Until recently, few Swedes knew the location of the closest nuclear shelter in their neighborhood (thankfully, the government now offers an online map). Sweden stopped expanding its nuclear shelter network almost two decades ago, when nonproliferation supporters appeared to be on the winning side of history. Then came Iran’s nuclear program, the Fukushima accident, North Korea’s missile tests — and President Trump.
Whereas confidence among Europeans that then-president Obama would “do the right thing regarding world affairs” ranged between 70 and 90 percent in a number of surveyed nations during his term, those numbers plummeted after Trump’s inauguration and have only become worse ever since. Only 7 percent in Spain and 11 percent in Germany now say they have confidence in Trump. Top officials in Germany have also directly contradicted Trump’s North Korea policies, and have voiced concerns that the White House may overreact to nuclear provocations and escalate the war rhetoric being exchanged with North Korea.