The true cost of bringing stability to Afghanistan might simply be too high, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday morning.

"It cost us $6 trillion and 4,500 lives, approximately, to bring stability to Iraq," Schumer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Just in terms of the loss of life and treasure, do we want to do the same exercise in Afghanistan?"

Schumer said the U.S. might be able to keep itself safe without bringing stability to Afghanistan. Many lawmakers and analysts think that a destablizied Afghanistan would breed terrorism, but Schumer suggested counterterrorism efforts might contain the threat.

"If we can accomplish the first part — protecting ourselves from terrorism — without bringing stability to Afghanistan, which I think is a very long, expensive and iffy process, we should try to do it," Schumer said.

Schumer suggested the U.S. might scale back its military presence in Afghanistan and rely more heavily on unmanned drone attacks.