A former top official at the State Department wrote Thursday that violent protests that targeted the U.S. Embassy in Iraq were the result of President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE's foreign policies.
Wendy Sherman, former under secretary for political affairs during the Obama administration, wrote for USA Today that Trump's failed attempts to deal with Iran and his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran resulted in a "combustible moment."
"It is President Donald Trump’s failed policy toward Iran that has brought us to this combustible moment," she wrote.
"Even as the United States was confronting Iran over its nuclear program and malign behavior elsewhere, we maintained an uneasy coexistence in Iraq, where Tehran holds considerable sway," Sherman continued, adding that the coexistence "was destroyed when Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal."
Sherman went on to fault Trump for "diminishing" the State Department and other agencies she said the Obama administration relied on for diplomacy in such regions.
"Three years into his presidency, Donald Trump owns the events and outcomes in Iraq and Iran, as he does in North Korea, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Middle East, Russia, China and Hong Kong. Having diminished our State Department, intelligence agencies and military, the very institutions that could have helped him construct an effective national security and foreign policy, he is now on his own," she wrote.
Protesters at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad reportedly withdrew and claimed victory on Wednesday after camping outside the compound the previous night.
The protesters are now calling for the nation's parliament to push for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, demonstrators stormed the embassy, setting fires and trashing furniture, in response to U.S. airstrikes in Iraq that targeted the Iranian-backed militia group Kataib Hezbollah. Those airstrikes, which killed 25 people over the weekend, followed the death of a U.S. contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.