What is the summary of chapter 1 of Where Men Win Glory?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to Pat Tillman's Army diary, his success through life can be traced to that first successful baseball tournament at the 11-12 All-Stars during his years in middle school. This early excellence propelled Tillman to try out for football in high school despite weight and height considerations (at thirteen, he was 5 feet 5 and 120 lbs). Not only does he succeed in joining the Leland High football team, Tillman also begins a distinguished career in the National Football League twenty months after playing star linebacker in the Rose Bowl.

Pat Tillman was born in Fremont, California, on November 6, 1976. Fremont hosted a thriving Afghan community, thanks in part to the deteriorating political and social situation in Afghanistan in the late 1970's, mostly fueled by American and Soviet interests in the region.

At the time, the Soviets were intent on guiding Afghanistan through a period of modernization, Marxist style. Through a cozy relationship with President Daoud, The Soviets unleashed great sums of money on the Afghan economy and military. Additionally, Daoud signed agreements with the Soviets that Afghan officers would receive Soviet military training. However, Daoud's Soviet experiment ignited a firestorm of conflict between the Soviets, Afghan urban progressives, and fundamentalist mullahs in power.

Things came to a head on April 27, 1978, when Daoud and his loyalists were assassinated after widely rumored to have been responsible for the death of a popular communist Afghan leader. With Daoud's demise, the Soviet-backed Afghani communist leaders assumed the reigns of power and renamed the country The Democratic Republic Of Afghanistan. Thus, two years before Tillman was to have been born in Fremont, refugees from the Afghan professional and intellectual classes thronged the city in fear for their lives.

Back in Afghanistan, the brutality of the communist backed party leaders embroiled the country in a death spiral. Muslim holy warriors, the fearless Mujahideen, battled the communists with religious fervor. At this stage, Brzezinski, the brilliant Cold War warrior and National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, acknowledged that the United States was a willing participant in luring the Soviets to military and political suicide on the treacherous terrains of the Afghan ranges. 

With President Ronald Reagan's subsequent and continued support of arming the Mujahideens, the Soviets were eventually to admit defeat in its nine year military campaign against the freedom fighters. Every American dollar was matched by Saudi money to the tune of billions of dollars in armaments and cash for the defeat of the Soviets and the communist backed Afghan government. In the summer of 1988, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahri founded Al-Qaeda for the purposes of ousting the Soviets.

Two years before Al-Qaeda emerged as a force to be reckoned with, the CIA provided the Mujahideens with FIM-92 heat-seeking Stingers which effectively obliterated Soviet air dominance in Afghanistan. These Stingers invariably locked on to moving airborne objects before blowing them out of the sky, causing the Soviets insurmountable and embarrassing daily losses. With the staggering cost of the nine year conflict in Afghanistan, the Soviets admitted defeat. From there, the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall cemented the compete annihilation of the Soviet Empire.

The Americans were ecstatic at their success but neglected to account for the fact that the equally ecstatic Mujahideen fanatical, holy warriors were still in possession of massive stockpiles of advanced weaponry courtesy of the CIA.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question