Socialist Worker

Wife of soldier who refuses to fight speaks out

Issue No. 2165

Clare Glenton’s husband, Joe, is a British soldier who has refused to return to fight in Afghanistan and is being charged with desertion. Clare spoke to Socialist Worker:

‘Joe’s stand is relevant to what is happening now—to what things are really like for troops in Afghanistan.

The recent deaths in Afghanistan show that the situation isn’t getting any better. I am not only referring to our soldiers. Many innocent Afghans are being killed too.

I was against this war from the start, but meeting Joe and going through this with him has made me read more into the situation and gain a deeper understanding of what is happening. All the troops should come home—there is no reason to keep them there.

I used to think the army could be helpful. Joe went out to Afghanistan with the intention of helping the people. But the soldiers there aren’t helping people.

When you look at the real situation in the country, the poverty, the appalling conditions people live in, and little access to healthcare,

I don’t believe we’re doing what the government said they set out to do.

There is no reconstruction happening. It is just young lads dying, which is tragic.

And the soldiers coming back now have had a really tough time. I think people need to look at what’s happening in Afghanistan and do what they think is right according to their conscience.

Joe is in barracks now during the week. He will have another preliminary hearing in two weeks, and then his trial will start.

All the support he’s been getting means so much to him. I hope people will keep that going.’

Email messages of support to Joe and Clare Glenton at

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