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

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Friday, June 11, 2021

Categories: Acsf News The Dowd Report

Comments: 0

By Alan W. Dowd, ASCF Senior Fellow

President Ronald Reagan presents the Gold Eagle award for Silencing Communism to Dr. Henry A. Fischer, President of ASCF

When the Berlin Wall and Soviet Union collapsed in the span of 25 months, it seemed the conquest of tyranny itself was within reach. Political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously declared “the end of history” and predicted “the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” For a fleeting moment, that prediction seemed accurate: In 1988, there were 104 autocracies and 51 democracies in the world. By 2009, there were 100 democracies and 78 autocracies. But today, the freedom wave is receding and the autocracies are surging—“shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny,” as Freedom House grimly concludes. “Acceptance of democracy as the world’s dominant form of government—and of an international system built on democratic ideals—is under greater threat than at any point in the last 25 years,” Freedom House adds, warning that “In every region of the world, democracy is under attack.”

That’s bad news for the Free World and the cause of freedom. The good news is that the Free World is finally responding to the challenge and laying the groundwork for a truly global alliance of democracies.

Importantly, the United Nations is not suited to play this role. After all, the UN is a come-one-come-all open house—an organization where there’s no distinction between democracies and dictatorships, where the lawless are expected to respect the rule of law, where autocratic Russia, totalitarian China, Stalinist North Korea and jihadist Iran are accorded the same position as the liberal democracies of America, Britain, France, South Korea, Japan and Germany.

Moreover, when it comes to taking action to defend freedom, protect innocents or punish aggression, the UN always succumbs to lowest-common-denominator inertia. Just consider the UN’s response to Putin’s assault on democratic Georgia and occupation of democratic Ukraine; Assad’s use of chemical weapons and mass-murder of democracy activists; Hussein’s WMD program and battering of the Kurds; the Chavez-Maduro strangulation of free government in Venezuela; Milosevic’s rampage through Bosnia and Kosovo; Kim’s nuclear tests and