The national highway 1 is often touted as an example of how foreign aid has helped Afghanistan. The highway is fully 2,700 kilometers long and links major cities. It is largely bankrolled by Saudi and U.S. taxpayer money. However the UK Foreign Office (FCO) has questioned both the priority given to the project and the quality of construction..
One problem is that the aid money is siphoned through officials and contractors and finally down to subcontractors. The pavement in many places is so thin that it is not expected to survive even one Afghan winter. The road is very expensive to maintain. Many complain that it is mostly used by foreign troops to get from one place to the next. The road is also a magnet for Taliban attacks
The FCO report notes that the road is of no value to most Afghans. What would have impressed them would be upgrading of roads to the nearest towns upon which they depend for supplies. The highway is just one of many white elephants resulting from foreign aid. The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction claims that Washington has failed to account for billions spent on projects.
Among the projects were six Afghan National Police buildings so poorly made they could not be used. A Kabul Power plant costing 300 million of U.S. taxpayer funds encountered years of delays and cost increases and now that it is built is used only as an expensive backup facility! Meanwhile donor nations are busy pledging billions more to keep the corrupt system and government from falling to the Taliban! For more see this article.