Federal Superhero Assistance Bureau

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The Federal Superhero Assistance Bureau (FSAB) was an office of the United States Department of Defense, active from 1984 to 1994. It provided information and material support to selected superheroes and superhero organizations. Its main office was located in the Pentagon, in Washington, DC.


Possibly descended from earlier "black projects" within the defense budget, the FSAB was officially established among a series of initiatives alongside the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Its establishment is considered to have been a response to intelligence regarding Soviet initiatives to control, and possibly create, its own superhuman beings. Public United Nations initiatives to encourage superhumans globally away from "villainous" behavior, and coordinate their activities toward productive goals, may also have contributed to the US response, given ongoing concerns about Soviet bloc subversion of the UN. After steadily growing along with the rest of the Reagan-era defense budget, the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early '90s eliminated much of the political impetus for the FSAB. Its budget was rapidly absorbed into the "Peace Dividend" and the Bureau formally ceased to exist with the FY 1995 budget.


By providing support to superheroes via the mechanism of an "Assistance Bureau" rather than attempting to regulate their activities more formally, the FSAB implicitly acknowledged the government's limited ability to coerce the behavior of such individuals, seeking to incentivize positive behavior -- a "carrot" rather than "stick" -based policy. There may also have been an intent to avoid open provocation of a "super arms race", given uncertainty among analysts regarding relative US potential in such an arena.

The FSAB's official responsibilities included the "observation and evaluation of superhuman individuals and organizations to assess their capabilities" as well as determining their "motivations and intentions with respect to the interests and policies of the United States, particularly the advancement of the causes of human freedom and security". Individuals and groups thus vetted were to be provided with special security clearances, specially prepared intelligence briefings, and "such general assistance as deemed practical by the Commander-in-Chief". By the late '80s, this assistance had grown to include substantial black budget expenditures on hardware, administrative and support staff, base facilities, and, perhaps most importantly, liability insurance.

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