Michael Skinner is a musician, composer, and human rights activist. For a decade he was a National Education Facilitator for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Since 2006, he has been a researcher at the York Centre for International and Security Studies at York University Toronto.
Afghanistan, and the surrounding region, has been in the crosshairs of imperial expansionists for centuries. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I set the East India Company on its march northward through India. This expansion of the British empire was confronted in Afghanistan in the early 19th century by the southward expansion of the Russian empire, instigating a series of wars known as the “Great Game.”
Today Afghan women are ranked by Human Rights Watch as “among the world’s worst off” by most indicators of social, economic, and political status. What happened? And has the U.S. invasion and NATO occupation improved the situation, or made it worse?