Joe Glenton

Joe Glenton was born in Norwich, Great Britain, in 1982. He joined the British Army in 2004. Since his release he has campaigned against the wars and has written for the Guardian, Mirror, New Internationalist, Military History Monthly, and Counterfire. He is currently studying International Relations.


  • Joe Glenton's Open Letter to Bowe Bergdahl

    ‘Remember this: the only way you can win - even if victory is only keeping your dignity, reducing a prison sentence or making The Man stumble - is by fighting and politicking as well as you can.’ From Joe Glenton’s letter to Bowe Bergdahl

    Joe Glenton, author of Soldier Box and campaigner for the rights of soldiers in the UK and US, sends an open letter to Bowe Bergdahl, who has recently been released from captivity by the Taliban.

    Continue Reading

  • Your country needs you!: Responses to the World War I Centenary

    National commemorations of major historical events usually offer an incredible opportunity for the Right to showcase its jingoistic logorrhea about national identity and patriotism. Starting this coming August, the First World War centenary will most likely be no exception.

    The Conservatives are battling on two different, though not unrelated, fronts. Contrary to what Max Hastings argues, it is the Right indeed who is “making an ideological argument out of World War I, as it does out of almost everything else in history.”

    In a Telegraph article, David Cameron puts particular emphasis on commemorating, and even celebrating the break-out of World War I as a moment of national unity and cohesion, “a fundamental part of our national consciousness.”

    Continue Reading

  • Joe Glenton comments on Woolwich attack in the Guardian

    Joe Glenton, author of Soldier Box: Why I Won't Return to the War on Terror, wrote this comment piece in the Guardian yesterday:

    Woolwich attack: of course British foreign policy had a role

    While nothing can justify the killing of a British soldier, the link to Britain's vicious occupations abroad cannot be ignored.

    I am a former soldier. I completed one tour of duty in Afghanistan, refused on legal and moral grounds to serve a second tour, and spent five months in a military prison as a result. When the news about the attack in Woolwich broke, by pure coincidence Ross Caputi was crashing on my sofa. Ross is a soft-spoken ex-US marine turned film-maker who served in Iraq and witnessed the pillaging and irradiation of Falluja. He is also a native of Boston, the scene of a recent homegrown terror attack. Together, we watched the news, and right away we were certain that what we were seeing was informed by the misguided military adventures in which we had taken part.

    So at the very outset, and before the rising tide of prejudice and pseudo-patriotism fully encloses us, let us be clear: while nothing can justify the savage killing in Woolwich yesterday of a man since confirmed to have been a serving British soldier, it should not be hard to explain why the murder happened.

    These awful events cannot be explained in the almost Texan terms of Colonel Richard Kemp, who served as commander of British forces in Afghanistan in 2001. He tweeted on last night that they were "not about Iraq or Afghanistan", but were an attack on "our way of life". Plenty of others are saying the same.

    But let's start by examining what emerged from the mouths of the assailants themselves. In an accent that was pure London, according to one of the courageous women who intervened at the scene, one alleged killer claimed he was "… fed up with people killing Muslims in Afghanistan …". It is unclear whether it was the same man, or his alleged co-assailant, who said "… bring our [Note: our] troops home so we can all live in peace".

    Continue Reading