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Robert DeSoto June 11 2011 05:32 AM

The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Watching the debate in the conference lounge in I Borg, about the Federation being at war with the Borg, who do you agree with?

Now the question is not whether or not genocide is justified in this "war", but whether or not you believe a state of war exists between the Federation and the Borg.

It was mentioned in the Best of Both Worlds that the Federation was in a state of war and Picard was at one point considered a casualty of war. After this invasion, however, do you believe a state of war still exists?

I believe the Federation's conflict to the Borg is similar to the "war on terror". It isn't a continuous draw out conflict like WWII and there is no formal declaration of war. But the enemy has declared their intention to destroy your way of life and attacked you at every opportunity.

The Borg made two invasion attempts on Earth. Will probably try again. Invasions are generally an act of war. Picard himself was reprimanded for not using genocide against the enemy and was ordered to do so should another opportunity arise. Starfleet even goes as far to build its first "war"ships like the Defiant.

Voyager never used the term war, they were mostly concerned with going home and not starting fights with the Borg. But they didn't explicitly say anything that would contradict the dialogue from The Best of Both Worlds or I Borg that they were at war either.

So what do you guys think? Is the Federation at war?

Also, it might be relevant to state if you think the United States is at war. I think if you don't believe the US is at war, then you probably wouldn't agree that the Federation is at war either.

BillJ June 11 2011 05:38 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
At best it could be termed a cold war. There were only the occasional flare-ups.

Mr. Laser Beam June 11 2011 06:35 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
The Borg, by their very nature, are always at war with everyone. They are literally incapable of peace. Their overriding directive is to assimilate, and destroy what they cannot. So therefore, by definition, the Borg are at war with every sentient species in existence. (Except for the lucky few, like the Kazon, whom the Borg consider unworthy of assimilation.)

Shon T'Hara June 11 2011 07:00 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Until Voyager, there was never an encounter between the Borg and Federation that didn't end with shots fired, so I'd say "state of war" covers it. The only reason the conflict was so sporadic was the distance between Federation and Borg space and the fact that only one side could reliably reach the other.

Captain_Amasov June 12 2011 12:52 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
It depends on what the original idea for the Borg was really, in "Q Who" they didn't seem to actually assimilate any cultures, just their technology. Then from "The Best of Both worlds" it's implied that the Borg have seemingly altered their outlook, suggesting that from now on due to the Federation's mere existence and influence, the Borg will now forcible assimilate everyone they meet.

In this context you could argue that the Federation is merely trying to correct an issue they may have been responsible for in the first place, and destroying the Borg would be the lesser evil in this instance.

Of course this all goes out the window by the time of "First Contact" and "Voyager".

Yes, ultimately the Federation and the Borg are at war, the Borg's single mindedness in how and what they do to achieve what they believe is right is going to keep this "conflict" going. The Borg believe that they're improving those they assimilate, in a perverse mirror version of what the Federation does.

RAMA June 12 2011 01:43 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Yes, there was no contact that didn't involve single-minded attempts at assimilation or destruction. I would say that means war, at least by human definition. The Borg may have simply considered it a natural progression of daily life.

RAMA

T'Girl June 12 2011 08:00 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Quote:

Robert DeSoto wrote: (Post 5028512)
Watching the debate in the conference lounge in I Borg, about the Federation being at war with the Borg, who do you agree with?

Riker's and Crusher's verbal interaction during the conference says that yes there is a war between the Federation and the Borg (at least in Riker's mind). When Riker comment that he believes there is a war, Beverly response with, "There's been no formal declaration of war." Riker seem to be saying that the event, the series of actions, that compose a war are occurring. Crusher isn't really saying that a actual war isn't ongoing, only that a legal nicety wasn't observed, either by the Borg, or the Federation council.

A declaration of war is a formal authorization by the body government to take the state into war, engage in combat. The Borg "government" seems to be extremely simple, the Queens make decisions and the collective of drone carry out the "policy."

If the Federation council had declared war on the Borg, Crusher would/might have known of it, and others at the conference definitely would have brought it up. But would Picard have require a formal authorization to respond to, or counter attack the Borg in the manor he originally intended? I believe that Starfleet has a standing manidate to defend the Federation. Starfleet captain don't appear to need to "check with the brass" prior to engaging in fairly major hostilities. There are standing rules of engagement and Captain's discretion.

Even without a government authorization, Starfleet was at war.

Quote:

Now the question is not whether or not genocide is justified
La Forge's computer virus would have shutdown the Borg's neural network, disconnect the interconnects that form the collective. Geordie was going to make all the Borg individuals again. Many would likely die as a result, either through shock, artificial organs shutting down or by being trapped in dead spacecraft. But would that have constituted "genocide"

When you come right down to it, the Borg are nothing more than a large group of slaves. The collective really makes no decisions, because if it did, the first decision it would make is "let us go."

Genocide means killing a people (various descriptions), the Borg aren't a people are they?

Quote:

After [Best of Both Worlds], however, do you believe a state of war still exists?
Based upon Picard's "we fall back" speech in FC, yes. And off screen, the Federation is slowly and gradually losing.

Quote:

Also, it might be relevant to state if you think the United States is at war.
Yes, twice the President asked for and obtain authorizations from Congress to take the country to war, separately in Afghanistan and later Iraq.

The Constitution stipulates that permission must comes from Congress, not the President. Now what's going on with Libya is in need of Congressional approval.

:)

CaptainStoner June 12 2011 02:52 PM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Quote:

Robert DeSoto wrote: (Post 5028512)
Also, it might be relevant to state if you think the United States is at war. I think if you don't believe the US is at war, then you probably wouldn't agree that the Federation is at war either.

I'm not seeing a strong parallel here. I don't think the US is currently "at war". Iraq and Afghanistan right now much more closely resemble international, and unfortunately, mercenary police actions. The Taliban is a criminal organization masquerading as a religious group, selling heroin to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They're the Mafia mixed with Islam and heroin. Not a country to go to war with.
But, getting back to serious matters :vulcan: - The Borg attempted full scale invasion, and nearly succeeded. The Borg do have much greater mobility than the Federation, with either raw speed or transwarp technology (T'Warp). If you think of assimilation as the religious element of Taliban, there is something, but the Borg just don't seem to represent a terrorist group. To my mind they more closely represent corporatism and the military-industrial complex.
I Borg is after BoBW, so I can't see any ambiguity in the question of whether the Federation is at war.

Anwar June 12 2011 06:51 PM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Well, Geordi's plan to destroy the collective wouldn't have worked given what we know in "Descent".

But yes, the Borg are basically at war with everyone and everything. There's no real need for a formal declaration of war since the Borg don't utilize diplomatic relations like others do.

Mage June 12 2011 07:04 PM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
IMO, to be at war, both parties should have the same definition of war. And I believe the Borg do not consider what they do a war. They consider it their normal state of excistence.

Example: locusts go from field to field, feeding, destroying the crops. The farmers hate them for it, but to the locusts it's the most normal thing to do. They don't consider themselves to be at war with the farmers.

T'Girl June 13 2011 12:55 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Quote:

Anwar wrote: (Post 5030923)
There's no real need for a formal declaration of war since the Borg don't utilize diplomatic relations like others do.

A declaration of war, once adopted, can also legally change the government inside the declaring state. How the Federation operates for the "duration." Government programs and services could be temporally restricted or suspended so as the Federation could utilize those resources (money and supplies) to protect itself. During wartime, the rules for the Federation council could change, legislation and budgetary matters could be passed much more quickly.

A formal authorization would bring into play mutual defense treaties with allies like the Klingons.

An authorization would change the way Starfleet operates as well, Borg ships could be fired upon and destroyed without warning. Or computer viruses employed. A transfer of ships, assets and resources from exploration to defense.

Civilian freedom of movement could be curtailed, areas of the Federation where Borg incursion were expected might be place off limits. Something the Federation council might legally be forbidden to do during peacetime.

So, it isn't just about sending a piece of paper to the Borg.

:)

Captain_Amasov June 13 2011 10:07 PM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
The closest the Federation seemed to come to any type of declaration was to declare a "state of emergency" during the Borg attack, as mentioned on DS9. It would seem odd they'd have done that without formally treating the situation as the potential beginning of a prolonged armed conflict.

T'Girl June 14 2011 12:27 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
it's possible that the federation charter doesn't allow the council (or the president) to formally declare war. but does allow for "states of emergency." the institution of the declare war might not legally exist. however, crushers comments would seem to go against that.

Gary7 June 14 2011 03:04 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
The Federation is at war with the Borg, because the Borg are intent on encroaching upon the Federation and assimilating everyone, a hostile act that presents no discussion.

However, generally speaking the Borg aren't at war with anyone (their perspective). They merely perceive that they have the right to assimilate anything they choose. The Borg are more like pirates. They do not recognize any other being as having any rights. They kill and destroy to take what they want regardless of the ramifications. War is irrelevant to them, until the species they seek to assimilate goes on the offensive (species 8472) rather than maintaining a defensive posture.

Mr. Laser Beam June 14 2011 03:31 AM

Re: The Federation at war with the Borg?
 
Quote:

T'Girl wrote: (Post 5031416)
An authorization would change the way Starfleet operates as well, Borg ships could be fired upon and destroyed without warning. Or computer viruses employed.

Those can be done already.


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