The question is increasingly less, “Should we stay in Afghanistan?” as it is, “Can we stay in Afghanistan?” Needless to say, the toll that war wages is tremendous (financial, psychological, etc). As an idealistic college student, it’s easy to support measures to shrink the military budget to pay for more economy-building jobs (such as teaching and construction, to name a few), and it’s hard to understand why we don’t. Especially in this economy, it’s possible that America would be better off if it withdrew its troops from Afghanistan. But our role in Afghanistan is growing decreasingly strategic and increasingly humanitarian. What we risk is instability and a system that may not stand on it’s own, not to mention potential spillover effects. However, when it comes down to it, regardless of whether it’s moral or right, America generally acts in it’s own interests first and foremost. Though question of troop withdrawal is a difficult question from a utilitarian standpoint, from the decidedly less utilitarian perspective of America, the answer is obvious: promote dialogue between the Taliban and the Afghan government and withdraw the troops as fast as possible. In the words of John Huntsman, this is means creating a plan to “secure the core.” We can only let the situation unfold and reassess the situation when we’re in a better state. It’s been said that both parties are in a race to see who can withdraw the troops faster. There’s a reason for that.