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Old July 1 2013, 10:49 PM   #36
neozeks's Avatar
Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
So do resistance movements and terrorist organizations, but nobody ever confuses them with "the military."
No, not really. Resistance movements and terrorist organizations aren't authorized by their greater society, ie. they are not legal organs of a state.

I'm not sure what your point regarding international law is. The 24th century interstellar law might not have it's own equivalent of the Geneva Conventions but what does that have to do with current definitions? Under current IL Starfleet would most definitely be considered an armed force in a conflict. (Not that IL actually gives a definition of a military - it just says "combatants = regular military + other armed groups that fulfil certain criteria").

Though I highly doubt the highly moralistic Federation wouldn't have rules that protect non-combatants - which, incidentally, is not the same as "civilians". Civilians can be combatants too. And some military personnel can be non-combatants.

Strictly speaking, that's a border security operation, which is usually a job for law enforcement, not the military.
I'm not talking about stoping smugglers or other civilians crossing the border, I'm talking about preventing military forces of a hostile neighbour from getting into your territory. That's why I specifically chose the Neutral Zone. The Neutral Zone is much more similar to the real world DMZ between the two Koreas than to a normal border between two countries.

The thing that makes the U.S. Coast Guard a military organization is the U.S. law says it is. Nothing more, nothing less. It is one of the very few coast guard organizations in the world that has this feature; most other nations -- Japan, for example -- operate theirs under civilian ministries.
Those other coast guards don't have the traits of a military that the USCG has - they don't fall under a separate legal and judicial system and they don't fight in wars. The law doesn't treat the USCG as part of the military just because. There would be little point in declaring the USCG a military organization if it didn't also have certain traits that are inherent in the term "military". So yes, there is more to it than just a specific legal provision saying "this is a military".

The Japanese (and also Chinese) Coast Guard, to which I have already linked. Both can be tried before military tribunals under certain circumstances.
Any sources for that? As far as I know not even members of the actual Japanese military are tried before military tribunals. Actually, Japan's military technically isn't even a military, they're considered civil servants under Japanese domestic law. Yet everyone recognizes they are de facto a military. Which might actually be a nice fit for 24th century views on Starfleet (except Starfleet is then more military-like than the JSDF, since Starfleet also has court-martials while the JSDF doesn't).
What if it's a smart fungus?
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