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Old October 15 2012, 11:39 PM   #16
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Power of the Federation

EmperorTiberius wrote: View Post
They were a superpower in TOS as Daniel indicated, and I think they were a superpower in TNG and DS9 all the way until the end of the war, where they'll need 10 years to get their fleet back on par. Think about what they went through in less than 7 years:
In DS9 it pretty much said that while the Klingons were winning against the federation during their brief war at first that it was only a matter of time until they got their heads together and kicked the Klingon's asses, plus I believe it was said that the Klingons were contained.

Then you see All Good Things, and Klingons conquered Romulans. Even though it's just an illusion by Q, I don't think he pulled it out of his bum, he must have based it in reality.
Yes, but that leaves them with more territory to protect and possibly fewer ships since I figure taking down the Romulan Empire would be pretty costly. So the Federation might have had an advantage on them.
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Old October 17 2012, 06:52 PM   #17
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Re: Power of the Federation

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
In DS9 it pretty much said that while the Klingons were winning against the federation during their brief war at first that it was only a matter of time until they got their heads together and kicked the Klingon's asses, plus I believe it was said that the Klingons were contained.
In one episode, Worf outright says to his brother that the Empire has no chance of winning a war against the Federation. The whole theme of the Klingon arc through TNG and DS9 has been of an empire in decline, an empire dying from within due to corruption and rigid traditionalism. They were on par with the Federation during TOS but the strain of the cold war with the Feds eventually caused them to start crumbling and then the Praxis incident forced them to outright seek help from the Federation and eventually enter into an alliance with it. Their situation seems to have improved by the time of TNG but I don't think they can still be at the same strength as the Federation which has enjoyed near continuous expansion and progress for two centuries.

As for the Romulans, during TOS they always seemed like a power that was substantial but weaker than the top two powers (I think people often compare them to China, like they compare the Federation to the USA and the Klingons to the Soviets). Seeing how they entered a long period of isolation before TNG, I don't think they really expanded their power too much by the TNG times. They probably matched the Klingons, though.

I think the cloaking device is an important factor in my impression that the Federation is a stronger power than the Klingons and Romulans. I think the only way the Federation would be comfortable with not having cloak while its enemies and uneasy allies have it is if it knew it could nulify that advantage through sheer strength and numbers. And inversely, if the Romulans or the Klingons were as strong as the Federation while also having the cloak, they would have steamrolled the Federation a long time ago. All IMO, of course.
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Old October 18 2012, 01:45 AM   #18
timmy84
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Re: Power of the Federation

One problem I've always had is that the Federation is suppose to consist of 150 member worlds (at the moment I'm running on the assumption that these are 150 different aliens). This always made me wonder how then a single alien empire can even match the power of the Federation. Even if we assume that the Federation has 20 billion human citizens and the Romulans and Klingons have similar populations, what about the billions of Vulcans, Androians, or Tellarites. The combined power of four worlds can't stand up against the Romulans or Klingons?

Enterprise helped clear that up a bit (by making Earth, Andoria, Vulcan, and Tellar minor powers), its still obvious that when we reach the 24th century that the Federation is a super power (if not the super power of that region of space). At least technologically and economically.

The Federation seems very dedicated to peaceful pursuits, and just may not have the stomach for large scale war. Even when we get to the Dominion War the Federation has developed a policy of rotating ground forces off the front after only 3 months (while for example with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan today, rotation is a year. And World War 2 was the duration, with some people being in war for years). This policy is obviously not shared with the other major powers, with each power having dedicated military forces while the Federation has elements of Starfleet fully dedicated to military pursuits.

The thing I always wanted expanded on in the show, and I don't even feel the books have done a decent job of that either, are the "members" of the Romulans and Klingon empires. It was sorta referenced with the Cardassians (I find it hard to believe that Bajor is the only planet they ever conquered). Obviously these planets aren't partners like within the Federation, but a single species cannot muster the resources to take on the combined resources of 150 worlds. Even if the Romulans controlled 150 worlds, spreading even 50 billion Romulans still wouldn't match up to the populations of 150 individually growing alien species.

But then again this is a TV show. We are suppose to believe that a plasma torpedo fired at the Enterprise can accelerate to Warp 8 and not have hit the Enterprise instantly after being fired.

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Old October 18 2012, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: Power of the Federation

Even when we get to the Dominion War the Federation has developed a policy of rotating ground forces off the front after only 3 months (while for example with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan today, rotation is a year. And World War 2 was the duration, with some people being in war for years).
Hmm, DS9 AFAIK speaks of rotation from the actual fighting in front lines. Which in WWII might have been in the order of two weeks or so on the average, three months being quite an exception... Doesn't mean these folks would have gone back home; they'd just become fighting reserves instead of fighting frontline units.

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Old October 18 2012, 02:29 PM   #20
Hando
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Re: Power of the Federation

The problem with the size of Starfleet is that it roughly equivalent to the other major Alpha quadrant powers. UFP herself is responsible, if the Starfleet were to have the same ship per sector ratio as other powers it would have ?4-5 as many ships as the other powers. A military buildup of that size would provoke the other powers and could lead to war.

Another thing is that from my point of view all the powers are using pre-WWI military policy. Only/mostly using professional armies, that means there is no draft, the standard of living doesn't change until you are conquered ...

On the Cloaking device:
It is an advantage to have one, but it also brings disadvantages. I think that when at Warp under Cloak, the faster the speed the higher the emissions the higher is the chance the ship is detected. On the other hand the lower the speed the longer it takes to get somewhere and you can get detected. Also if a lot ships travel under cloak - of course someone would investigate all those anomalies.
This ought to be possible only if you know how a Cloaking device works - which UFP does, they obtained one and even built one superior to the Romulan one - and have good sensors.

This explains why the Klingons were able to conquer Cardassia - Bajor and Cardassia are neighbors and the Cardassians don't have as good sensors as UFP.
Klingons conquering Romulans could be explained in a similar way, after all no one Romulus detected a cloaked Klingon bird-of-prey.

Also imagine if during a battle more ships were to use the Cloaking device, the chance that two friendly cloaked ships were to collide would increase and what about a cloaked fleet travelling, a small drift and the formation is lost.
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Old October 22 2012, 12:18 AM   #21
Xerxes1979
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Re: Power of the Federation

Romulans are necessarily weak(in numbers not technology) given the apparent small size of the Romulan Empire.

Romulus is visible on the star map in Balance of Terror and apparently also on the floor picture of the Senate in Nemesis.

Logically space travel would tend radiate outward from central point yet Romulus is fairly close to Federation space and Vulcan particularly.

Its possible that a vast swath of terriority has never been explained which lies in the direction of the Delta quadrant, but if that is the case I don't know which route all those El Aurian refugees took fleeing the borg.

Throw in other variables like long lifespan and presumably low Vulcan like rates of fertility and you have hard limits on how much space Romulus could have settled.

Also the top of the line 24th century Warbirds ran quite a bit slower than Federation starships so I doubt the Empire grew at a faster rate than the overall Federation from the Earth-Romulan war until "The Neutral Zone".
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Old October 22 2012, 02:25 AM   #22
Nightdiamond
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Re: Power of the Federation

Yet for some reason, the Romulans are definitely considered a threat by the Federation in TNG.

They feared going to war with the Romulans.

From the star charts I've seen, the Federation doesn't exactly dwarf the Romulan Empire, but is just a bit larger. (I don't know if these charts can be considered canon, though.

I don't think the idea is too strange, since history has examples of smaller sized powers conquering and defeating other powers with larger territories.
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Old October 22 2012, 02:47 AM   #23
Dream
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Re: Power of the Federation

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
From the star charts I've seen, the Federation doesn't exactly dwarf the Romulan Empire, but is just a bit larger. (I don't know if these charts can be considered canon, though.
I get a sense that by the time of TNG, most Federation member planets are a bunch of freeloaders. It's the humans that do most of the work.

They don't really start building warships until they realize how dangerous the Borg and Dominion are.
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Old October 22 2012, 02:48 AM   #24
Knight Templar
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Re: Power of the Federation

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Yet for some reason, the Romulans are definitely considered a threat by the Federation in TNG.

They feared going to war with the Romulans.

.
Not really.

In "The Defector"

Admiral Haden speaking over subspace to Captain Picard regarding the Romulans.

"No one wants a war. But we are prepared to take them on."
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Old October 22 2012, 04:08 AM   #25
Nightdiamond
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Re: Power of the Federation

Dream wrote: View Post
I get a sense that by the time of TNG, most Federation member planets are a bunch of freeloaders. It's the humans that do most of the work.

They don't really start building warships until they realize how dangerous the Borg and Dominion are.
That was one of my impressions-- that the Federation may be a little bloated. A lot of member planets that barely believe in building weapons or ships.

Betazed having obsolete planetary defenses in "In the Pale Moonlight" comes to mind.

Not to knock how strong the Federation is, but it is a possibility.

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Yet for some reason, the Romulans are definitely considered a threat by the Federation in TNG.

They feared going to war with the Romulans.

.
Not really. In "The Defector" Admiral Haden speaking over subspace to Captain Picard regarding the Romulans.

"No one wants a war. But we are prepared to take them on."
The sense I've gotten from various TNG episodes suggested the Federation worried about going to war with the Romulans. Especially the second and third seasons.

One is signing the treaty of Algeron to avoid further war;

PRESSMAN: That treaty has bound our hands and given the Romulans a tactical advantage for sixty years. I was
simply trying to level the playing field.
Picard: "Is it a Romulan plot?" "Is it a ploy to start a war?"
Quotes like that suggests that the Romulans were the super villains of TNG, besides the Borg.

Another example. the Cardassians were considered a minor power (depending on who you ask) but the same admiral later says: "the Federation is not prepared for a new sustained conflict" --with the Cardassians.


Sometimes I think how threatening an enemy is, depends on who's writing the script (and the series).
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Old October 22 2012, 05:06 AM   #26
Xerxes1979
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Re: Power of the Federation

The Federation has the potential to be an unrivalled military juggernaught.

The fact they the seldom or never devote themselves to total warfare just speaks to the ideals to which the Federation adheres.

The Romulans are infact deadly adversies as any level of instellar war would result in the very least thousands of casaulties as was alluded to in the Defector.

The Federation even views the conflict with the Tamarians as a great tradegy though I am sure that race is incapable of threatening the Federation in any serious strategic way.

The Dominion was a joke. The female changling thought the shipyards of a bottled up Cardassia Prime would bleed the Federation dry?

Automated shipyards are not beyond Federation technology. Instead of one system those ships could be produced in hundreds simulateously. The ships don't even need to be crewed. Was the Dominion going to prevail against 30,000 Mirandas controlled by M5 or better AI?
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Old October 22 2012, 11:30 AM   #27
Deks
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Re: Power of the Federation

Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
Automated shipyards are not beyond Federation technology. Instead of one system those ships could be produced in hundreds simultaneously. The ships don't even need to be crewed. Was the Dominion going to prevail against 30,000 Mirandas controlled by M5 or better AI?
Tell that to the morons who made Ds9 in the first place.
Have you seen the amount of technology that was dumbed down for the sake of drama?
Just how much they had to make the Federation 'underpowered' for the Dominion to be able to challenge them in the first place.

I'm hardly saying the Federation is 'all powerful' but we never saw its fullest technological prowess at play (in most cases, it was dumbed down), and the writers were too dumb to present it properly given the difficulty they had to even imagine such a world (even though OURS is relatively close to Trek in numerous respects when it comes to technology alone - numerous people in real life [writers included] aren't even aware of what our real technological potential was decades ago, let alone today).
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Old October 22 2012, 12:46 PM   #28
Timo
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Re: Power of the Federation

Romulans are necessarily weak(in numbers not technology) given the apparent small size of the Romulan Empire.
North Korea is puny. Yet it offers a deadly threat far exceeding that of larger and better equipped powers because it is extremely proximal to the most vulnerable parts of South Korea, and has made the necessary preparations for an attack that calls for no further buildup, troop movements or other warning signs.

Similarly, the Romulan Star Empire might be dangerous exactly because it is small, and therefore has its hard core of power bordering right on the Federation, rather than somewhere in the distant depths of a vast reign. And because it's an ancient but unyielding foe, this hard core happens to rest against what used to be the outer border of a very small initial Federation - that is, right against the UFP equivalent of Seoul.

The female changeling thought the shipyards of a bottled up Cardassia Prime would bleed the Federation dry?
She appeared to be correct. The Dominion beachhead force had suffered strategic defeat after strategic defeat when it came to ship resources: yet another major shipyards destroyed basically every season, key reinforcements lost in the wormhole, further reinforcements cut off for good. And the force had started the fight with a fairly limited number of ships, a number that Starfleet had been able to count pretty exactly when it moved past them from the wormhole to Cardassia - and this initial force had been far from overwhelming, as we necessarily saw a lion's share of it deployed against DS9 in "Call to Arms" and it didn't amount to much. Despite all this, Dominion numerical superiority was the one quoted thing threatening to bring the Alpha Axis to its knees. Clearly, the beachhead force had truly astounding shipbuilding capabilities, amounting to a deadly superweapon comparable to the A-bomb in WWII (perhaps in the shipbuilding's favor).

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Old October 22 2012, 01:22 PM   #29
Deks
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Re: Power of the Federation

Dominions shipbuilding capabilities lied predominantly in automation.
The Federation had this kind of technology for a long time - its not our problem the writers progressively made the Feds stupid as times went on and showed automation and proper use of advanced technology in only a fraction of things (which was mostly a reflection of our real-life abilities taken to practical level).
It was also mentioned that the Federation WAS able to match the Dominion in ship-building just barely.

However, we essentially got an impression that humanoids would be working as much as they do today - which was completely idiotic given the level of technology that WE have to automate just over 75% of jobs today, let alone the Federation which is supposed to be some 370 years ahead of us and doesn't use money at all.

The Dominion however had a distinct advantage in pumping out armies of clones.
Mind you, the Feds have the same capabilities (mostly), but they just don't opt to using them due to their ways of thinking (and the Feds aren't war oriented).

Alternatively, wars of this scale would probably be fought with fully automated ships (and remotely controlled) ships.

One little mishap that happened in the past would hardly stop the Feds from pursuing the technology (only in a bit more cautious capacity).
What we saw was basically: 1 issue that unfortunately resulted in deaths, and the whole project gets scrapped.
If anything the M5 computer was a viable project that should have been pursued even more after the accident, learning from it.
However, scifi writers also apparently have this insatiable and idiotic (not to mention groundless) desire to create ridiculous circumstances where technology is always somehow bound to 'turn against its creators' (which is utter stupidity).
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Old October 22 2012, 01:52 PM   #30
Timo
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Re: Power of the Federation

One little mishap that happened in the past would hardly stop the Feds from pursuing the technology
There might be deeply rooted moral objections, though. I mean, it makes no sense that neither Hitler nor Churchill used massive amounts of poison gas in the aerial bombing of civilian centers of population in WWII. The aim was to terrorize: poisoning would have been an excellent means, and might have been considered the most humane approach imaginable as it would have stood the best chance of shortening the war and minimizing casualties. But poison gas, while stockpiled, was never used that way. And biological weapons were held back in even more curious circumstances: the various long-shot ideas of the Japanese on turning the tide of the Pacific War would have benefited from a terror warhead, but none of the exotic delivery systems, real or projected (balloons, submarine-based aircraft, infiltrators in minisubs or boats), ever received this sort of payload, apparently even on paper.

If the great villains of mankind shirk away from potent weapons in times of desperation, we can hardly assume the Feds would calmly wield the possible futuristic equivalents just because humans are about to go extinct.

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