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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 27 2012, 05:35 PM   #1
indolover
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The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Why does the Federation have such a pussy foreign policy?

Though for some weird reason, the line "a treaty signed in good faith!" always creases me up.
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Old December 27 2012, 06:04 PM   #2
jimbotron
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Star Trek III screwed things. The original idea for the heavies was Romulans with their Romulan Bird of Prey. But then, they changed it to Klingons, but kept the BOP concept and the cloaking device.

In TOS, the Romulans were nothing special until they got cloaking technology, which tipped the scales in battle. To prevent their technology from falling into enemy hands, they self-destructed their ships. But now that Klingons have the cloaking device, it hardly makes sense anymore. Also - where's the honor in tricking your enemy and hiding?

It's one of those things you just have to handwave. After all, if cloaking technology is everywhere, why doesn't everyone use it? Sure, the Federation signed this "treaty", but how come the Cardassians, Dominion, or Borg don't use it?
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Old December 27 2012, 07:10 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

indolover wrote: View Post
Why does the Federation have such a pussy foreign policy?
Presumably because the Federation got something from the Romulans in exchange for agreeing not to develop or use cloaks, something worth more to them than cloaking technology.
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Old December 27 2012, 09:51 PM   #4
BillJ
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

jimbotron wrote: View Post
Star Trek III screwed things. The original idea for the heavies was Romulans with their Romulan Bird of Prey. But then, they changed it to Klingons, but kept the BOP concept and the cloaking device.

In TOS, the Romulans were nothing special until they got cloaking technology, which tipped the scales in battle. To prevent their technology from falling into enemy hands, they self-destructed their ships. But now that Klingons have the cloaking device, it hardly makes sense anymore. Also - where's the honor in tricking your enemy and hiding?

It's one of those things you just have to handwave. After all, if cloaking technology is everywhere, why doesn't everyone use it? Sure, the Federation signed this "treaty", but how come the Cardassians, Dominion, or Borg don't use it?
1) The Romulans had cloaking technology from the first episode of TOS onward and evidently they gave the Earthmen a run for their money during the war.

2) The Federation does have cloaking technology. We saw both cloaking suits and the cloaked holo-ship in Star Trek: Insurrection.
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Old December 27 2012, 09:53 PM   #5
Dantheman
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

I always figured the power drain/consumption that a cloaking device would take up on a ships' systems made Starfleet realize it wasn't worth it, so they were always like "to heck with it" and didn't pursue the matter, and when drawing up treaties with the Romulans, were like "Yeah, whatever".

It's a better explanation than Gene Roddenberry's "our guys don't go sneaking around", if you ask me.
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Old December 27 2012, 09:58 PM   #6
cbspock
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

The Federation just developed the technology to defeat the cloaking technology, that is why they stole one in Enterprise Incident. TNG got really weird with their metaphasic crap, so ships could pass through asteroids and sit near a sun.


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Old December 27 2012, 11:39 PM   #7
T'Girl
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

jimbotron wrote: View Post
where's the honor in tricking your enemy and hiding?
How is a cloaking device in the tiniest way dishonorable? It's the same as camouflage, ECM and crouching behind a rock. All very honorable tactics.


how come the ... Borg don't use it?
Because they never captured one intact. The Borg are (literally) stumbling boobs, who can't invent things, only assimilate.

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Old December 28 2012, 12:19 AM   #8
jimbotron
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

BillJ wrote: View Post
1) The Romulans had cloaking technology from the first episode of TOS onward and evidently they gave the Earthmen a run for their money during the war.
I understand that. My point was, cloaking technology was their competitive advantage. With other alien races having it, they're no longer special.

BillJ wrote: View Post
2) The Federation does have cloaking technology. We saw both cloaking suits and the cloaked holo-ship in Star Trek: Insurrection.
I'd like to think that movie never happened.
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Old December 28 2012, 12:42 AM   #9
BillJ
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

jimbotron wrote: View Post
I'd like to think that movie never happened.
As much as I love your thinking in regards to Insurrection, I hold tight to the mantra "if it happens on screen, it counts".
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Old December 28 2012, 02:36 AM   #10
T'Girl
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Presumably because the Federation got something from the Romulans in exchange for agreeing not to develop or use cloaks, something worth more to them than cloaking technology.
I see the Treaty of Algeron as something like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of the 189 parties to the treaty, only 5 of the parties "get" to have nukes.

The Romulans had some kind of advantage over the Federation at some point and slid the treaty under the Federation's nose to be signed. Did the Federation get anything at all in return, was there a package deal? We certainly never heard of anything.

The Federation's ability to penetrate the Romulan's cloak is hit and miss. In Unification, the Romulan warship trailing the troop transports was a complete surprise, even though the Enterprise was right on top of it.

Starfleet occasional couldn't detect the Romulans, the Romulans could always detect them.

And it isn't just a matter of the Federation and the Romulans, Starfleet is apparently not allowed to use a cloaking device in confrontation with anyone! The earlier protracted war with the Cardassian might have ended sooner, with fewer causalities on both side, and more advantageous for the Federation, if Starfleet had merely been permitted to employ a cloaking device during combat operations.

Voyager certainly could have used one.

It hard to see the Federation agreeing to a treaty that put them at such a disadvantage, unless they had no real choice in the matter.

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Old December 28 2012, 04:12 AM   #11
Phily B
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

I always liked the idea that the Romulans just said "If you are into peace, science and all that jazz then why would you use cloaking devices?". It did keep the peace with the Romulans anyway.
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Old December 28 2012, 05:21 AM   #12
Anwar
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

It's simple, they could either fight a brutal bloody war to the death with the Romulans or they could agree not to develop cloaking tech (but still develop anti-cloaking countermeasures).

And we don't know what the Romulans gave up in return. They never use that super-powerful plasma torpedo the BOP in Balance of Terror again, maybe they agreed not to further develop THAT tech in exchange.
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Old December 28 2012, 10:16 AM   #13
Vanyel
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Then again it was said in TNG's Face of the Enemy that the Warbird couldn't cross into Federation space without being detected. So there must be pretty powerful sensors of some type that can see a Warbird Crossing the Neutral Zone into Federation space. Perhaps some that can detect the wake of a cloaked ship? There most likely is an arms race of sorts between sensor technology and cloaking technology.
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Old December 28 2012, 07:40 PM   #14
Timo
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Another take:

The Federation is surrounded by enemies hell-bent on using their military might to subjugate everybody, or destroy those they can't subjugate. The Federation perseveres nevertheless. It thus appears that Starfleet is an utterly dominant military force to begin with, and would not need to cower in front of any adversary.

But that in itself makes the Treaty of Algeron reasonable enough. Take the already nigh-invincible Starfleet and add cloaking devices, and the universe will stand no chance against the ruthless conquistadors of the Federation. Better to perish in hopelessly suicidal wars of Armageddon than to let that happen, then!

So the UFP can choose between having to fight a thousand species in the ultimate struggle of paranoia, and giving up cloaks as a goodwill gesture that really costs them nothing. It's not as if cloaking would really be needed to defeat the wussy Cardassians or Talarians or Tzenkethi, and if refraining from using it saves the UFP from the embarrassment of having to defeat a joint Cardassian-Talarian-Tzenkethi force, let alone from having to ward off genocidal attacks from a desperate Romulan Star Empire...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old December 28 2012, 08:21 PM   #15
cbspock
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Re: The Pegasus/Treaty of Algeron

Timo wrote: View Post
Another take:

The Federation is surrounded by enemies hell-bent on using their military might to subjugate everybody, or destroy those they can't subjugate. The Federation perseveres nevertheless. It thus appears that Starfleet is an utterly dominant military force to begin with, and would not need to cower in front of any adversary.

But that in itself makes the Treaty of Algeron reasonable enough. Take the already nigh-invincible Starfleet and add cloaking devices, and the universe will stand no chance against the ruthless conquistadors of the Federation. Better to perish in hopelessly suicidal wars of Armageddon than to let that happen, then!

So the UFP can choose between having to fight a thousand species in the ultimate struggle of paranoia, and giving up cloaks as a goodwill gesture that really costs them nothing. It's not as if cloaking would really be needed to defeat the wussy Cardassians or Talarians or Tzenkethi, and if refraining from using it saves the UFP from the embarrassment of having to defeat a joint Cardassian-Talarian-Tzenkethi force, let alone from having to ward off genocidal attacks from a desperate Romulan Star Empire...

Timo Saloniemi
I guess it could be that Star Fleet felt as if the military advantage of the cloak could be defeated or mitigated with the Neutral Zone sensor net, and patrols. It also seems that it was more of a cold war situation with the Romulans, as long as the Balance of Power was maintained, nothing was going to happen along the zone. Stealing the newer cloaking device was just to maintain that balance.


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