The defence committee chairman, Tobias Ellwood, has accused Donald Trump of being "deeply irresponsible" over his claims to bomb Iran while pulling troops out of Afghanistan.  

Mr Ellwood made his comments after officials in  Donald Trump’s administration revealed that last week the president sought options for attacking Iran to stop its nuclear programme during his last two months in office. 

It follows Mr Trump’s announcement that the number of American troops in Afghanistan will drop to 2,500, roughly half the current force size there, and similarly to 2,500 in Iraq, a reduction of around 500.

Mr Ellwood, who has made numerous visits to Afghanistan as a backbencher and then when he was foreign minister, warned that the drawdown would “reduce NATO’s security profile diminishing its effectiveness and placing pressure on allies to fill the vacuum or pull out themselves”.

He also cited the point that despite losing the recent presidential election to Joe Biden he has yet to concede defeat, even though he is expected to leave the White House by January 20. 

“Failing to allow the Biden transition team to be briefed on Security matters as well all adds up to petty and irresponsible use of Presidential Executive power,” Mr Ellwood said.  

US military personnel in the Middle East

“I’m concerned we may see more impulsive and dangerous decision making before he leaves.”

 He said that a “long term strategy” was “fundamentally missing” and warned that terrorists would “regroup” and would “take advantage of ungoverned space”.  

“It’s worrying to see the so called leader of the free world would consider bombing Iranian nuclear facilities on the one hand and withdrawing US troops from the Middle East on the other.

“You might cynically conclude, he’s trying to promote instability for his successor to inherit.”

Shabnam Nasimi, executive director, of Conservative Friends of Afghanistan, said that while the US was entitled to drawdown its troops, “ you are going to do it, do it responsibly”.

“Burning down the house on your way out is not what we expect from an ally,” Ms Nasimi said. 

“Removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan without conditions is a mistake. It was a mistake when Obama did it in Iraq in 2011, which led to our return to fight ISIS, and it’s a mistake now.” 

She cautioned that such an “ill considered pullout will have adverse consequences”.

“Afghanistan risks becoming once again a platform for international terrorists to plan and organise attacks globally.”