Joe Glenton

Joe Glenton is a journalist covering war, defence and security. He was a British soldier for six years, serving in Afghanistan. He has written for the Guardian, Independent, Vice and others. His book Soldier Box was published in 2013. He is currently writing a book on the hero soldier myth.


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World Gone Mad

World Gone Mad

Politics has taken a strange turn lately. Both abroad and here at home in Britain. One could be forgiven for thinking that the world is about to be flipped up onto its head. More»

Shelf Life Justice

Shelf Life Justice

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions,” Shakespeare once wrote. And so it has been in Britain this week, as massacres in Malaya and Malawi, and dark deeds during Northern Ireland’s Troubles appeared to be catching up with the establishment. More»

Freedom for Surveillance

Freedom for Surveillance

Debate on the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the various sieges and stand-offs which followed quickly focused on lots of the wrong things but two in particular. More»

Decolonization is Dead

Decolonization is Dead

ISIS, Iran and regional instability have motivated the UK to build a permanent £15 million pound military base in Bahrain, according to the British government. But is that all there is to it? And what else is at stake? More»

Culture of Secrecy

Culture of Secrecy

There is a section in David Kilcullen’s excellent counter-insurgency book The Accidental Guerrilla where the author describes a rising insurgency in terms of an antibody model. The antibodies being those resisting the occupation, theorised as a foreign object. More»

War on Terror 2.0

War on Terror 2.0

Last Sunday I walked past the Tower of London with friends from abroad. What we saw there compelled (rather than inspired) a lap of the place out of us. Half of the old grassed over moat was filled with ceramic red poppies. Their green stalks being driven into the ground by flocks of volunteers, including army cadets and children. More»

The Sale of War

The Sale of War

Two months ago, I set up an email alert for “UK Ministry of Defense.” Just to keep an eye on what my old chums are up to. I was expecting to have blogs, articles and reports of military activities – drone strikes, deployments, the usual catalog of daily military fuck-ups and the like – appearing in my inbox every day. More»

Iraq Invades the West

Iraq Invades the West

The first news I received about the events now snappily referred to as the #ISIScrisis was that 500,000 thousand Iraqis were fleeing to somewhere, from somewhere, because of something. Such is the degree to which upheavals in the Middle East have become white noise. More»

Going After Bergdahl

Going After Bergdahl

For those of you not familiar with Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien’s 1978 novel Going After Cacciato I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, locate a copy and read it. It is as good and insightful a book on war as his better known The Things They Carried. Secondly, be prepared to find in Cacciato more than a faint echo of Bowe Bergdahl, the missing US soldier traded this week for five Taliban figures after going missing in action half a decade ago. More»

Crimea as Vietnam

Crimea as Vietnam

Britain has invaded or occupied or at some point laid claim to virtually every spot of earth on the planet. So it should not be surprising that British boots once trod the otherwise obscure Ukrainian peninsula which is today attracting so much attention. What’s interesting is that Crimea has such cultural resonance in Britain, and why. More»

The Scapegoat Policy

The Scapegoat Policy

Britain used to be great, but an enemy within has sunk us. From Syria to Afghanistan, its growing list of foreign policy failures are the result of women, ethnic minorities, godlessness and gory films. Apparently. Scapegoating is the order of the day. More»

Fear of Drones

Fear of Drones

Conquest isn’t what it used to be. Large scale invasions and occupations are out of the question. The West is still militarily preeminent on paper, yet in practice its coalitions have floundered in Iraq and Afghanistan. This situation has forced a shift away from conventional military force towards a more politically palatable method of warfare More»

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