Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
In Abrams's first Trek movie, Pike describes the Federation as "a humanitarian and peacekeeping armada."
That covers it, period.
They may be military, but they don't think of themselves primarily as warriors (Kirk: "We've been trained to think in terms other than war," in the episode "Day Of The Dove") or their vessels as warships.
"The Squire Of Gothos:"
KIRK: Our missions are peaceful, not for conquest. When we do battle, it is only because we have no choice.
You can Google any definitions you like, but you'd be hard pressed to find the Enterprise or other Starfleet vessel described by its crew as a "warship" in TOS.
Sounds like the writers did their research and were less lazy than many fans who are sure they know TOS backward and forward.
Research? Howzabout 'enlist in Starfleet?' ENLIST? Well, based on the Abrams09Thing I guess they take just about everybody (if the 3rd parachuter or cupcake are good examples), so it isn't like you have to exude a special quality to get there in this reality ... that makes it quite different from the real Trek universe.
And your TOS quotes are a bit selective ... I'd think the Garth / Kirk exchange in WHOM GODS DESTROY would be more representative, the one where Garth notes that Kirk's record as a warrior is second only to his own, and Kirk's reply that he thinks of himself primarily as an explorer now
. There's plenty of trek backstory suggesting war fleets, from the Romulan war onward, certainly something massive over Organia, and that would also imply that you have mission-specific vessels as well as general purpose heavy cruisers.
BTW ... does Pike really say the FEDERATION is a 'peacekeeping armada' -- not STARFLEET? (I'm really asking here, not being sarcastic, because that sounds totally wrong, like saying the United States is a whole bunch of armed cruisers.)
EDIT ADDON: Sorry, I should have scrolled down to see THROWBACK covered most of this and with more detail than I offered.