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Old July 8 2013, 08:16 PM   #267
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
KGator wrote: View Post
Starfleet is military by it being an armed force of the Federation but clearly their charter is far more diverse than most of today's modern military organizations and perhaps only a small portion of their overall funding goes directly into weaponry, space defenses, combat training, etc.
But that would only be possible if technology has rendered war such a trivial affair that just about anyone could successfully fight an entire war without really being trained to do so. That's obviously true in SPACE combat, which seems to be more of an engineering task than a strategic one. But that is OBVIOUSLY false in ground combat: the Klingons, the Romulans and the Jem'hadar are effectively Ugly Bags of Mostly Badass and not the kinds of people you'd expect to fight off with a platoon of lightly-armed geologists who took a self-defense course in their spare time.

There's a tendency in these discussions to assume "Starfleet isn't a military" is an indictment of military forces being too violent or too aggressive. That, to me, seems breathtakingly immature: military priorities and military readiness are fundamentally incompatible with the ideals of a civilized society, not because militaries are uncivilized, but because WAR is an uncivilized activity that is ill-suited for amateurs, generalists and especially idealists. That a Starfleet officer could even say with a straight face "Starfleet is not a military organization" and even have his first officer back him up isn't the reflection of a single person's inexplicable idealism; Starfleet is the kind of organization where a man like Picard could become the Captain of their most powerful starship.

That tells us quite a bit about how Starfleet in general views itself. It also tells us that we have never really seen the Federation's military: if Starfleet was their only defense against the Romulans or the Klingons, they would have been conquered centuries ago.
The flaw in your argument is that you seem to feel that if there are other secret or randomly mentioned military organizations that somehow that would preclude Starfleet from being a military organization.

Sorry but Picard is wrong unless the definition of "military" evolves over the next several hundred years to something different than what it is now.

But as of now (2013) here on Earth, a military is an armed force of a state. Starfleet is shown countless times participating in armed combat against external foes/threats to the Federation. Thus they are a military.

Someone can always envision a way out and simply say that the word "military" in the 23rd century comes to mean an organization dedicated wholly for combat or that state defense is the majority of its overall mission. Thus Picard and Scotty were correct but you are wrong (since you didn't specify you were using a futuristic definition of "military").
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