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Old July 27 2013, 04:03 PM   #115
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
I'm not so sure. I think that UESPA is a "combined service" in the sense that both military and non-military organizations were fused together to form it under basically the same rationale as the shuttle program and/or NOAA: military officers have more operational experience, but certain scientific disciplines involve specialists from civilian fields.
I did say
DOD and any other stakeholding agency
, which may be the in-universe cause of some of the stupidity. If UE Solar Fleet merged with the Space Probe Agency to make UESPA, the Solar Fleet types would assume they're best suited to administer and lead the new force, while some of the SPA-types assumed the low-brow soldiers would know they're just supposed to provide muscle and get out of the brainiac's way. Picard being an inveterate reader and a lover of the past, over-identifies with the SPA chapter of Starfleet history.
That could work. Picard may be thinking that Starfleet is an organization that INCLUDES military personnel among its crews (again, as we saw them do with Colonel Kira) but that the military contingent of Starfleet (still the Goldshirts?) are not calling the shots.

Which sounds like you're assuming the merger was in the late 2250s / early 2260s.
I don't think it was an actual merger. I think they're simply transferring people around from one service to another (and maybe back again) on a regular basis and the uniform colors reflect what service each one originally comes from. In the same sense each ship has its own separate insignia, each branch of the service -- civilian astronaut corps, science corps, military officer's corps -- would have their own colors.

Here's a thought: maybe the red shirts actually represent, collectively, the Earth Cargo Service, the Merchant Marine, and anyone else who spends a lot of time in space under the regulation of, say, the Federation Astronautics Administration? So redshirts are FAA, Blueshorts are FSC (Federation Science Council) and goldshirts are MACO.

The Blish adaptation is where I learned that. Look it up if you don't have it.
Reading list updated.

Now, now, Terra in the 22nd century isn't under-developed, they just haven't caught up with the 23rd century yet.
For that matter, the 22nd. In "Affliction" we learn that Klingon cities are protected by their own forcefields that are capable of at least temporarily holding off an orbital bombardment. Andorian and Vulcan ships both have deflector shields, and the Syrannite rebels on Vulcan even have some advanced holographic technology (for that matter, Surak's lost scripture turns out to be an ancient holographic projector, indicating that the Vulcans have had holographics -- and probably shield technology -- for at least a couple of centuries). In this sense, 22nd century Earth is the equivalent of Japan during the Meiji Restoration: on a crash course for modernization, building new ships and new institutions, but it'll be a few more years before they achieve indoor plumbing.

And what about FLORIDA?
It's ALREADY kind of a backwater. The Xindi basically had a choice between Afghanistan, Florida and the Moon; they decided to hit the one people were least likely to notice.

When you have a surface arsenal ship, you can have a lot more than 150 tomahawks, SM3s, etc. Maybe no SEAL team, but when you've got AEGIS and several times your tincan's own firepower on call, who needs SEALs? Your VBSS team can comb the wreckage just as well.
You were talking about "broadly useful" ships, yes? An Arsenal Ship is just a floating missile silo with a giant "kick me" sign painted on the keel. It's the perfect weapon system when a bunch of Cambodian rice farmers get uppity and lynch the foreman at the local Tropicana factory.

An SSGN is broadly useful in the sense of military power, not just gunboat diplomacy. It can torpedo your fleet, bomb your capital, put 12 heavily armed daredevils on the shore and kidnap your president. Kinda like Starfleet, come to think of it.

Carriers aren't going away, and subs aren't going to become the queens of naval warfare.
Yeah, they used to say the same thing about battleships... until 1942.

But we are probably going to have to jigger the formula a bit, which, to bring it back to Trek a bit, is something to work out for fleets. A lot of fans want to see Space Control Ships demonstrate the bad-assery of a carrier over a dreadnought, while other fans dismiss carriers in Trek as a joke.
That's mainly because with the tech level of Star Trek -- and the nature of space warfare in general -- FIGHTERS are a joke. A small craft can cause a lot of damage against a large unprotected warship or an unprotected urban target, but in Star Trek there's no such thing; your shields can hold off scores of torpedo hits and any phaser weapon powerful enough to damage a starship is better off being mounted on another starship. There's also the fact that WHOLE SHIPS can act in the fighter craft role more efficiently than small one-man craft; Defiant and Bird of Prey are good proofs of this concept.

Can't agree entirely. Carriers are the diplomatic big stick of power projection
"Power projection" is the militaristic fantasy that you can prevent foreign powers from threatening your interests purely through intimidating tactics. It's the same school of thought that produced the phrase "shock and awe," the same kinds of people who say things like "What kind of message does this send to our enemies overseas?"

The Big Stick is a tool of VIOLENCE, not intimidation. You negotiate in good faith and seek a peaceful solution; the stick is the implement you use when negotiations fail. Parking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier off your rival's coastal waters is an example of "speak loudly" and is especially counter-productive since those kinds of grand gestures rarely send the message they're intended to send.

subs aren't visible enough to make the point...
The military's job is not to "make a point." The military's job is to defeat the enemy.

As you may have guessed from our earlier discussions, I have a basic philosophical aversion to mission creep, which is part of the reason I don't think Starfleet works as a "play it straight" space navy.
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