The Impossible Missions Force, also known as the IMF, is an independent espionage agency commonly employed by the United States government.
Situations that are too politically sensitive or too potentially politically embarrassing, too dangerous for politicians to be trusted to confront, too absurd or too sensitive for the CIA, or too complex for the FBI are all pursued by this top-secret organization. The IMF is a specialized group of expert agents that remain hidden from the public eyes. If the IMF were revealed to exist, the United States would be expelled from the United Nations and banned as a "pariah state."
It is for this reason that the IMF trains its operatives so rigorously in the ways of stealth, deception, persuasion and the art of "invisibility." Also, for this reason, the most successful mission teams usually employ methods drawn from the criminal element of grand-scale confidence games which they then play on specific mission targets. Agents are well educated, multi-talented and highly trained in a variety of areas including long distance surveillance, computers, demolition tactics and even assassination. One of the best-funded spy organizations in the world, the IMF also possesses millions of dollars worth of specialized gadgetry and weapons.
Not all of the IMF's operatives are top of line, and some have been disciplined or expelled from the agency for their unacceptable behavior during missions. The spies expelled from the IMF are the most dangerous individuals to the agency, as they could easily detail secrets about the organization to any number of foreign and rogue governments. Worst of all, as skilled as they are in playing grand-scale confidence games, they could easily entrap the most reliable operatives in such games and thereby compromise them.
With continued success since the 1940s, the IMF bears the brunt of today's international attacks, now focused on concealed entry and espionage. The missions keep getting harder and harder - but so do the agents.
The IMF operates primarily by executing confidence tricks on its mission targets, sometimes with the aid of high-tech gadgetry. The agents are able to deceive their targets into cooperating with them without detecting a set-up until the mission is accomplished; by that time, the IMF personnel have already vanished from the scene.
In a worst-case scenario during such undercover missions in which their presence becomes known, the IMF can become subject to disavowal under order from the President's failsafe initiative, "Ghost Protocol". With this initiative in place, the IMF is rendered defunct, and any and all agents in the field are hereby unable to access specific safehouses or extraction points in their specific location. Ethan Hunt's team used the disavowal of the IMF to exercise more restraint in their actions in stopping Kurt Hendricks than would usually be possible during an official mission.
Select IMF AgentsEdit
Dan Briggs's mission team ("The Director's Own")Edit
Jim Phelps's first mission team ("The Director's Own")Edit
- Barney Collier
- Lisa Casey
- Cinnamon Carter
- Dana Lambert
- Doug Robert
- Mimi Davies
- Rollin Hand
- The Great Paris
- Willy Armitage
Tom Copperfield's primary mission teamEdit
Jim Phelps's 1980s mission teamEdit