Karzai has often criticized the NATO countries that in effect put him in power. Karzai has asked his defense minister Abdul Wardak to “take all necessary measures to stop the demolition of bases by NATO and make their handover possible,”.. Afghan officials complain that they have been left out of the process. Karzai claims that some of the most modern and best-defended facilities in Afghanistan are being demolished for no discernible reason. Perhaps this is the NATO version of capitalism's creative destruction. New facilities will be built by the Afghans using foreign aid funds and foreign contractors.. One Afghan parliamentarian said: ""They have spent lots of money for constructing the bases, and now they are spending more money for their destruction....We can use these bases for clinics, schools and for other administrative purposes.”
For their part, NATO officials say that the Afghans can claim bases before demolition. Lt. Colonel Sarah Goodson said that NATO and the U.S contact “directly and regularly with the Afghan Ministry of Finance-led Base Closure Commission, who ultimately determines the disposition of bases.. On those occasions where the Afghan government does not desire a base which ISAF [the International Security Assistance Force] is leaving, the base is demilitarized and the ground is returned to its original state and appearance.”
Serco based in the UK had already been awarded a 57 million U.S. contract for the planning and documentation of the dismantling and demolition of bases in Afghanistan. Serco also operates prisons among other jobs also had the contract for dismantling Iraqi bases. Wikipedia notes:
The Guardian has called Serco "probably the biggest company you've never heard of"
The U.K. has been a reliable U.S. ally in both Iraq and Afghanistan. One wonders how much control the Afghans really have over the base closure commission. . U.S. officials claim that the Afghan army does not have the logistical capacity to use the hundreds of bases spread throughout Afghanistan. Many are in isolated mountain ranges. This may be true but it does nothing to argue against the view that the bases could serve in non-military uses. In isolated areas where there are few buildings and facilities does it make sense to destroy relatively new and modern buildings? Perhaps the real reason for demolition is the fear that these areas will be taken over by the Taliban and the facilities used by them.
It is the U.S. and NATO rather than Afghans that are doing most of the planning. The plan is to concentrate the Afghan forces in a few larger bases. Even some large bases are being down-sized. No doubt the U.S. will continue to depend upon drones and raids along with Afghan support to try to control more remote areas. Possible civilian uses for military installations does not seem to have been part of the planning.