After seven days of protests, the death toll is estimated at 39, including at least nine people killed in an explosion near Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan.
The Taliban took responsibility for the bombing, as well as the contaminated food at a U.S. base near the Pakistan border, saying it was in retaliation for the Quran burnings.
President Obama has said the burnings were an inadvertent error and apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The conflict in Afghanistan is now the longest war in American history and the U.S. government is trying to reassure Americans, and the Afghan government, about the security situation in the country.
Alex Berenson, who has been embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan and wrote the novel Shadow Patrol about his experiences, came OutFront and discussed the possibility of the U.S. ending its involvement in Afghanistan:
"I think we've learned just how fragile the gains we've made in the last few years are, and how easy - how likely it is that they'll be reversed once we pull out," said Berenson. "Which doesn't mean that we shouldn't pull out, it just means that we may have done as much we can do."
U.S. troops are scheduled to be in Afghanistan until at least the end of 2014, mostly due to the sorry state of Afghanistan's security forces.
This is particularly troubling, especially in light of the rising human and economic toll, including:
-$555 billion spent through 2012
-$85.5 billion spent on reconstruction in 2012
-$51 billion spent on training of Afghan security forces
Seth Jones, a senior political scientist with Rand Corporation and the author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qaeda After 9/11 says it's time for the mission in Afghanistan to evolve.
"I think the issue is what kind of model to we have going forward?" said Jones. "There is a field model of large American forces in Afghanistan. But I think there's a more useful model. Look at the way the U.S. operated in El Salvador, in Colombia, in the Philippines, in Indonesia, much smaller numbers and Special Operations and intelligence forces to train and work against units."
Jones also described what he would consider a "win" in Afghanistan, saying, "I think winning now, what it should be from an American interest is preventing an al Qaeda supported Taliban and Haqqani Network from taking over the government. That's a pretty modest goal and I think that's actually achievable in the long run, but it's not a strong, central government. It's not a democratic state per se."