Crazy Eddie wrote:
If you've never heard of Spaceguard, and I tell you I work for the Spaceguard Organization, what's YOUR first reaction?
It'd be really fine if you at least understood my point. There is plenty of evidence that starfleet is military.
And there's plenty of evidence that it ISN'T. A standing military is a full-time professional battle force that devotes the overwhelming majority of its resources and energy into combat systems and missions and uses its surplus time/energy/equipment to help civilian projects on a case-by-case basis. Starfleet does the exact opposite of this: they devote the majority of their resources and energy into scientific systems and missions and use the surplus time/energy/equipment to carry out combat missions on a case-by-case basis. It's paramilitary
The name. The ranks. The naval tradition. The mission.
None of which are evidence that Starfleet is a military organization since
1) Names are irrelevant, even one as ambiguous as "Starfleet". Likewise, if you didn't know what Spaceguard really was, you would assume I was an astronaut, not an astronomer.
2) Ranks are irrelevant: police departments and private security firms have those too
3) Naval tradition would be a lot more meaningful if Starfleet actually operated in the ocean. Crazy stunts notwithstanding, Starfleet rarely does so.
4) The mission
is peaceful exploration and scientific research. Combat is a secondary role they take on when necessary.
As I said above, it's like a militia composed entirely of scientists. Science is Starfleet's full-time job; combat is a side gig.
The fact that the federation needs a military branch against its military enemies.
Possibly. It probably isn't Starfleet, though.