MUNICH (AFP) - The US warned its allies Sunday that fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan could prove tougher than in Iraq and appealed, along with Britain, for more troops and equipment. US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke insisted that a new approach was required to turn the strife-torn country around, involving all of Afghanistan's neighbours and in particular Pakistan. He painted a bleak picture of beating the Taliban insurgency, saying winning will be "much tougher" than in Iraq. "I have never in my experience .. ever seen anything as difficult as this situation that confronts the countries involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan," Holbrooke said. "It is like no other problem we have confronted, and in my view it's going to be much tougher than Iraq," he said at an international security conference in Germany. "It is going to be a long, difficult struggle." Holbrooke, who embarks on a regional tour soon, said that the administration of President Barack Obama was reviewing the best way to tackle the Taliban-led insurgency. "What is required in my view is new ideas, better coordination within the US government, better coordination with our Nato allies and other concerned countries, and the time to get it right," he said. Countries bordering Afghanistan must also be drawn in as part of a solution, he said, including Iran but particularly Pakistan, where the Taliban and its backers in Al-Qaeda and criminal gangs have rear bases. "All the neighbours... play a direct role and we're going to look for more of a regional approach," he said, noting that "Pakistan's situation is dire." "It needs international assistance, international sympathy and international support," said Holbrooke, the new envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he will start a tour that will also take in India. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi acknowledged that "the challenge facing us today is big and complex." But he insisted on sending a message: "The territory of Pakistan will not be used for terrorist activities, while our sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected." Holbrooke railed against would-be donors who have failed to live up to their pledges. He also accused countries of not having delivered on their promises and attacked a lack of coordination in Washington. "People got up and pledged things, and nothing happened, and that is the story of Afghanistan," he said. "I have never seen anything remotely resembling the mess we have inherited." "The West has been involved in Afghanistan for centuries, always with unfortunate results. I don't think we can afford to get it wrong this time, because for the first time, the situation directly involves the homeland security of the nations involved," he said. Obama has identified Afghanistan as the main front in the "war on terror" and has pledged to send another 30,000 troops. There are currently some 70,000 soldiers there including 50,000 under the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). Yet the top US commander for southwest Asia, General David Petraeus, said more troops, but also aircraft, medical evacuation facilities, engineers, logistics and trainers were needed. "I would be remiss if I did not ask individual countries to examine very closely the forces and other contributions they can provide as Isaf intensifies its efforts in preparation for the elections in August," he said. British Defence Secretary John Hutton insisted that combat forces were most desperately needed to capture and hold ground in the hands of the insurgents. "Combat forces, that is a most precious contribution right now to that campaign," he said. "We kid ourselves if we imagine that other contributions are as important." He warned that Nato's biggest and most ambitious mission was under threat. "We face a moment of choice," he said. "Were are fighting, I think, an existential campaign in Afghanistan," he said.