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

Are Taiwan's Islands of Quemoy and Matsu China's Next Target? By Joy Votrobek

By Joy Votrobek, Sr. Research Analyst, ASCF

The Communist People's Republic of China (PRC) has been determined to reunify Taiwan with mainland China since 1949 when Mao Tse-tung successfully unified China under Communist rule. The defeated Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomingtang (KMT) Nationalists retreated to present-day Taiwan and the islands Quemoy and Matsu. Both the PRC and the Nationalists considered themselves the true rulers of a "One China" policy. In 1954, the KMT insisted on the liberation of mainland China which prompted the PRC's military to begin an artillery assault on Taiwan's islands of Quemoy and Matsu. The two islands are within eight miles of mainland China.  In December of 1954, Taiwan signed a Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S.  The Treaty pledged the U.S. to defend Taiwan as well as other territories, determined by mutual agreement of both parties. In 1955, President Eisenhower made it clear that the U.S. was ready to use nuclear weapons to stop an assault by the PRC.  Shortly after Eisenhower's statement, the PRC negotiated with Taiwan and the assault on Quemoy and Matsu ceased.    

 In 1979, Congress passed into law the Taiwan Relations Act in response to President Jimmy Carter's severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of the Communist PRC.  The Act maintains Carter's recognition of diplomatic relations with the PRC with the understanding the PRC is to keep a peaceful future with Taiwan. The Act allows the U.S. to use force against the PRC's military if Taiwan's security is in jeopardy.  But the wording is ambiguous enough that we should not assume the U.S. would protect all the Taiwanese islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Action against the PRC is left to the President and Congress to determine appropriate action according to the 1979 Act.  New legislation was introduced to Congress by Sena