“We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “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” with the film.
The comics have fudged the issue for decades. Marvel now describes it as an “extra-government” body, although many takes on the organization have clearly emphasized its international character. Yet U.S. presidents have fired S.H.I.E.L.D. directors (Fury, Tony Stark/Iron Man) and appointed others (Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, incumbent Steve Rogers/Captain America) — although that might operate by an informal international understanding, much like the U.S. appoints the director of the World Bank.
Interesting that the military clearly weren't too fond of the whole S.H.I.E.L.D thing but ah well, it didn't take away from the movie. I guess battleship was just so much more realistic then the Avengers.