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Old November 30 2012, 05:09 PM   #47
J.T.B.'s Avatar
Re: How militarized should Starfleet be?

Nope. Just nope. Read the "Hornblower" novels. Starfleet is part American Coast Guard, but mostly 18th century English navy, when captains were explorers, diplomats and even (kind of) representatives of commercial interests.
Well... they could act in that capacity, sure, but the vast majority of 18th century British (not English) Royal Navy captains commanded warships on military assignments. Military, that is, in the modern sense of the armed forces, rather than the meaning back then which was exclusive of maritime services. Hornblower's career was built around war, the diplomatic missions he undertook completely war-related.

"Star Trek" is not war. When that does happen on-screen in the spin-offs, I very rapidly lose interest. If you want space battles, there are plenty of other shows. They are great; I hope you enjoy them. Instead, what made (and makes) Trek great is hope for the future. How can that possibly include a Starfleet constantly poised for battle? I resist and resent militaristic revisionism.
Starfleet's war-fighting mission was there from the beginning, so it's hard to see where there's any revisionism. Even first season TOS posited a tense "international" situation where there was a fair chance of war breaking out, and in fact war did break out in one episode. Given that setting, limiting plots to those that exclude "military" possibilities seems like an unrealistic storytelling restriction.

Starfleet is the future NASA.
Do NASA employees fall under a military legal code? No, NASA may be comparable to some aspects of Starfleet but the two are hardly parallel.

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