by Daniel W. Drezner June 11 at 7:45 AM Follow @dandrezner Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a regular contributor to PostEverything A photo released Saturday on Twitter by the German government shows President Trump talking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel surrounded by other Group of Seven leaders during the weekend summit in Quebec (Jesco Denzel/Bundesregierung/AFP/Getty Images) President Trump’s foreign policy approach to the United States’ allies has clearly switched It used to be good cop/bad cop. Now it is all-bad-cop-all-the-time-we-do-not-care-if-there-is-video The question is whether it will matter over the long run. In 2017, Trump’s foreign policy instincts still lay in the “America First” direction He withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate change accords, and he did not reaffirm NATO’s Article V in a speech in which all the groundwork had been laid On the other hand, a panoply of Trump officials from Gary Cohn to H.R. McMaster to Jim Mattis reassured allies that beneath the bluster, the bedrock of the security architecture remained By and large the Trump’s administration’s strategy documents reflected this more status quo orientation The sum effect was no small amount of confusion and incoherence, but also a belief that maybe the worst could be avoided Some could even rationalize it all as just Trump’s version of good-cop/bad-cop tactics Welcome to 2018, when, as predicted, things have gotten much worse. Cohn and McMaster are gone, while Mattis has gone dark As the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and Katie Rogers report, Trump’s bad cop has almost purged his administration of good cops: We can see this in the aftermath of Trump’s Twitter tantrum on the G-7 communique a half-day after he proclaimed that U S. relations with allies from the Group of Seven industrial nations were at “10 out of 10 ” White House officials went out of their way to throw as much gasoline on Canada and the rest of the G-7 as humanly possible Trump has modeled his staff to act just as unhinged as he does now. It’s bad cop/bad cop This is leading to a lot of gnashing of teeth about the future of the rules-based international order — you know, the one the United States created decades ago but in which Trump officials now object to the language In The Washington Post’s write-up of the G-7 fiasco, Griff Witte and James McAuley highlight the conundrum this represents for the United States’ European partners: Are the allied leaders referenced in that last paragraph being too optimistic? It is worth noting that Trump himself does not view governing in quite that way As far as he is concerned, there are no credible commitments from prior administrations; there is only the here and now This appears to be how his Justice Department is approaching Supreme Court cases, and it is how Trump is approaching foreign policy Asked at the news conference he gave before leaving Quebec whether the G-7 should now recognize Crimea as part of Russia, he responded: In essence, for Trump, anything that happened before Jan 20, 2017 can be revoked. Which is why he is provoking such consternation among those countries whose entire foreign policy rests on the notion of a credible U S. commitment. Of course, turnabout is fair play. If Trump loses in 2020, then one can imagine the next president reversing much of this administration’s foreign policy At this point, that would be pretty easy to do. Trump has wielded his discretionary authority to impose tariffs and pull out of executive agreements; the next president can simply reverse those positions In that case, the G-7 allies might be correct to simply wait out Trump’s tantrums There are three whopping caveats to this sunny conclusion, however. First, the increased polarization of U S. foreign policy might lead allies to wonder whether Trump is an aberration or the beginning of a nationalist/internationalist cycle of executive-branch foreign-policy-making This would depend on whether one views the current populist moment as ephemeral or more long-lasting Second, as stupid and as counterproductive as Trump’s tariffs have been, he has three years to make things way worse The proposed auto tariffs would be destructive. Attempting to withdraw the United States from NAFTA or the World Trade Organization would be extremely destructive Whether Trump has these powers or not is unclear, but that uncertainty in and of itself could wreak economic chaos This president does not have much of a policy legacy, but he has shown his ability to blow things up Can U.S. allies tolerate the collateral damage until 2021 without erecting permanent countermeasures? Third, Trump could get reelected if that happens, the tombstone for the current order can safely be planted.