Can you refuse to serve, features Joe Glenton who went on the run, after refusing to go back and fight in Afghanistan
Can You REFUSE To Serve In An Illegal Conflict?
Joe Glenton was a lance corporal with the Royal Logistics Corps, who vowed not to return to Afghanistan. After going on the run for a full 737 days, Joe was jailed at the ‘Glasshouse’ in Colchester. The court-martial heard that Joe had been suffering from PTSD after his first tour of duty. He was later officially discharged from the British army. Joe is now a journalist, film-maker and award-winning author.
Transcript from ‘Can You Refuse To Serve In An Illegal Conflict’ podcast
Joe – I was in a deeply unglamorous corps, as I was in the Royal Logistics corps. I joined which would have been ordnance corps. I’m not exactly sure, but yes I joined in 2004 for probably the same reasons most people do. I’m from a working-class background, it was a route out of that and loved it. I was keen, green and I was gonning to stay forever, which is what we all say at the start. It was the era of Iraq and Afghanistan, so we went to Afghanistan and did a tour. For me it wasn’t a terribly kinetic tour. I was doing the ammunition with the 13 air assault regiment. We were the logistics element of that went out. Over the course of the tour, I started to question the kind of rationales about why we were in Afghanistan.
We were given lots of reasons, such as, it’s about helping women to go to school or stopping the opium trade. I think those started to fall away over the course of the tour. I wasn’t a very political person at the time, but that developed. Not on tour, because you don’t really have time on tour as you know yourself. After that I think that started to crystallize into a kind of critique, a critique of the war in a very uncomplicated way. A moral objection to what was going on and I planned to just get out of the military.
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