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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old August 24 2012, 06:58 PM   #1
Tomalak
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Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Aside from divine intervention on the part of the Prophets, what made Starfleet decide Ben Sisko was the best choice for the difficult mission to Bajor?

He doesn't appear to have any experience in diplomacy. As far as I know, he was a starship bridge officer, and then went into designing weapons and ships after Wolf 359.

The Bajor posting required someone who could balance the vying factions and rebuild a world shattered by decades of occupation, oppression, malnutrition and barbarism, and prepare them for Federation membership. It also needed someone capable of handling the Cardassians.

Now obviously in retrospect they made the right choice. But if the wormhole had been known prior to his appointment, would a more senior, more experienced officer have been assigned instead? Was Sisko given a helping hand by a friend at Starfleet Command?
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Old August 24 2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Yes, I think it was implied that Admiral Leyton recommended (or perhaps ordered) Sisko to take command of DS9. He was close to resigning and needed a kick in the pants to keep his career moving forward.

And he had command experience, having been an executive officer on at least two starships. Having worked with Ambassador Curzon Dax might have suggested Sisko had some diplomatic experience, too, at least in his early career.
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Old August 24 2012, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Tomalak wrote: View Post
Aside from divine intervention on the part of the Prophets, what made Starfleet decide Ben Sisko was the best choice for the difficult mission to Bajor?

He doesn't appear to have any experience in diplomacy. As far as I know, he was a starship bridge officer, and then went into designing weapons and ships after Wolf 359.

The Bajor posting required someone who could balance the vying factions and rebuild a world shattered by decades of occupation, oppression, malnutrition and barbarism, and prepare them for Federation membership. It also needed someone capable of handling the Cardassians.

Now obviously in retrospect they made the right choice. But if the wormhole had been known prior to his appointment, would a more senior, more experienced officer have been assigned instead? Was Sisko given a helping hand by a friend at Starfleet Command?
Yeah, I agree. The magnitude of what the position entailed even before the discovery of the wormhole seemed to warrant more than a CDR who seemed halfway interested in his career to say the least. I would think a seasoned Captain, hell maybe even an Admiral would be required for something like that. I'm sure Bajor was thrilled.
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Old August 24 2012, 11:40 PM   #4
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Tomalak wrote: View Post
He doesn't appear to have any experience in diplomacy.
He did hang out with Curzon a lot...
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Old August 24 2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Yes, I think it was implied that Admiral Leyton recommended (or perhaps ordered) Sisko to take command of DS9. He was close to resigning and needed a kick in the pants to keep his career moving forward.

And he had command experience, having been an executive officer on at least two starships. Having worked with Ambassador Curzon Dax might have suggested Sisko had some diplomatic experience, too, at least in his early career.
I agree with this, and they also needed someone who could be tough because he wasn't dealing with the friendliest and easiest of race relations there. There's also the fact that it was a post that nobody wanted, so it seemed like it was dumped on him. I don't think the Federation expected much success seeing as the station was almost dead when he arrived anyway. I think the only thing the Federation really cared about at that point was the wormhole. I'm sure they had their sympathies for the Bajorans, but I don't think it was a main concern since they weren't a part of the Federation. I always saw it as Sisko and crew taking a situation that could have easily failed (maybe it was supposed to?) and instead they made it the place to be. Weren't Odo and Kira initially not convinced that Sisko was really there to help and that the Fed would be there for the long haul?
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Old August 25 2012, 12:00 AM   #6
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
Yes, I think it was implied that Admiral Leyton recommended (or perhaps ordered) Sisko to take command of DS9. He was close to resigning and needed a kick in the pants to keep his career moving forward.

And he had command experience, having been an executive officer on at least two starships. Having worked with Ambassador Curzon Dax might have suggested Sisko had some diplomatic experience, too, at least in his early career.
I agree with this, and they also needed someone who could be tough because he wasn't dealing with the friendliest and easiest of race relations there. There's also the fact that it was a post that nobody wanted, so it seemed like it was dumped on him. I don't think the Federation expected much success seeing as the station was almost dead when he arrived anyway. I think the only thing the Federation really cared about at that point was the wormhole. I'm sure they had their sympathies for the Bajorans, but I don't think it was a main concern since they weren't a part of the Federation. I always saw it as Sisko and crew taking a situation that could have easily failed (maybe it was supposed to?) and instead they made it the place to be. Weren't Odo and Kira initially not convinced that Sisko was really there to help and that the Fed would be there for the long haul?
All good points except that they didn't know of the wormhole when they assigned him the job. They discovered it about halfway through the episode.
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Old August 25 2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

What was the original mission for Sisko and what was the original purpose of retaining Terok Nor? We know that the Cardassians used the station for ore processing, but Starfleet wasn't going to use it for that. So, before moving it to the wormhole, what was the plan for the station? Why keep Starfleet personnel up there?

Bajor did look to be a backwater location; it probably didn't rate anyone higher than a commander. Or maybe the commander was meant to get the station operational before an admiral showed up to take over (though that never happened, maybe for political reasons).
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Old August 25 2012, 12:15 AM   #8
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Picard, on paper, was a perfect person for that job, but of course he already had job as captain of the Enterprise
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Old August 25 2012, 12:20 AM   #9
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
So, before moving it to the wormhole, what was the plan for the station? Why keep Starfleet personnel up there?
A nice little station near the Cardassian border had its strategic merits for sure even before the discovery of the wormhole.
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Old August 25 2012, 01:26 AM   #10
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

would have been intresting to see riker being offered the job and turning it down
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Old August 25 2012, 01:36 AM   #11
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

I always had the idea that until the wormhole was discovered that the Bajoran posting was considered a backwater because

1) Bajor was not a Federation member world.

2) Bajor was poor and damaged from the long Cardassian occupation.

3) The Cardassians had withdrawn and redeployed most of their military forces elsewhere.
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Old August 25 2012, 01:39 AM   #12
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Pavonis wrote: View Post
What was the original mission for Sisko and what was the original purpose of retaining Terok Nor? We know that the Cardassians used the station for ore processing, but Starfleet wasn't going to use it for that. So, before moving it to the wormhole, what was the plan for the station? Why keep Starfleet personnel up there?

Bajor did look to be a backwater location; it probably didn't rate anyone higher than a commander. Or maybe the commander was meant to get the station operational before an admiral showed up to take over (though that never happened, maybe for political reasons).
As I understand they were simply to provide a presence or deterrent to the Cardassians while the Bajorans rebuilt their world. Also maintaining diplomatic ties to the Bajorans in hopes of eventual Federation membership. Someone else also mentioned that it was a great way to maintain a facility close to Cardassian territory.
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Old August 25 2012, 03:43 AM   #13
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Use of Time wrote: View Post
Spock/Uhura Fan wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
Yes, I think it was implied that Admiral Leyton recommended (or perhaps ordered) Sisko to take command of DS9. He was close to resigning and needed a kick in the pants to keep his career moving forward.

And he had command experience, having been an executive officer on at least two starships. Having worked with Ambassador Curzon Dax might have suggested Sisko had some diplomatic experience, too, at least in his early career.
I agree with this, and they also needed someone who could be tough because he wasn't dealing with the friendliest and easiest of race relations there. There's also the fact that it was a post that nobody wanted, so it seemed like it was dumped on him. I don't think the Federation expected much success seeing as the station was almost dead when he arrived anyway. I think the only thing the Federation really cared about at that point was the wormhole. I'm sure they had their sympathies for the Bajorans, but I don't think it was a main concern since they weren't a part of the Federation. I always saw it as Sisko and crew taking a situation that could have easily failed (maybe it was supposed to?) and instead they made it the place to be. Weren't Odo and Kira initially not convinced that Sisko was really there to help and that the Fed would be there for the long haul?
All good points except that they didn't know of the wormhole when they assigned him the job. They discovered it about halfway through the episode.
Thanks. It's been a while since I saw the opener for the series so I forgot about that. It makes sense though. I doubt the Cardassians would have left if the wormhole were open.
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Old August 25 2012, 06:49 AM   #14
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

As previously mentioned, Leyton claimed that he had moved things behind the scenes in those two episodes he was in. Really, Sisko seemed to be on the proverbial backburner. He had already served as an Xo on at least two different ships, then after Wolf 359 seemed to be wasting away with the Defiant project.

While not ready for a ship of his own, seemingly disgruntled in Starfleet, what else are you going to do with him? Telling him to be XO on a 3rd ship would just be a blantant "you're not ready to command" and probably run him out of Starfleet for good. Leaving him in R&D would probably be a waste of all the command, tactical and leadership training they had to have given him. So sending him to a small, obscure outpost to command, which was what Bajor was given there were maybe a 100 Starfleet personel there and the rest were Bajorians, was pretty much all they could do with him.
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Old August 25 2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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Re: Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

what made Starfleet decide Ben Sisko was the best choice for the difficult mission to Bajor?
We don't really know Starfleet made such a decision. It might be that there was no particular incentive to choose the best; rather, somebody who wasn't useful in any other task (as Sisko's therapist after Wolf 359 would unprofessionally but practically squeal to the Commander's superiors) could be dumped there.

The assignment to manage the station for Bajor may have been intended to be relatively short. Get in, wait for Bajor to regain its industrial base and self-confidence, have them kick Starfleet out and shout curses after the departing runabouts, and begone. No hope of Bajoran membership, ever, considering how hostile the locals were - and good riddance to the worthless planet anyway.

Without the appearance of the wormhole and the involvement of the Prophets, Sisko's assignment would probably have ended in something like the Circle Trilogy anyway, barely a year into the mission. Cardassians would probably have been secretly or openly manipulating things even without the added incentive of the wormhole, and Bajor would soon have fallen into their sphere of influence again. And Starfleet could have calculated that sending good and competent people there would be a waste of material.

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