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Old July 11 2013, 10:44 PM   #84
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post

Then how come Starfleet troops are the principal ground soldiers in DS9's battle with the Dominion?
They're not. They just get saddled with that duty at AR-558 because literally nobody else in the universe could be spared for that mission.
Oh they very much are Starfleet.
Of course they are. They're just not the principle land army of the Federation.

No, it's the Dominion which is directed by the Founders. The Jem'hedar aren't always going to be directed into ground combat.
Not every or even most Jem'hadar ships have founders on board (it's not even clear they all have a Vorta). Even with that, the Jem'hadar are good at coming up with excuses for a land action even when orbital bombardment might well be feasible (it is, after all, why they are designed the way they are).

How are these ships better armed than their smaller predecessors during TNG? In the DS9 battles they do no additional damage than the other small ships.
The phaser arrays on the Galaxy class are far more advanced and supposedly more powerful than anything the fleet has ever used before. Moreover, the torpedo launcher on the galaxy class has a (seldom used) capacity to launch large volleys of torpedoes simultaneously -- up to six in a single shot -- while older/smaller designs have to make due with spreads of two to four at most. The Galaxy and Nebula classes also have much heavier shielding and far more raw power available than the Excelsiors or Mirandas could feasibly generate.

I'm not necessarily suggesting that all of those older designs are as obsolescent as the Stargazer seemed to be, but I also don't think they're that much better off.

Or Starfleet's military,science and exploration programs changed in priority as the need arises over the 100+ years of it's existence.
Both are possible, but it doesn't seem to me that Starfleet has EVER placed that high a priority on military readiness. Of particular interest is the testing of the M5 unit for compatibility with Starfleet systems; not just the battle drills were evaluated, but also the M5's capacity to conduct an exploration survey and manage/coordinate an away team.

This interests me because that doesn't seem to be the kind of test you would need to assign to a computer. M5 could be used to run unmanned combat vessels fairly easily, it wouldn't actually need to be in command of a ship with a scientific crew in the first place. A military-minded Starfleet would have deployed M5 (or a few of its predecessors) in the combat role first, and then asked Daystrom if he could adapt the M5 unit to the exploration program once its operational record had been established.

Testing M5 in both aspects at the same time suggests they wanted a computer intelligence that could perform starfleet's primary exploratory role without exposing the crew to risk from unexpected hostile attack, which is to say the intent was ALWAYS to have M5 coordinating with a (obviously much smaller than normal) science team. Even more interesting is the fact that combat is the only thing M5 can do entirely without any human input at all; had the experiment worked, Starfleet officers would never need to know anything about combat again, they could just strap themselves into a disaster shelter and wait for the computer to pwn their enemies.

As I said, it could go either way, but I just don't see Starfleet ever explicitly prioritizing combat readiness over science. Although partly this is because there's very rarely been a conflict between the two, the biggest issue is that Starfleet spends a lot more time and money on exploration than it does on combat operations and military maneuvers.

Well, it seemed pretty typical when you compare it to the brief Klingon-Cardassian War or possibly even the further back Federation-Klingon War in "Errand of Mercy". Fleets of ships deciding the fate of the warring nations.
Actually, they seemed to be deciding the fates of the contested colonies/worlds, but little else.

OTOH, the Klingon-Cardassian war is an unprecedented event in Cardassian history as well and represents an enormous bit of "Oh shit, the Klingons are expanding again!" badness for the entire universe. Compare it to the brief Klingon-Federation skirmish over Arkanis a few months later, or to the battles of Wolf 359 or the massacre at the Omarian Nebula. It seems to me that prior to the Dominion War a typical military conflict would involve at most 30 to 50 starships centered around a fairly limited local objective (a contested solar system or a particular planet in said system).

Wouldn't it be a huge deal to the TNG Starfleet which at that time was squarely NOT a military? Wolf 359 and the Cardassian conflict would've been a strain on a service that was not geared for combat.
Evidently, it WAS.

wlf, I'm starting to think that the only real difference between you and me is that you believe Starfleet geared up for combat prior to the Dominion War and BECAME a military organization while I believe that Starfleet did not formally BECOME a military organization and was therefore (still) woefully unprepared for the Domion when fighting finally broke out. Given another few years they probably would have hit the point of no return and restructured dramatically, but we didn't really see that happen in DS9; it would have been a pretty big deal, and not something that would have gone on in the background without a mention.

Although, I would concede one point: the uniform change just before the outbreak of war could be interpreted as an outward sign of an otherwise invisible restructuring, say, the issuing of a general order commanding all Starfleet personnel to mobilize all assets to "Indefinite Defensive Condition" or some similar concept that would, in essence, conscript the entire fleet en masse. I don't know that the new uniforms or any other changes were ever referenced in dialog, though, so it's tough to say if this was ever the case.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
I'm not so sure, actually. Starfleet's depiction in both movies is at least as militaristic as it is in TOS -- more so, IMO, for a number of reasons -- but is still DESCRIBED as being non-military by two different characters in STID.
I think when you pointed out that JJVerse Scotty said it wasn't a military that pretty much cemented a *different* path that was taken. TOS Scotty had no problems dropping a few photon torpedoes in the name of diplomacy or General 24'ing a planet in "A Taste of Armageddon"...
You mention that alot, but Scotty never actually did it and it's far from certain that he really would have if it came to it. For all we know, General Order 24 is an inside joke (like "Kobyashi Maru") which roughly means "Bluff your ass off because the enemy doesn't know us that well."
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