A British soldier who has refused to return to Afghanistan has called on prime minister Gordon Brown to pull UK troops out of the embattled country. Lance Corporal Joe Glenton claims the war effort is not reducing the terrorist threat and the campaign is being fought in the interests of US foreign policy.
Glenton, who went AWOL (absent without official leave) in 2007 is being court martialled accused of desertion. He is expected to plead not guilty but could face 2 years in jail. Lance Corporal Glenton’s doubts have been echoed by senior politicians who said the British mission in Afghanistan is failing to deliver. MPs say UK troops are being given too much to do. That has resulted blurred objectives, they claim. “The UK government should focus on one priority in Afghanistan which is security. And, there has been a tendency to have what we call “mission creep”. Moving into so many different areas including nation building, counter-narcotics, humans rights” said MP Mike Gapes, Chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee. The British government has denied the charge saying although it is fighting Afghanistan’s drug trade, security remains the army’s top priority.