Fifteen days after 9/11, a team of seven CIA officers, codenamed Jawbreaker, became the first Americans to land behind enemy lines. Their mission was to collect intelligence for military operations and work with the Northern Alliance, the region's largest anti-Taliban militia. The CIA commissioned artist James Dietz to create a work of art to commemorate these early operations and collaboration among U.S. intelligence officers, military forces, coalition partners, and Afghan fighters. The resulting painting, Cast of a Few, Courage of a Nation, was completed in 2008 and depicts a CIA paramilitary force on a nighttime mission bringing food, equipment, ammunition and other materials to a team in Afghanistan. It offers a sense of the dangers they faced in a hostile environment. Diez (American, b. 1946) is best known for his history paintings, especially military history.
Cast of a Few, Courage of a Nation
Courtesy of the CIA Museum, Painting © James Dietz