The Iron Man suit can be manufactured in mass easily. The Avengers initiative is to defend Earth from imminent global threats that are beyond the warfighting capability of conventional military forces.

It will definitely help to have thousands of "men in the advanced suit" to fight alien-like threats. Why don't we see such a military unit in the MCU?

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    Have you watched the second and third Iron Man movies? – F1Krazy Apr 14 at 10:02
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    Yes, there wasn't an army in there. Just some villains trying to replicate suit – Zaid Syed M Md Apr 14 at 10:05
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    Those films do explain why there isn't an Iron Man army, but I'll go ahead and write it up into a full answer. – F1Krazy Apr 14 at 10:08
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    @ZaidSyedMMd you're forgetting the Iron Legion in Iron Man 3 and in Age of Ultron – Memor-X Apr 14 at 10:18
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    “The Iron Man suit can be manufactured in mass easily.” You may have missed the extensive parts of Iron Man 2 that demonstrate it actually can't be. – Paul D. Waite Apr 15 at 14:46

The short answer is: accountability. After Obadiah Stane's betrayal during Iron Man 1, Tony doesn't trust anyone else with the Iron Man technology (except his best friend, James Rhodes), because he does not want to risk it being used for the sort of atrocities the Ten Rings used his weapons for in Iron Man 1. This is also the reason he shuts down Stark Industries' weapons division.

This idea of accountability, or of others getting their hands on the Iron Man tech, comes up time and time again throughout the Iron Man trilogy:

  • At the climax of Iron Man 1, Obadiah Stane builds and pilots the Iron Monger suit based on Tony's original prototype. This drives home to Tony just how dangerous the Iron Man tech could be in the wrong hands:

    OBADIAH: Ironic, isn't it, Tony? You tried to rid the world of weapons; you gave it its best one yet. And now, I'm gonna kill you with it.

  • The Senate Committee scene in Iron Man 2 is the US government asking Tony to turn over the Iron Man suit, presumably so they can mass-produce them. Tony point-blank refuses, because he knows that's what they're planning to do and doesn't want to be held accountable for what the government might do with them. It also demonstrates that the Iron Man suit isn't as easy to mass-produce as you believe: look at how Iran and North Korea's attempts went. (And just to justify Tony's paranoia even more, Captain America: The Winter Soldier reveals that the head of the committee, Senator Stern, worked for HYDRA.)

  • Then, later in Iron Man 2, the US military do get their hands on the Iron Man tech when James Rhodes brings them the Mk.II suit. Justin Hammer gets the contract to develop the mass-produced suits, and gets Ivan Vanko/Whiplash to assist him. This, of course, ends with Vanko hijacking the suits (including the one Rhodes is inside) and sending them on a violent rampage as part of his campaign to destroy Tony's legacy. This would only reinforce Tony's refusal to militarise the Iron Man program - what if those suits got hacked?
  • Interestingly, in Iron Man 3, there actually sort of is an Iron Man army - Tony has built dozens of suits that can all be remotely operated by JARVIS. However, if I recall correctly, he didn't build them specifically to serve as an army in case of a serious threat, but as a coping mechanism after the events of The Avengers left him with PTSD. At the end of the film, having come to terms with his trauma and vowed to prioritise his relationship with Pepper Potts over his Iron Man career, Tony destroys the surviving suits.

It's been pointed out repeatedly in the comments that in Age of Ultron, Tony has another fleet of autonomous Iron Man suits, the Iron Legion. However, he uses them for crowd control to keep civilians safe while the Avengers do the actual battling. Presumably, he still doesn't trust others with the suits, and after Ultron hijacks the Iron Legion partway through the movie, I'm guessing he no longer trusts AIs with the suits either, hence why he hasn't rebuilt the Iron Legion since then. There's another autonomous suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but I believe Tony remote-controlled it directly rather than having an AI control it.

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    It might be worth adding how Age of Ultron figures into this, though, because there he actually does plan and develop a sentient robot army for defending earth, precisely under the thoughts that it would help against all the threats from outer space. – Napoleon Wilson Apr 14 at 11:04
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    It's Ultron itself that decides to build a sentient robot army, maybe based on the footage of Tony's previous missions it sees in the database. What Tony Stark intended Ultron to be apart than "an A.I." is never stated. – Zachiel Apr 14 at 14:42
  • @Zachiel afaik he explcitly says that the robot he tries to create should fight the battles and he hopes to avert the disaster he sees in his precognition dream. It's not clear whether he would want to build an army or just assume that one robot could do the job. – Frank Hopkins Apr 14 at 23:41
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    @Zachiel At the start of "Age of Ultron", we see the "Iron Legion", which are mass-produced autonomous Iron Man suits that Tony is using for crowd control. Ultron then co-opts the Iron Legion production facilities to create his own army. So, he has started building the robot army before the film begins. – Chronocidal Apr 15 at 9:25
  • What I never understood was...............why didn't the US government just declare "national security priority" or "eminent domain" and force Stark to give up the Iron Man tech? You know they would have found a loophole somewhere and an activist judge to force him to give it up. C'mon, these are politicians. – MissouriSpartan Apr 16 at 17:54

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