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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies XI+

Star Trek Movies XI+ Discuss J.J. Abrams' rebooted Star Trek here.

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Old June 24 2013, 09:24 PM   #16
Cinema Geekly
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I have always thought of Starfleet as a combo of military and science. Whereas its primary goal was exploration and peace keeping but if war broke out the ships could also serve to defend if the need arose.
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Old June 24 2013, 09:24 PM   #17
Belz...
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
If you've never heard of Spaceguard, and I tell you I work for the Spaceguard Organization, what's YOUR first reaction?
It'd be really fine if you at least understood my point. There is plenty of evidence that starfleet is military. The name. The ranks. The naval tradition. The mission. The fact that the federation needs a military branch against its military enemies. Actual characters calling it the military in TWOK and TUC, etc.

And there's also plenty of indications that it's not entirely military, especially in TNG and now STID. But I think that it's crazy to think that it's not military at all.
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Old June 24 2013, 09:46 PM   #18
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
If you've never heard of Spaceguard, and I tell you I work for the Spaceguard Organization, what's YOUR first reaction?
It'd be really fine if you at least understood my point. There is plenty of evidence that starfleet is military.
And there's plenty of evidence that it ISN'T. A standing military is a full-time professional battle force that devotes the overwhelming majority of its resources and energy into combat systems and missions and uses its surplus time/energy/equipment to help civilian projects on a case-by-case basis. Starfleet does the exact opposite of this: they devote the majority of their resources and energy into scientific systems and missions and use the surplus time/energy/equipment to carry out combat missions on a case-by-case basis. It's paramilitary at best.

The name. The ranks. The naval tradition. The mission.
None of which are evidence that Starfleet is a military organization since
1) Names are irrelevant, even one as ambiguous as "Starfleet". Likewise, if you didn't know what Spaceguard really was, you would assume I was an astronaut, not an astronomer.
2) Ranks are irrelevant: police departments and private security firms have those too
3) Naval tradition would be a lot more meaningful if Starfleet actually operated in the ocean. Crazy stunts notwithstanding, Starfleet rarely does so.
4) The mission is peaceful exploration and scientific research. Combat is a secondary role they take on when necessary.

As I said above, it's like a militia composed entirely of scientists. Science is Starfleet's full-time job; combat is a side gig.

The fact that the federation needs a military branch against its military enemies.
Possibly. It probably isn't Starfleet, though.
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Old June 24 2013, 09:52 PM   #19
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
The fact that the federation needs a military branch against its military enemies.
Possibly. It probably isn't Starfleet, though.
Um... everytime we see a military engagement, it is Starfleet doing the fighting.
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Old June 24 2013, 10:04 PM   #20
Charles Phipps
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post

Um... everytime we see a military engagement, it is Starfleet doing the fighting.
No one's disputing that Starfleet performs a function similar to the military in terms of space combat, but the question is whether or not that makes it a military when it also performs the function equivalent to NASA as well as diplomacy.
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Old June 24 2013, 10:07 PM   #21
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post

Um... everytime we see a military engagement, it is Starfleet doing the fighting.
No one's disputing that Starfleet performs a function similar to the military in terms of space combat, but the question is whether or not that makes it a military when it also performs the function equivalent to NASA as well as the UN.
Starfleet is the military.

There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
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Old June 24 2013, 10:24 PM   #22
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Starfleet is definitely the military, though its priorities are somewhat different than our modern-day military. I have no problem with Scotty voicing problems with a particular mission, but the idea that he doesn't think Starfleet is the military seems very odd.
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Old June 24 2013, 11:27 PM   #23
Charles Phipps
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post
Starfleet is the military.

There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
I suppose it depends on how you define one.
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Old June 24 2013, 11:44 PM   #24
BillJ
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Starfleet is the military.

There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
I suppose it depends on how you define one.
Can you name any other organization that has fought a war on behalf of the Federation?

Errand of Mercy wrote:
KIRK: I'm a soldier, not a diplomat.
The Doomsday Machine wrote:
DECKER: Our primary duty is to maintain life and safety of Federation planets. Do you deny that?
Starfleet participates in war games and border defense as well.

Sounds like the military to me...
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Old June 24 2013, 11:48 PM   #25
Lance
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

A genuine question here, because I'm not really 'au fait' with the structure:

NASA tends to recruit military personel to become astronauts, with a particular focus on the air force. Not to say they don't recruit scientists as well, but the recruiting policy has always tended to favor military (or ex-military) personel with experience in aeronautics.

Does this make NASA part of the military?
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Old June 25 2013, 12:33 AM   #26
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Nah, NASA isn't the military. It makes use of military expertise, like how a news network might hire a retired general to comment on military matters, but NASA doesn't wage war, have members who take an oath, etc.
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Old June 25 2013, 12:36 AM   #27
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post
No one's disputing that Starfleet performs a function similar to the military in terms of space combat, but the question is whether or not that makes it a military when it also performs the function equivalent to NASA as well as diplomacy.
Given that even today our military does stuff like disaster relief and provides environmental and engineering expertise, there's no reason that Starfleet can't have an even more varied set of tasks.
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Old June 25 2013, 01:13 AM   #28
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And there's plenty of evidence that it ISN'T.
If you take the time to read the post you were quoting, you'll realise I also said that.

A standing military is a full-time professional battle force that devotes the overwhelming majority of its resources and energy into combat systems and missions and uses its surplus time/energy/equipment to help civilian projects on a case-by-case basis.
Well that's certainly one definition. With Starfleet it sure seems multidisciplinary, but they still are the 23rd-24th century equivalent of the military.

Starfleet does the exact opposite of this: they devote the majority of their resources and energy into scientific systems and missions and use the surplus time/energy/equipment to carry out combat missions on a case-by-case basis. It's paramilitary at best.
Wait, how do you know how much of their ressources they devote to all that ?

None of which are evidence that Starfleet is a military organization
So basically your counter to every element of my list is "nope" ? It's irrelevant because.

As I said above, it's like a militia composed entirely of scientists.
Entirely of scientists ? Is Uhura or Sulu or Chekov or Kirk or Riker or Worf or Yar or Rand or Sisko or O'Brien or Paris or Scotty or Archer or Mayweather or Sato or Reed a scientist ?

The fact that the federation needs a military branch against its military enemies.
Possibly. It probably isn't Starfleet, though.
Did you just argue that the Federation has a military branch to combat its enemies, by which it is surrounded by almost all sides it seems, but that despite the battles we saw in every iteration of Trek so far fought by Starfleet, that we somehow never saw these guys or their ships ?
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Old June 25 2013, 01:18 AM   #29
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post
Starfleet is the military.

There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
Personally, I do not disagree that Starfleet has pretty much always been portrayed as having many aspects and roles that reflect those of the military, and that it does not appear that the Federation as a whole has any other dedicated force that fills these functions. (Individual planets it seems may have such forces that exist in parallel to but not directly under Starfleet Command, as Earth did prior to the founding of the UFP but after Starfleet was already well-established as an apparent outgrowth of organizations like NASA.)

So yes, for most intents and purposes within Trek, SF is the military. But how militaristic it really is has always been debated, and the portrayal of such subject to many differing interpretations by various writers under varying story constraints. And to say that there is "absolutely no evidence" that Starfleet is at least nominally distinct from the traditional concept of a military is not quite accurate:

1.
PICARD: Starfleet is not a military organization. Our purpose is exploration. ("Peak Performance" [TNG])

2.
FORREST: You think you'll be comfortable with the military on board? ("The Expanse" [ENT])

Granted, one of the above statements applies to the 24th century of a different timeline and the other applies to a time frame preceding the incorporation of the UFP, but nevertheless the exchange in Into Darkness clearly follows from decades of ambiguity and debate among both fans and show-runners, and was no doubt written as an acknowledgement thereof.
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Old June 25 2013, 01:27 AM   #30
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I chalked up those comments about Starfleet not being the military to the personal opinions of the speakers. Picard in particular is very high-minded and not a fan of violence, so it sorta jives that he'd consider Starfleet to be one thing, while Worf, for example, might view it as another.
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