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Old September 13 2013, 03:15 AM   #47
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Yesterday's Enterprise: How is the Federation Losing So Badly?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Your point is that these FEWER ships are better than the ones they replaced.

My point is that we have FEWER ships and thus not be able to absorb losses as well and it would be preferable to have MORE ships with the same better capabilities.
That's just it: we never before HAD this number of ships with the SAME CAPABILITIES. What we had before was group of about 25 Aegis ships, 30 post-terrier ships, 40 tartar ships, and an assload of Sitting Duck-class FFGs. We couldn't as easily absorb the loss of 5 Aegis ships because the Tartars didn't provide anywhere close to the same capabilities; if by some fluke of naval power projection we lost ALL 25 of the Aegis boats we'd have to make due with the Perry's and tartars.

Presently, we can loose 25 Aegis boats in a single nightmarish engagement and we'd still have 30 left that provide the same capability. Even in that horrific scenario, we could absorb the loss just fine, especially since we would be unlikely to suffer FURTHER losses that would be expected if the remainder of the fleet was a mix of tartars and Perry class FFGs.

How is that a buildup when maintaining the same number of ships?
Because the ships are getting steadily more powerful despite their numbers remaining steady. Put this another way: a country that starts its navy with ten combat vessels (all ten of them are motorboats with machineguns bolted to the deck) could be said to be "Building up" if it replaces those motorboats with fast attack craft, or fast attack craft with frigates, frigates with destroyers, destroyers etc.

One real example is the IDF, which actually has fewer ships in its navy now than it did in the 1960s, but the capabilities provided by those newer ships means their navy is actually MORE powerful than it was 40 years ago.

Aren't there certain countries taking their time to build up a stockpile of missiles that is forcing the US Navy to reconsider how close they can conduct wartime operations to their shores?
Yes, two countries are doing this: China, and Imaginationland. Neither of which are likely to declare war on us within the forseeable future.

In the same vein, Starfleet's military program that dealt with 70 years of unremitting Klingon hostility...
Was already piggybacked on its exploration program, as we saw demonstrated unequivocally in TOS.

There is no separate military program for fighting the Klingons, only specific expenditures directly related to the Klingons. That, specifically, is the neutral zone outposts, and even then it wouldn't affect all of them since some of them still serve a scientific purpose as well.

That's what breaks the parallel between Starfleet and the U.S. Navy. The Klingons aren't their only enemy, in fact they're not even their most powerful enemy; even if they were, "hostilities with the Klingons" is NOT their main fleet priority and arguably never was.

What shred of evidence do you have 95% of Starfleet is composed of science and exploration?
Because in almost 50 years of Trek canon, of the literally hundreds of starships we have seen mentioned by name, of the dozens of ships and crews and space stations we have come to be familiar with through the interactions of their crew and dialog references to them, we have only seen three vessels that were NOT equipped for science and exploration, and all three of them (The Defiant, the Valiant and the Sao Paulo) were the same class of vessel. Significantly, the Defiant class starship was almost scrapped before it even entered service since the existential threat it was made to respond to -- the Borg threat -- ceased to be an emergency. This directly parallels your "military program is drawn down" theory, since it indicates that Starfleet DOES decommission purely military hardware whenever it finds said hardware is no longer necessary.

Yet from what we have seen, the majority of Starfleet isn't designed for purely military missions. The most powerful ships in the fleet are deep space exploration vessels carrying enough armament to smack down their toughest Klingon counterparts. Barely a year after the Khitomer accords, we have the Enterprise-B entering service for the first time; half a century later, Enterprise-C is powerful enough that even its failed performance at Narendra-III is pretty damn impressive even to the Klingons.

"Our scientific and exploration programs" in this context means MOST OF THE FLEET. You can speculate all you want about a hidden armada of purely military vessels with no scientific equipment on board (The Dreadnaut? The Akyazi class? USS Vengeance?) but since the existence of that hidden fleet remains speculation, its decommissioning remains thoroughly irrelevant since the REST of the fleet -- the Starfleet we are presently familiar with -- would remain intact either way.

As to the Klingons being a minor blip - going to war with them in "Errand of Mercy" looked like a major blip.
Despite the obvious sarcasm in that's statement, that could very well be the case. Especially if the entire context of that war was a Klingon military campaign specifically aimed at the annexation of Sherman's Planet.
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