The US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey has said the Nov. 26 border incident in which NATO fire killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near a border crossing has inflamed already raw nerves inside Pakistan and U.S.-Pakistani military-to-military relations "are a mess." Stating that the US-Pak relationship is "strained" , he added, "What we are trying to do is to have some patience, we are asking them to have some patience and then we would try to get back and touch base with each other and see if we can work through it, but yes it is a mess." "I can absolutely say that it wasn't something that we did intentionally," Dempsey said of the border incident. "Regrettably, the Pakistani military believes we did. We did not attack a Pakistan military border post intentionally. If you think we did, I'd have to ask you what in the world you'd think we would gain by doing that."Dempsey said he has spoken with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Other senior U.S. officials have also spoken to their Pakistani counterparts, urging restraint and patience to let an inquiry board look into the incident and present its findings, he said. Speaking at the Atlantic Council, he said the United States has invited Pakistan to participate in reviewing the incident, but Pakistan has so far declined. He said Pakistan continues to be a safe haven for terrorists and its influence in Afghanistan needs to be tackled. "In Pakistan, the sanctuary for these militants persists. We have to work hard to end its influence on our Afghan mission". The US General said the surge operation in Afghanistan is a success that has accomplished what it was designed to do, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told the Atlantic Council here today. "The Afghans indicated they need and want and aspire to a relationship with us after 2014," Dempsey said., but he added that he is not ready to say what will happen after all the surge troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan in September.