New Zealand's controversial role in the fight against Islamic State is under Cabinet review.
The Government's decision to deploy up to 143 New Zealand troops to Iraq on a non-combat training mission was slated for review after nine months. But seven months since the first wave of Kiwi boots hit the ground in the Middle East, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has confirmed the analysis of New Zealand's impact on the global fight against IS has already begun.
New details of the review's terms of reference are also emerging, with Brownlee telling the NZ Herald the Government will take into account "other factors" including progress in the Iraqi government and the "broader counter-ISIL campaign".
Asked whether that could include New Zealand's non-combat mission going beyond just training Iraqi forces, Brownlee said there was no chance of the current two-year mission - which is estimated to cost taxpayers $65 million - being expanded.
However, he would not discuss the potential for additional Kiwi missions - and whether our forces, including the SAS, could be ruled out from being called upon to engage IS in direct combat.
"I'm not going to engage with you on that level," Brownlee said. "We have a commitment to Iraq at the moment around training and that is all we have as commitment.
"While it might be enjoyable to speculate what might happen, I'm not going to do that."
Prime Minister John Key, who has been in Paris and Berlin this week for talks on climate change and refugees, said the Government has made its position clear "that training forces in Iraq is the appropriate contribution from New Zealand. We have no plans to alter that."
Former Minister and Labour Party defence spokesman, Phil Goff, believes the Government will inevitably be asked for more from the global coalition.
"Experience tells us we should be alert to the probability new reasons will be found to sustain the engagement. I don't doubt there will be further pressure on New Zealand to make further commitments, that's been true of every military deployment we have been involved with post-World War II," Goff said.
"There is always pressure to expand and it's easy to get in, the exit strategy is much more difficult.
"I'm not against taking action, but it needs to be in the context of effective action. Our concerns about the training has always been huge questions about the effectiveness given the Americans have invested $25bn in the Iraqi army and achieved very little."
The global coalition ramped up action against IS this week, with Royal Air Force fighter jets beginning air strikes on targets in Syria, including IS training camps, hours after UK Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of deadly force. The British move to cut off 'the head of the snake' comes after French bombings of IS targets last month - a direct response to the Paris terror attacks.
Germany's parliament is expected to move next by approving a plan to activate 1200 troops in a support role - but not direct combat.
Brownlee's office said the review of the Kiwi training mission will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration in March 2016 and "it is intended that findings from the review will be publicly announced shortly after".
For the first time, New Zealand featured in an IS propaganda video recently. The video, entitled "No respite" included a graphic of 60 flags representing "The global coalition against the Islamic State" and included New Zealand.