July 18, 2008 — -- The Pentagon and presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain all seem to agree on the need to send more troops to Afghanistan, but they are at odds with much of the country these days on the need to send more Americans into the lawless Afghan mountains.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a startling 45 percent of Americans said they do not think the war in Afghanistan is worth fighting, despite the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which provoked the war in the first place.
The growing disenchantment with the Afghan deployment hasn't reached the level of national frustration with the Iraq war, but after more than six years with U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and violence on the rise, Americans are becoming increasingly wary about the country's involvement.
Fifty-one percent of Americans now say that the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan has been unsuccessful, up from 24 percent in fall 2002.
Only 44 percent of Americans consider the war in Afghanistan a success, down from 70 percent in 2002.
The national poll of 1,119 randomly selected adults was conducted by telephone July 10-13, 2008, with a margin of error of three percentage points.
For Sholom Keller, a veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it comes as no surprise that support for the war in Afghanistan is fading.
"I'm not shocked at all that American support is waning," Keller told ABCNews.com. "If we are in Afghanistan because the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11, then I want to see the perpetrators captured and brought to justice.
"If we're not finding them in Afghanistan, then I don't know why we're there," he added. "And if they are there I want to know why we haven't found them in the last seven years if they've been giving troops the right intelligence and missions."
Experts on the Middle East told ABCNews.com that many Americans share Keller's frustration, blaming several factors, including the fatigue from hearing about not one but two wars, as well as pressing issues at home, such as the failing economy.