Our thoughts are with Indonesia today as it reels in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in the capital, Jakarta.

Indonesian authorities acted swiftly and professionally during the crisis, minimising casualties and neutralising threats as they appeared. The latest reports say that seven people died in yesterday’s attacks, five of them the terrorists themselves.

But while the attacks are tragic, they are not surprising. “There has been an expectation that an attack would take place in our part of the world at some time,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. “Experts have been expecting some type of attack at some point.”

We are not security experts, but we have also been expecting some type of attack at some point. Yesterday’s attacks targeted buildings and businesses frequented by Westerners — and it is entirely possible Australia will at some point have to confront such a threat. Why? Our continued military intervention in the Middle East makes us a target. Don’t take our word for it — both the current head of the CIA and the former head of MI5 have directly, explicitly stated that Western military interventions undertaken as part of the War on Terror create terrorists. So Liberal backbencher Kevin Andrews’ suggestion yesterday that we commit even more soldiers to the region — particularly as ground troops — could have the effect of increasing that risk.

Peter Fray

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