From the script
Crazy Eddie wrote:
I'll offer once more TUC as a counter-example: as soon as the Klingon peace prospect is brought up, someone mentioned they might mothball Starfleet.
Which was a strawman, not a serious suggestion, considering Spock never said anything about the ships, only the neutral zone outposts.
It's a bit like when someone suggests "I think we should pull out of Afghanistan" and somebody replies "You mean we should let the terrorists win?"
SPOCK: Good morning. Two months ago a Federation starship monitored an explosion on the Klingon moon Praxis. We believe it was caused by over-mining and insufficient safety precautions. The moon's decimation means a deadly pollution of their ozone. They will have depleted their supply of oxygen in approximately fifty Earth years. Due to their enormous military budget, the Klingon economy does not have the resources to combat this catastrophe. Last month, at the behest of the Vulcan Ambassador I opened a dialogue with Gorkon, Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. He proposes to commence negotiations at once.
CARTWRIGHT: Negotiations for what?
SPOCK: The dismantling of our space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone, an end to almost seventy years of unremitting hostility with the Klingons, which the Klingons can no longer afford.
MILITARY AIDE: Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?
C in C: I'm sure that our exploration and scientific programs would be unaffected, Captain, but...
CARTWRIGHT: I must protest. To offer the Klingons a safe haven within Federation space is suicide. Klingons would become the alien trash of the galaxy. And if we dismantle the fleet, we'd be defenceless before an aggressive species with a foothold on our territory. The opportunity here is to bring them to their knees. Then we'll be in a far better position to dictate terms.
The lines clearly indicate that they feared dismantling Starfleet, yet leaving the exploratory and scientific branches open, a military viewpoint and reference. This possible threat to Starfleet was the reason for the conspiracy in the first place, so hardly a straw-man argument if Cartwright and other officers believed the threat was real enough to act against their own government.
HOWEVER although this is more evidence to the military-side of the argument, this IS from TUC, which as you have pointed out, is under Meyers more "Starfleet is Military" outlook.
I still stand by my assertion though, on-screen evidence supports both options equally, so both viewpoints are equally as valid.
How can we, as fans, make a final assessment when even the characters
(occasionally even the SAME
character) have differing opinions ??