THE PENTAGON — Terrorist groups around the world will no longer wait in suspense to learn if their regimes will be toppled for them by the United States, allowing their otherwise under-supplied and untrained forces to seize power almost effortlessly. According to the State Department, the United States is opening a "Power Vacuum Sweepstakes," in which terrorists can compete to have their country's government forcibly removed by uncoordinated airstrikes.
"War is expensive," State Department spokesman Adm. John Kirby said. "History has shown that the cheapest and most efficient way to cause a country to implode is to lob munitions from a distance. However, if the United States is going to continually hand entire populations over to indigenous terrorist groups by way of the massive power vacuum this strategy creates, it's time we start setting some standards."
The contest, which, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, is open to "all ethnicities and religious backgrounds in the spirit of equality," consists of a multi-tiered application process, in which terrorist groups explain why their particular backwards, corrupt government should be JDAMed into obscurity first.
Reactions to the contest were mixed. Some groups took to it almost immediately — an unnamed, masked individual believed to be from Boko Haram tweeted a picture of himself holding a gasoline canister.
"Oil production! #1 in Africa, #6 in the world!" read the hastily constructed sign he was also holding.
"We want to emphasize that the primary criteria is not oil," Secretary Kerry continued after similar pictures showed up from other terrorist groups. "The lengthy and detailed section on your country's oil production is there only to help us, um, develop worldwide economical benchmarks."
While smaller terrorist groups seem to have taken to the contest with vigor, the same can not be said for larger, pan-regional groups such as ISIS.
"We are issuing a fatwa against this contest," ISIS Imam Ali Abu Hassan said while shaking a sword at the camera. "America's attention span is like that of a child's. They should not move on to other regions before making sure that they have completely and totally given the oldest nation in history to terrorists. Also I think I saw Saddam's brother the other day hiding in an Iraqi security checkpoint at the following coordinates ... He also had a bottle of chemical weapons."
Some terrorist groups like the concept of the contest, but disagree with the criteria by which their corrupt regimes will be measured.
"It's not fair that countries that are easily accessible by aircraft carriers get priority," Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué, vice-president of the Chadian People's Revolutionary Movement said. "It's not our fault that when the French randomly drew our borders they made us landlocked in the middle of the second biggest continent on Earth. Doesn't America have long range missiles?"
Other criteria include whether or not the country has any air defenses made after 1965, whether it would incur a Russian counterattack, and whether or not the applying terrorist group promises not to behead people.
An excerpt from the application.
According to a member of the State Department who spoke on the condition of anonymity, applications in which the United States was itself the target had already been received from PETA, the ACLU, and one member of Occupy Wall Street who was unable to remember his own name.
"We're obviously not going to blow ourselves up," the representative said. "Unless, uh, wait. Do we have oil?"