It looks like the Pentagon has decided to yield and not back S.H.I.E.L.D.
An article posted yesterday by Wired claims that the United States Defense Department ended its cooperation with Marvel Studios' insanely popular film adaptation of The Avengers because they didn't think the superhero movie was realistic in its depiction of military organizational structure.
The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, succinctly known as S.H.I.E.L.D., first appeared on film in 2008's Iron Man as a U.S. government agency that debriefs Tony Stark following his return from Afghanistan and also aides Tony's assistant Pepper Potts after learning of Obadiah Stane's Iron Monger armor. After the film's closing credits, a bonus scene introduces S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury as he informs Tony Stark of an operation known as The Avengers Initiative. The organization was used to help link subsequent movies into a full-fledged Marvel cinematic universe.
However, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s role as a global superhuman response agency is generally undefined, especially how it actually fits into the governmental bureaucracy. And that, according to the article, is why the U.S. military passed on cooperating with filmmakers of The Avengers.
"We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it," said Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison. "To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn’t do anything."
Members of the New York National Guard do appear in the movie's climactic battle in Manhattan though, to assist local police officers and firefighters with damage control resulting from the invasion of the alien Chitauri. The Defense Department gave permission for Humvees to be filmed for the sequence.
Who knows, maybe the Defense Department is just jealous because S.H.I.E.L.D. has a Helicarrier...