As Malcolm Turnbull considers extending Australia’s presence in Afghanistan, key military figures are at odds about Australia’s role in the Middle East, and our relationship with the United States.

“When you say we can never set an end to these conflicts, an end result, that scares me,” Robert Hill, defence minister when Australia first committed troops to Iraq, tells Karen Middleton. “Because we’re everywhere together. I don’t understand now what winning in Syria is. I don’t understand what winning in Yemen is or in Iraq.”

Plus: Hamish McDonald on Timor-Leste’s maritime gamble, Mike Seccombe on “Australians first”, and Santilla Chingaipe on the Australian missing in South Sudan.

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