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Old July 29 2013, 10:07 PM   #118
Location: This dry land thing is too wierd!
Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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.
I have to wonder how someone gets that high without realizing that his military rank and responsibility means he is, ipso facto, a military officer.
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.
What other services? UESPA was only mentioned ina few TOS eps, and nothing else really comes to mind in TNG.

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.
Personally, I find it easier to just assume they're all Starfleet, and let it go at that. But remember in TOS gold shirts were command, so in your scheme, that's still putting the military in charge. And TNG just swapped red & gold to try (and fail) at eliminating the "red-shirt meme".

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.
Eh, just more of the continuity issues with ENT/TOS. Kirk didn't have a holodeck, and this would indicate he should have. Much easier to assume ENT leads to nu-Trek, and not to TOS.
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.
Really? Nobody's gonna notice all the snowbirds going up in smoke and a canal where the retirement home used to be?

QUOTE]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.[/QUOTE]Back to the digression: You can't reload VLS at sea. It's one thing to pull into a harbor with a crane on a barge in Japan, Guam, or Hawaii; it's another to try that in Yemen. An arsenal ship means less need for reloads while on deployment, and can also take over plane guard from the shooters, which frees them up a bit more to do more important things than ride shotgun during flight ops. The Tropicana issue is the purview of the CIA, not the navy; we reserve tomahawks for presidents needing a media distrction from the latest intern scandal

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.
Starfleet doesn't like to kidnap or assassinate; that's stepping on Section 31's toes. An SSGN can't conduct freedom of navigation ops, doesn't handle VBSS well, and isn't going to be able to stop Somali pirates. And who needs 12 daredevils when we can drop off a company of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children? Or drop them in addition to your daredevils? Hell, we did that on an AE in 96 - one transit from Bahrain to Iraq where the bridge & CIC watches were all manned by khakis, but of course, "nothing happened"...

Yeah, they used to say the same thing about battleships... until 1942.
Yeah, well, Billy Mitchell showed them battleships weren't top dog anymore, they didn't listen til the Japanese sank their BBs. I still can't see subs taking that slot. Now, if the carrier/sub/battleships in MWB's "Strangers from the Sky" ever get built, then maybe subs can take more prominence. But right now, if we can find a sub, it's sunk - even if it's airedales off that carrier. A surface ship has better chances to stay afloat.

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.
Your philosophy, not mine. Nothing in canon demonstrates unequivocally that fighters are useless - in fact they did show that they existed they just never used them because it'd be hard to handle the special effects. Up until TMP, shields always had gaps. Not enough for other capital ships to take advantage of, but fighters could slide through, much as star wars showed vis-a-vis the Death Star. TMP showed shields and forcefields. TNG showed "shields" but they appeared continuous, like the forcefield. And yet the Scimitar was shown carrying fightercraft, the Akira was referred to as carrying fighters, and the Maquis used old Starfleet fightercraft. So even without the gaps, fighters still had some utility. A 1- or 2-man fighter costs less, and causes less casualty if lost in combat than a Defiant or BoP. They're smaller and harder to see when doing recon (except for BoP w/ cloak). And a swarm of fighters can overwhelm a larger ship, as seen when the Jem'Hadar took out the Odyssey.

"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?"
I do not agree. Power projection is reminding them we're here; better behave. When N. Korea launched a missile in 98/99, and declared a 200-nautical-mile economic easement zone that nobody was allowed in, Japan and S. Korea were sweating; they couldn't afford to lose the money sailing around it would entail, and they couldn't force the issue. We sailed 12.5 miles off the coast of N. Korea for awhile, and they quietly stopped trying to enforce that zone. Little things like that keep the peace without "shock & awe". That latter is taking the previous ideas and putting a media blitz zpin on them, abusing the doctrine horribly for the sake of kewl internet videos.

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.
Carrying the stick is power projection. USING the stick means speaking softly didn't work, pointing out the stick didn't work, now you have to fight.

]The military's job is not to "make a point." The military's job is to defeat the enemy.
First, intimidate them enough to avoid having to fight, but if that doesn't work, then beat the holy hell out of them.

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.
Mission creep always happens in a bureacracy.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
It's the same school of thought that produced the phrase "shock and awe,"
It's also the same school of thought that produced the phrase "mutual assured destruction," which historically worked.
From our end, yes. The thing most people don't get is that the Russians never actually held to that philosophy and their interpretation was better explained as "If somebody tries to nuke you, nuke em right back!" Historically they had a much more cavalier attitude about nuclear war than their western counterparts, primarily because they assumed (possibly correctly) that a nuclear holocaust, as much as it would suck, would NOT actually be the end of the world and most of their war plans had to do with how they would recover -- and win -- after the exchange.
And yet, they never actually tested MAD.

The military's job is not to "make a point." The military's job is to defeat the enemy.
In part, but it's also the military's job to make potential enemies think (more than) twice before attacking.
If you're being threatened by the kind of people who aren't aware of the existence of submarines -- or the fact that you have a shitload of them, or the fact that your military can suddenly appear out of fucking nowhere without any warning whatsoever -- they are probably NOT the kinds of people who are smart enough to comprehend the strategic implications of aircraft carriers.
Oh, state actors do think about having carriers parked offshore - kind of why Taiwan is still Taiwan.

OTOH, if you have the kinds of enemies who don't give a shit about aircraft carriers (which we presently do) "make them think twice" isn't exactly a helpful strategy.
Subs are even less use against terrorists and other assymetrical warfare than carriers are.
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