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Afghanistan Tougher Than Iraq: Holbrooke

Richard Holbrooke, the new U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan
MUNICH (Reuters) -- Bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan will be much tougher than in Iraq, the newly appointed U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan has said.

Speaking February 8 at the Munich Security Conference, Richard Holbrooke said he had never in his political career seen any situation as difficult as the one involving Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"In my view, it's going to be much tougher than Iraq," said Holbrooke, who will travel to the region this week.

Holbrooke was in Munich as part of a high-level U.S. delegation that also included Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser James Jones to discuss international conflicts such as Iraq, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

European allies have been watching out for requests from the new U.S. administration for more troops to help reverse a growing insurgency in Afghanistan that has escalated to the highest levels since the invasion that toppled the Taliban.

The United States has been waging a war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan since shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington.