I could never understand what was in the saucer section forward of the bridge. When the Enterprise
self-annihilated, this area was the first to go and the ship lost balance. When the Melbourne
was attacked by the Borg, after having that area destroyed, the ship went adrift and was unable to continue the fight. When the Miranda
-class starships lost this area, they too became permanently disabled. What is it about this area of those ships that produces this result? What ever it was seemed to disappear by the late 24th century, or the Enterprise-E
would have been permanently disabled after its crash with the Scimitar
or the Voyager
after having been bashed as it was in Year of Hell would have found it impossible to ram that Krenim time ship.
I am not sure if the bubbles are air or water. There appear to be bubbles coming from the damaged starboard warp nacelle and from the leading edge of the saucer. Would there be air in the nacelles?
As for incompetence, I think that is a Starfleet trademark. As an example, Commander Riker loses in a fight to a pair of aging mothball Klingon bird-of-preys commanded by the Ferengi. (Ferengi have had only one notable battle in their history, and they lost that battle. These are not military geniuses.) Every time the Federation gets into a knock-out, drag-out fight, with the Klingons or the Dominion, they seem to be losing. It's only when faced against lesser opponents, like the Cardassians or the Talarians, that the Federation seems to come out on top.