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Old August 8 2013, 05:05 AM   #70
C.E. Evans
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

The Badger wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
A case can also be made that the Khitomer Accords never required Starfleet to reduce its forces at all.
Admiral Cartwright seemed to think they did.
Only in the sense of reducing Starfleet's presence along the Neutral Zone.

CARTWRIGHT: I must protest. To offer the Klingons a safe haven within Federation space is suicide. Klingons would become the alien trash of the galaxy. And if we dismantle the fleet [emphasis mine], we'd be defenceless before an aggressive species with a foothold on our territory. The opportunity here is to bring them to their knees. Then we'll be in a far better position to dictate terms.
Dismantling all of Starfleet simply because of détente with the Klingons? Nah, that's unrealistic and actually contradicts what the C-in-C just said about the rest of Starfleet not being effected. But reducing a fleet that was on permanent deployment along the Neutral Zone does fit the bill of what Cartwright said.

He's not the only one.

CHANG: Tell me, Captain Kirk, would you be willing to give up Starfleet?

SPOCK: I believe the Captain feels that Starfleet's mission has always been one of peace.

It's possible that Chang is referring to Kirk's imminent retirement, but then Spock's statement would be a complete non-sequiter.
Actually, what we can take from this is a Klingon general's belief that Starfleet (and Kirk) existed solely to fight Klingons and Spock stating that was not the case.
The dialogue in the film strongly indicates that Star Fleet is at least considering a reduction of it's military assets, and not just starbases near the Klingon border.
I think it just suggests a reduction of Starfleet forces along the Neutral Zone--which would fit all the dialogue in the film. But the idea that the Federation would agree to weaken itself completely to match the Klingon's suddenly weakened position not only doesn't make much sense, it also doesn't match what happens afterward.
Now I freely admit there is no proof that they did do this, nor that any specific ship type was affected, but in the absence of conflicting evidence it is as good an explanation as any as to the lack of Constitutions in later years
I think it's simply a case that the Federation and the Klingons just agreed to end their cold war and stop pointing their guns at one another. As far as the lack of Constitution-class ships in TNG, it's far easier to attest that to it just being a long out-of-production design from the previous century (not every design can last 100 years, IMO). We can even go with the idea that there are still some Constitution-class ships in the 24th-Century, but that they're deployed where our heroes aren't (being deployed somewhere else would also explain the lack of Ambassador-class ships after Wolf 359 and the absence of the Sovereign-class during the Dominion War).
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