Since we were bombing ISIL before it was cool, I’m hoping we remember to stop before it becomes cliché.
Aside from a fairly strong suspicion (later supported by the US ambassador) that Tony Abbott was awfully eager to start offensive actions overseas to deflect from his awful domestic performance I was generally in favour of the initial bombing campaign against ISIL.
I’m not so presumptuous as to assume I know more about the situation than our national defence executive, so since it was thought necessary, I gave the idea qualified support (I’m also not so naïve to blindly assume it will always be the right decision). Moreover, the idea that western air strikes could degrade ISIL military capacity and allow for them to be defeated by local forces seemed to make some sense, especially in light of the rapid progress ISIL had previously been making. Several months later, everyone else is getting in on the bombing program. I am starting to wonder about that. We have been bombing the crap out of parts of Iraq and Syria for months. Are there still targets to hit or are we just making rubble bounce?
As long as there is a strategic purpose to continuing air strikes that outweighs collateral damage to civilians, I am not against further ongoing military action. I see the radicalisation of more Muslim youth as more a consequence of exploitative right wing politicians and bigoted hate groups than a product of the air strikes. But like the media commentary that can't differentiate between ISIL and other Muslims, if our airstrikes have run out of clearly distinguishable targets, then it is time to stop.