“Security continues to be the biggest indicator of both optimism and pessimism for Afghans, said Abdullah Ahmadzai, the deputy representative for Afghanistan with the Asia Foundation.

Only 30 percent of respondents in the poll expressed sympathy for the insurgents, while nearly two-thirds said they did not support them.

But when asked why the Taliban continue to fight, the most common reason cited was opposition to the presence of foreign troops in the country. Other reasons included a desire to gain power, illiteracy, support from Pakistan and corruption.

Despite their opposition to the Taliban, many respondents also said they were also afraid of the troops from the U.S.-led NATO coalition and government’s security forces. Nearly three-quarters said they felt fear when meeting international troops, while just under half said they had the same reaction when encountering the Afghan army or police.