Small Wars Journal

The Rise of the “BASF” Doctrine?

The Rise of the “BASF” Doctrine? By Michael Noonan, Foreign Policy Research Institute.

In a world of irregular—and regular—threats and in a nation confronting fiscal austerity and seemingly showing an increased aversion to the large commitments of troops to the ambiguities of large-scale counterinsurgency campaigns after a decade of such wars how is a great power to advance and secure its interests under such circumstance? One approach that has been floated more and more recently is the light footprint—or indirect approach—for dealing with irregular threats and challengers. To boil this down into two sentences, much like the famous slogan of the chemical company BASF,* such an approach would be: We don’t fight your insurgency or terrorists for you. We help you counter your insurgency or terrorists better...

Read on.