Author’s Note

Note from Simon:

During the five years I spent as a member of a counter-terrorism unit, I had the opportunity and privilege to travel the world. From Washington D.C. to Tel-Aviv, I worked together with like-minded men and women dedicated to the defence of their homelands against brutal and senseless acts of terrorism.  During my research, I spoke extensively with officers from US, French, British and Israeli security agencies.  I tried to understand and to compare the challenges these brave officers face every day.

Beyond the sheer dedication of these officers to their countries, there was one recurring theme that came across in the interviews.  Regardless of country or agency, these valiant silent warriors expressed a similar sentiment of frustration in their work.  They felt trapped, not by the enemies they were trained to fight, but all too often by their own agencies who – over the years – had become too risk-averse due to the overwhelming need to please their political masters.  This certainly didn’t stop them from working tirelessly to protect the citizens they were sworn to serve, but most agreed on one thing:  When agents spend more time filling administrative forms than they do in the field, something is wrong.

Although the International Market Stabilization Institute (IMSI) is a product of my imagination, I would not be surprised if one day, in the not-so-distant future, an organization with similar attributes to the IMSI is established.  

On second thought, maybe it already exists…