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Old June 30 2013, 11:37 PM   #143
Crazy Eddie
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The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Whatever mistakes any modern day militaries may have made is not automatic proof that militaries are evil...
Ah yes, the inevitable "You only think Starfleet isn't a military because you think militaries are evil" canard. If and when I ever find someone to whom that claim applies, I'll be sure to ask them what THEY think Starfleet is.

OTOH, I could ask the reverse question of you: why do you love the military so much that you are hostile to anyone OTHER than the military being the heroes?

I don't care what Roddenberry said, he's not God and he was wrong on this matter.
Read all of the following before commenting, because it is a single point:

He was not wrong on the fact that Starfleet is not a military organization. Primarily this is because "military" is as much a legal definition as an organizational one; the military is empowered by law to engage in combat operations sanctioned by the state either by direct legislative action, pre-existing treaty obligation, or by executive order (depending on the constitution of the state in question). This, in the context of international law, defines the difference between authorized uniformed combatants and unlawful irregular combatants; the former act on the authority of the government they are sworn to, the latter act on their own behalf and would be considered terrorists and/or criminals.

Those legal definitions are a relatively recent innovation in human history and would serve to outlaw or otherwise severely restrict things like mercenaries, privateers, letters of marque and other little tricks that governments have historically used to menace their enemies with violence. Current legal conventions aside, it is not and has never been the exclusive province of "the military" to fight wars and defend the homeland, and there's nothing much to suggest that will be the case in the future.

Having a permanent standing military solves certain problems in the context of Cold War tensions and the current paradigm of military technology. That context is an anachronism in Star Trek's future and hasn't been applicable for centuries. They are, evidently, operating on a paradigm where a permanent military organization is equally anachronistic and politically untenable for reasons WE do not fully understand (not that we can't guess), and that is simply the future we have depicted.

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
No, it's like saying a ship isn't a warship because the Captain says so and because much of his crew brought their families along for the ride (an act that would be unconscionable on an actual military vessel).
Again: it's like saying a military base isn't one because the wife and kids live next door.
Apples to oranges; if "next door" is on a ship at sea, then it applies.

nightwind1 wrote: View Post
LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
Monkey, well said. It actually jive nicely with Ronald D. Moore's opinion, which is that Starfleet is roughly equivalent to the US Coast Guard, which can be put under the command of the Dept of the Navy during wartime but is usually the purview of the Department of Homeland Security.
As a former Coastie, that has always been my view.
Mine too. That's the way I've always depicted it in fanfiction or short stories: normally Starfleet is administered by the science council, but in wartime the Federation government invokes part of the Federation charter that places Starfleet under the command of the Defense Council.

As I said before, the specific reason is probably that starships and space stations are very expensive and a large exploration fleet is easier to justify politically and economically than a large military fleet; the exploration fleet has a way of paying for itself during peace time while at the same time being large enough and powerful enough to be effective in war time. More to the point, clearly the Federation is not immune to jingoism, and a permanent military organization would only provide fertile ground for the more hawkish figures in Federation culture to push their agenda.


The Wormhole wrote: View Post
After all, in the navy it's unlikely you'll find a scientist with a full-time bridge position. But, given the scientific nature of space, a space military would have to have a science staff on hand...
First of all, WHAT scientific nature of space? Space is no more "scientific" than the ocean or the air, but we don't have science officers as command-level positions on nuclear submarines do we?

Second of all, if this were true we would expect to see science officers on the bridge of Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian and Jem'hadar ships as well. The fact is we do not, and on a few occasions we have seen that those services are entirely unfamiliar with the benefits of HAVING a science officer on board. Starfleet is unique for using trickery and innovation to win its battles, especially in situations where firepower alone is insufficient. One of the reasons for this is that Starfleet prefers to win its battles WITHOUT killing their opponents, something that is much more difficult to do than simply blowing their collective heads off with precision gunfire.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Sybok wrote: View Post
-captain jean-luc f***ing picard said himself starfleet was NOT military, pretty sure he knows what he is talking about, the idea he was sharing his opinion is pure rubbish. Go join the army and start walking around telling everyone "THE ARMY IS NOT A MILITARY!!"
Picard also said humans no longer believe in religions
He said humans no longer practiced SUPERSTITIONS. Not exactly the same thing.

Admittedly, Enterprise was a bit sloppy with the MACOs, due to writer's ignorance.
I again repeat that it is not ignorance to depict a non-military organization AS a non-military organization. Even less so in the context of depiction of the MACOs, who make Starfleet security look like a boy scout troop and are clearly intended to be a purely military organization in ways that Starfleet never was and never would be again.

That alone is pretty indicative of what is going on. Starfleet COULD have been depicted as a military organization if someone had wanted to do so (as Nicholas Meyer basically did in TUC). But most trek writers and almost all of its producers have had a different vision in mind for what it is and how it operates.

Put simply: if the show runners had intended Stafleet to be a military, they wouldn't have included the MACOs; they wouldn't have NEEDED the MACOs; there wouldn't even be a difference between the MACOs and the security teams they already had. The goal of that separate organization was perfectly met: "Starfleet may be tough, but they aint the military."
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Last edited by M'Sharak; July 1 2013 at 01:23 AM. Reason: to merge three consecutive posts into one
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