OPINION: Waging war on ISIS will hurt our country
COMMENT BY CAROLINE HUTCHINSON: IS IT just me or does everyone wonder if we'll ever learn?
Apparently, Australia is at a "high state of readiness" to assist the US with further air strikes targeting Islamic State terrorists in Iraq.
So far we have contributed only humanitarian aid, but Defence Minister David Johnson says Australia might do more, and according to the New York Times, Washington is on a recruiting drive.
The other issue our leaders are grappling with today is what to do with young Australian jihadists.
On Monday a suspected Australian terrorist was dragged from a plane at Melbourne Airport by Border Force officials after allegedly trying to fly to Syria to join a jihadi group.
The Melbourne man, an Australian citizen, was found to be carrying around $30,000 in Australian currency as well as Islamic State propaganda.
I wonder where our leaders think this merry-go-round will take us.
Universities and governments across the Western world have spent billions in the past 15 years trying to understand terrorism and build counterterrorism strategies.
Almost all studies come to the same conclusion. Waging wars against states that do not pose an imminent threat to your country's national security is one of the main drivers of terrorism.
Injuries to innocent people and families are another driver.
We may want to blame Islamic fundamentalism - and it certainly doesn't help - but the truth is terrorists are far more likely to be motivated by foreign occupation than religion.
Did you know that since Israel withdrew its army from Lebanon in May 2000, there has not been a single Lebanese suicide attack? Not one.
When we ask ourselves why our young men are being radicalised, we need to be honest with ourselves.
We might think our intervention is on humanitarian grounds, but from the other side of the fence it will just look like foreign occupation.
What is happening in Syria and Iraq is messy. As barbaric and dangerous as we know ISIL to be, there is a much bigger picture involving the Assad regime, genuine freedom fighters, people with their own Islamist agendas and good old-fashioned warlords.
I believe what's at stake for us is the size of the future terrorist threat against my family and yours.