Alan W. Dowd is a Senior Fellow with the American Security Council Foundation, where he writes on the full range of topics relating to national defense, foreign policy and international security. Dowd’s commentaries and essays have appeared in Policy Review, Parameters, Military Officer, The American Legion Magazine, The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, The Claremont Review of Books, World Politics Review, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Jerusalem Post, The Financial Times Deutschland, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Examiner, The Detroit News, The Sacramento Bee, The Vancouver Sun, The National Post, The Landing Zone, Current, The World & I, The American Enterprise, Fraser Forum, American Outlook, The American and the online editions of Weekly Standard, National Review and American Interest. Beyond his work in opinion journalism, Dowd has served as an adjunct professor and university lecturer; congressional aide; and administrator, researcher and writer at leading think tanks, including the Hudson Institute, Sagamore Institute and Fraser Institute. An award-winning writer, Dowd has been interviewed by Fox News Channel, Cox News Service, The Washington Times, The National Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and numerous radio programs across North America. In addition, his work has been quoted by and/or reprinted in The Guardian, CBS News, BBC News and the Council on Foreign Relations. Dowd holds degrees from Butler University and Indiana University. Follow him at


Scott Tilley is a Senior Fellow at the American Security Council Foundation, where he writes the “Technical Power” column, focusing on the societal and national security implications of advanced technology in cybersecurity, space, and foreign relations.

He is an emeritus professor at the Florida Institute of Technology. Previously, he was with the University of California, Riverside, Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, and IBM. His research and teaching were in the areas of computer science, software & systems engineering, educational technology, the design of communication, and business information systems.

He is president and founder of the Center for Technology & Society, president and co-founder of Big Data Florida, past president of INCOSE Space Coast, and a Space Coast Writers’ Guild Fellow.

He has authored over 150 academic papers and has published 28 books (technical and non-technical), most recently Systems Analysis & Design (Cengage, 2020), SPACE (Anthology Alliance, 2019), and Technical Justice (CTS Press, 2019). He wrote the “Technology Today” column for FLORIDA TODAY from 2010 to 2018.

He is a popular public speaker, having delivered numerous keynote presentations and “Tech Talks” for a general audience. Recent examples include the role of big data in the space program, a four-part series on machine learning, and a four-part series on fake news.

He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Victoria (1995).

Contact him at

Allies Enhance Deterrence

Monday, April 5, 2021

Categories: The Dowd Report

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By Alan W. Dowd, ASCF Senior Fellow
April 2021

The previous issue of this two-part series discussed the importance and relevance of peace through strength, why this national-security approach can work in deterring the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and some of the initial steps taken by the Trump and Biden administrations aimed at this crucial objective. In this issue, we explore additional steps the White House and Congress must take to prevent a war no one wants.

Before we discuss those steps, it’s important to discuss China’s actions. America is not contriving pretexts for conflict, but rather reacting to years of aggressive behavior on Beijing’s part.

In and above the East China Sea, Beijing is constantly violating Japanese airspace (58 incursions per month), loitering coast guard vessels in Japanese waters for days at a time, and surging fishing vessels into the region. All the while, Beijing illegally claims some 90 percent of the South China Sea. Xi Jinping has backed up those claims by building 3,200 acres of illegal islands beyond PRC waters. These “Made in China” islands include SAM batteries, warplanes, anti-ship missiles and radar systems. Xi promised he would never militarize these islands. But as America and its allies learned at enormous cost last century, words don’t matter to men like Xi. All that matters are strength and the will to wield it. Xi has both. China’s annual defense budget eclipses $261 billion. It could be higher; Beijing’s books are notoriously undependable. Even accepting that figure, China’s military spending is up