I had to respond.

The Spy needs a base to operate from, a "Cover" identity, and a normal
job, to kreep up appearances. The people at the target of the
espionage need to get so used to seeing this person every day that they
just blend into the background.

Real spies are not like James Bond, cruising in, and blowing things up,
They're more like a bank clerk by day, information gatherer at night.

It is absolutely ESSENTIAL to have a holding in the area because any spy
operating from another area will not have the information about region
specific customs, dialects, even hand gestures, and body language.

Years of training, and a secure base are more important than "Throwing
2000 gold at the spy."

Now, as to the closeness of the country...

What would it be like to try to infiltrate a radar base in Canada, or a
government headquarters? They're close, look like us, and the language
is basically the same. However, if somebody just "Shows up" one day,
with no friends, past, or identity, it will be very hard for them to
accomplish anything, let alone go in and listen to state secrets.

Now, imagine the situation where it is a different language, culture,

REAL spies don't even work like that. They usually are selected for
their ability to con somebody into getting an informant to change sides,
but since this person is from another country, you never can know if you
can trust them, or if they are a double agent, and feeding you a bunch
of crappy info, in order to root out YOUR spy network.

IAN Fleming was a real spy. James bond is what the public wants to
believe spies are about.

That's my 2 GB.

- - James H. Jenkins