Crazy Eddie wrote:
Again, this is superfluous and doesn't change the overriding fact that Starfleet is an armed force that fights on behalf of the Federation making them military.
I know you're coming in late, but that's not always even true in the real world
. And the Federation exists in a completely different world with a completely different legal (and technological) framework.
It would seem hard to argue that Starfleet is a bunch of unarmed scientists who do not engage in combat...
No, Starfleet is a bunch of ARMED scientist who engage in combat. Moreover, they're not particularly good at it.
Actually, I was in this conversation early but then dropped out and came back late.
In World War 2 the US military was comprised of a lot of teachers, truck drivers, farmers, construction workers, etc, with basic military training who were quite destructive. The bottom line is whether a scientist/part-time soldier is shooting at you or a lifelong solder you are probably going to duck just the same. I'm sure a phaser fired from an armed scientists who knows Superstring theory hurts just as much as fired from a guy who only knows how to shoot the weapon he's holding.
Starfleet is probably closest in comparison to the Coast Guard where armed combat against foreign militaries is just a single component of their overall role. However they are by definition a military/armed force of the United States.
If a country fights its battles by arming all available milkmen and sending then on invasions of neighboring countries . . . . that's their military. And no matter how ineffective that strategy of national defense may be its probably no less efficient than Starfleet's overall combat record. ;-)