Fog of War
The next time America goes to war, it won't be according to plans drawn up in the Pentagon. Instead, it'll be a movie director calling 'action', and generals are likely to hand out Oscars instead of medals.
The Government is calling on the talents of the movie world to improve the image of war. It also hopes to exploit the organisational skills of Hollywood producers to ensure that future conflicts will come in on-time and on-budget.
The scheme was hatched after Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer was given unprecedented access to troops in Afghanistan — access denied to journalists — to make a 'documentary' about 'American bravery'.
"Bruckheimer is Bush's Leni Riefenstahl," said one proud White House aide. "And that's what gave us the idea. Next time we go into some godforsaken shithole, let's make sure we at least have a good script."
Inside sources say that the Administration is tired of military campaigns starting well but fizzling out.
"You see it time and again," said Buck Trouserful, martial image consultant to the President. "At first, it's real exciting. Lots of explosions, hardcore hardware, great shots of missiles being launched and those really cool videos of precision bombs taking out bridges an' stuff. But then it all gets kinda talky-talky and before you know it, no-one can work out what the goddamn plot is. We lose people's attention and have to start another war to get it back again."
A special committee, convened by the Cabinet in secret, has been meeting with leading Hollywood screenwriters, producers and directors to discuss what one pundit has called "Washington's third act problem".
US military forces also hope to leverage the skills of movie set designers, make-up artists and special effects specialists to give wars a slicker, more marketable appeal.
"You don't see images of war in the glossy magazines, like Glamor or Vogue," said Trouserful. "That's untapped marketing potential. So we're looking into having the Marines' uniforms redesigned, get 'em into some designer labels. They already drive cool cars — I drive a Hummer myself — but green? Puhleeze!"