A top U.S. general says U.S. goals in Afghanistan remain the same despite recent setbacks.
Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, vowed a full probe into the killing of 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province on March 11.
A U.S. soldier, Robert Bales, is the sole suspect in the tragedy and is now being held in isolation at a U.S. military prison in the United States.
Dempsey said 2013 would be a "milestone" as Afghan forces take the lead in security operations before taking full control a year later.
Speaking on U.S. television, Dempsey also said Pakistan was now a stable country and expressed optimism Washington and Islamabad can repair relations, hurt by the November killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a mistaken NATO air strike and accusations by the United States that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight extremists in its tribal areas.
Based on APP reporting