Milley added that even though "there is without question a rise in violence over the last couple of years," additional combat power, improvements in Afghan security personnel and increased operational activity, "the security situation should improve."
But the poll shows that people have little faith in U.S. forces anymore.
Just 37 percent of Afghans now say people support U.S. and allied forces, down from 67 percent in 2006.
There are of course reminders of military failures all over Afghanistan. An old, burned out Soviet tank high above Kabul is perhaps the starkest example.
That might be why Afghans are overwhelmingly skeptical of a proposal to increase U.S. troops in the country by 17,000, a move that the Pentagon has on the table as President Obama considers his strategy for the region.
Only 18 percent of those polled support a greater U.S. presence.
"They think with [the] presence of [the] international community in Afghanistan, the security is getting worse day by day," said pollster Jameel al-Rahmany, who helped ABC News conduct the survey. "They think even with the presence of more troops coming to Afghanistan, they wouldn't be able to establish security in Afghanistan."
In fact, the poll shows that because hundreds of civilians have been killed during U.S. and NATO combat operations with insurgents, more Afghans now blame the violence here on the United States than on the Taliban, even though al-Rahmany says that in the past Afghans were "optimists" because of the U.S. presence.
But it's the international community that also represents the most hope for an improved situation and an improved economy, he said. "[T]hey are still asking the international community and the government of Afghanistan to establish security, providing good opportunity for people to work in different fields, and to live under safer circumstances," al-Rahmany added.
Seventy percent of those polled say there are few if any jobs where they live. Nasir Faizi, a 22-year-old who is unemployed and living with his parents, remains hopeful that President Obama will bring positive change to Afghanistan.
"I hope since it's a new government, that there will be new changes," he said. "I am optimistic that there will be some good changes."
Two in 10 of the respondents agree, but almost as many think things could get worse during Obama's tenure -- a fact that makes an already daunting foreign policy challenge for the United States even greater.