Kerry: US must win hearts, too, in Afghanistan

The United States can gain security by adding more troops in Afghanistan, but only if they work to gain the trust of locals, Sen. John Kerry told The Associated Press The Massachusetts Democrat and incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told the AP on Wednesday from Afghanistan that he plans to tell President-elect Barack Obama and National Security Adviser-to-be James Jones that simply sending more troops won't solve problems in the nation. Obama campaigned on a pledge to shift US military resources from Iraq to Afghanistan, although military leaders have cautioned that differences in terrain, enemy and local customs reduce the chances for a direct replication of the gains achieved by the troop surge against Iraqi insurgents. "If you add troops and have the strategy we've had, that won't get the job done," Kerry said after having breakfast early Thursday with US forces. "But if you use the troops to give you the ability to do the real work more at the local level, the provincial level, making a difference in people's lives, then you have a chance to win over hearts and minds as well."