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Malcolm Turnbull Rejects "Gestures And Machismo" In Responding To ISIS

The new PM calls for calm response to recent ISIS attacks.

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Turnbull delivered a special statement on national security in parliament on Tuesday, articulating his vision of ISIS that was something of a departure from his hard-line predecessor Tony Abbott.

"This is not a time for gestures or machismo. Calm, clinical, professional, effective. That's how we defeat this menace," said Turnbull.

"We must not be fooled by its hype. Its ideology is archaic, but its use of the Internet is very modern. ISIL has many more smartphones than guns, more Twitter accounts than fighters."

There have been calls from some in Australia for boots on the ground in Syria in the wake of the Paris attacks. Former prime minister Tony Abbott wanted an immediate response to defeat ISIS, while former defence minister Kevin Andrews called on Turnbull to consider deploying troops.

But the PM said there's no appetite among western countries for a new ground war.

"The consensus of the leaders I met at the G20, at APEC and at the East Asia Summit is that there is no support currently for a large US-led Western army to attempt to conquer and hold ISIL-controlled areas," said Turnbull.

He said security agencies had "no evidence" that recent ISIS-claimed terrorist attacks "will materially affect the threat level in Australia."

Turnbull ended the speech calling for unity.

"Our unity mocks their attempts to divide us. Our freedom under law mocks their cruel tyranny. Our mutual respect mocks their bitter intolerance. And the strength of our free people will see off these thugs and tyrants as it has seen off so many of their kind before."

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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