a key milestone in the international strategy," she said in a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra.
She described it as "a crucial point when the international forces will be able to move to a supporting role across all of Afghanistan."
All foreign combat troops are due to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and Australia had been expected to withdraw then too.
But US President Barack Obama and other NATO leaders are expected to define more clearly Western withdrawal plans at the Chicago conference and outline measures to ensure Afghanistan does not collapse into civil war when foreign troops go home.
Ms Gillard rejected suggestions the faster timetable was being driven by Obama and his desire to have withdrawal plans finalised before the November US presidential election, saying it was reliant on progress agreed by Afghan and international forces.
A major assault in Kabul by the Taliban this week has raised questions about whether Afghan forces will be able to control security after foreign troops withdraw.
Ms Gillard said she expected President Hamid Karzai to make an announcement on the transition in the coming months, and that it would take 12-18 months to complete the pull-out.
Australia would argue at the Chicago summit for broad and substantial international support in Afghanistan, Ms Gillard said.
"I will go to Chicago prepared for Australia to pay our fair share. Australia will also be prepared to provide niche training to the Afghan national security forces after 2014," she said.