Adam Gallagher

Adam Gallagher is a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C., and senior writer for Tropics of Meta. He has written for The Huffington Post, The National Interest, The International Policy Digest, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @aegallagher10.

Recent Articles

Q&A: After 2016, Will the Electoral College be Abolished?

Electors poised to officially install Donald Trump as president face mounting pressure to “go rogue,” but Electoral College scholar Robert Alexander says such lobbying campaigns are becoming par for the course, and wholesale changes in the current system are not likely.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
On December 19, the Electoral College will convene to elect the 45th president of the United States. Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is climbing toward three million, but Donald Trump won more electors, making him the second presidential winner in the last five elections to prevail thanks to an electoral-popular vote split. As in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush, this has prompted a fresh round of questions about why the United States employs such a system in the first place. Electoral reform advocates argue that the current system is anti-democratic, while Electoral College defenders call it fundamental to the checks and balances that the founders put in place. Trump’s Election Day victory has intensified scrutiny of the institution, and increased the likelihood of “faithless” electors. Despite the attention the Electoral College regularly receives during the presidential election season,...

Global Democracy in the Trump Era: Will the U.S. Abandon Its Leadership Role?

The United States has long promoted and defended democratic values around the globe. But the incoming Trump administration, which poses its own threats to American democracy, appears poised to back away from that role.

Rex Features via AP Images
Even before Donald Trump’s surprise win on Election Day, global democracy was in retreat. As the watchdog organization Freedom House reported this year , rising xenophobia and authoritarian regimes in 2015 helped push democracy into decline for the 11th year in a row. Against this backdrop, Trump’s election sends an ominous portent about the state of freedom in the world. In the United States, many women, blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and members of the LGBT community now fear for their basic human rights. Internationally, Trump will join a United Nations Security Council whose four other permanent member states could by next year be led by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, far-right French politician Marine Le Pen, and the United Kingdom’s inexperienced premier, Theresa May. It’s a cadre that should not inspire confidence in those concerned with promoting liberal values around the world. Ultimately, Trump’s election bodes poorly...

Q&A: Hamid Karzai and the “Afghan Disaster”

An interview with Joshua Partlow, author of a new book on the Karzai family and the failed U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

(Photo: AP/Rahmat Gul)
T he next president who takes office will inherit the longest war in American history. Despite thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars spent over more than 15 years, Afghanistan is arguably worse off today than it was when the United States first invaded. The Taliban now control more territory than at any point since 2001, and an Islamic State affiliate has emerged as a potent threat. The National Unity Government, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry following Afghanistan’s deeply flawed 2014 elections, is in disarray, unable to come together to implement stipulated electoral reforms. Afghans fleeing the region’s deteriorating security situation make up the second-biggest group of migrants to Europe. As Afghanistan teeters on the brink, neither presidential candidate is paying much attention to a war that has become an afterthought in Washington. All the while, Hamid Karzai has kept himself in the limelight in the two years since he left the presidential...

Obama’s Dangerous Drone Policy

President Obama is winding down his final term with a push to curb nuclear weapons and close detention facilities, but his overreliance on military drones threatens to tarnish his administration’s foreign-policy legacy.

(Photo: Flickr/Debra Sweet)
President Obama’s foreign-policy record has many strident critics, but all but the most partisan can agree that America’s image in the world has markedly improved since he took office in January 2009. One particularly conspicuous black mark as he prepares to leave office, however, will be his administration’s military drone policy, and the perilous precedent it has set. In the seven years since he first laid out his vision for a “world without nuclear weapons,” Obama has had some modest successes—such as the new START treaty and the Iran nuclear deal—but has ultimately made little progress toward his goal of a nuclear-free world. Looking to repair America’s global status, Obama also signed an executive order on his first day in office to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. Along the way, an obstructionist Republican-led Congress repeatedly stymied Obama’s efforts, as the administration struggled with the logistics of...