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

Responding to Putin—Again

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Categories: The Dowd Report

Comments: 0

By Alan W. Dowd, ASCF Senior Fellow

Photo: Ukrainian Flag

May 2021 - After weeks of military buildup on Ukraine’s border—including deployment of 100,000 troops, repositioning dozens of attack aircraft and moving warships from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea—Russian strongman Vladimir Putin appears to be pulling back from yet another invasion of Ukraine. “Appears” is the operative word here. Putin can easily and rapidly muster his troops for another snap exercise—setting the stage for another crisis, another bout of brinkmanship, another invasion, another war against democratic Ukraine. Whether Putin is muscle-flexing to intimidate Ukraine, to take the measure of President Joe Biden or to test NATO’s reflexes, Washington must prepare for—and seek to prevent—the worst: Putin’s seizure of more Ukrainian soil. Two of Biden’s predecessors offer a playbook for defending Ukraine’s democracy and confronting Putin’s aggression.

Eleven months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, as democracies fell and dictatorships surged around the world, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered what’s commonly called the “Four Freedoms” speech. He asked Americans to “look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms…freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world…freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world…freedom from want…freedom from fear.” What’s striking about FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech—and relevant here—is that the main focus of the speech was his description of “unprecedented” threats to “American security.” Put another way, FDR understood that America’s interests and ideals were self-reinforcing—that defending and supporting the ideal of freedom “over there” serves American interests.

Thus, FDR called for “armed defense of democratic existence,” which would be premised on “putting forth our energies, our resources and our organizing powers” to provide fellow democracies “the strength to regain and maintain a free world.”

In a strikingly similar way, President Ronald Reagan pledged “to those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment.” Translating rhetoric into policy, Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 75, which decla