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

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Old June 30 2013, 04:38 PM   #136
Greg Cox
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Ovation wrote: View Post
Just take Kirk's comment to John Christopher literally "we're a combined service" (IIRC).

Starfleet is a multipurpose organization whose military functions come to the fore when needed but otherwise recede into the background when other duties arise. It's not really all that complicated a concept.
Works for me.
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Old June 30 2013, 05:51 PM   #137
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

In TWOK, Carol Marcus reminds David that Starfleet has kept the peace for over one hundred years. So, keeping the peace is one of its duties. You need an armed force to keep the peace, so by definition, Starfleet is a military organization of some kind.

It could also be that Starfleet only mobilizes militarily at times of conflict. At least before the Cold War, there was a long tradition in the United States of keeping a small military during peacetime, and increasing and mobilizing it only for imminent war. Marcus was obviously trying to increase the military posture of Starfleet based on what he perceived as a real threat even in a time of peace. That he has a model of the Vengeance on open display in his office was a symbol that the extent of the military role of Starfleet must've been an open question at many levels in the post-Vulcan Federation.

Scotty has to know that part of the price of joining Starfleet and getting to explore the galaxy is that you may be called into duty to defend the Federation. It's not like he doesn't know the ship has phasers and photon torpedoes and may find itself in armed combat. He only objects to Marcus's photon torpedoes and their mission. I think what Scotty objected to was the idea of using Starfleet as an offensive or pre-emptive force. The ethics of killing Harrison aside, it wouldn't take a scholar to know that firing 72 missiles at Kronos would start a war. Starting wars is probably not in Starfleet's mission statement.
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Old June 30 2013, 07:40 PM   #138
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Franklin wrote: View Post
In TWOK, Carol Marcus reminds David that Starfleet has kept the peace for over one hundred years. So, keeping the peace is one of its duties. You need an armed force to keep the peace, so by definition, Starfleet is a military organization of some kind.
Although I agree with Starfleet=military, this isn't what that was supposed to mean.

Carol Marcus was talking about the military-vs-science debate, not literal peacekeeping duties.

From the script:-
DAVID: Every time we have dealings with Starfleet, I get nervous. ...We are dealing with something that could be perverted into a dreadful weapon. Remember that overgrown Boy Scout you used to hang around with? That's exactly the kind of man...

CAROL: Listen, kiddo, Jim Kirk was many things, but he was never a Boy Scout!
LATER -
CAROL: Will you please be quiet! Commander Chekov, this is completely irregular.

CHEKOV (on viewscreen): I have my orders.

DAVID: Pin him down, Mother. Who gave the order?

CHEKOV (on viewscreen): The order comes from Admiral James T. Kirk.

DAVID: I knew it! I knew it! All along the military has wanted to get their han...

CAROL: This is completely improper, Commander Chekov. I have no intention of allowing Reliant or any other unauthorised personnel access to our work or materials.

CHEKOV (on viewscreen): I'm sorry that you feel that way, Doctor. Admiral Kirk's orders are confirmed.

AND THE EXCHANGE YOU REFER TO:-


CAROL (OC): We must have order here. This has to be some sort of mistake.

DAVID: Mistake? We're all alone here. They waited until everyone was on leave to do this. Reliant is supposed to be at our disposal, not vice-versa.

MADISON: It seems clear that Starfleet never intended that.

CAROL: I know that, but...

DAVID: I've tried to tell you before. Scientists have always been pawns of the military.

CAROL: Starfleet has kept the peace for a hundred years. I cannot and will not subscribe to your interpretation of this event.

JEDDA: You may be right, Doctor, but what about Reliant? She's on her way.
Starfleet is a military organisation, but has kept it's scientific responsibilities to the fore.

By the very nature of the Federation, the space military cannot conform to any known modern military organisation. They have all the trappings of the modern Navy, but their mission statement is totally different to today. It's closer to the Royal Navy of Captain Cook's time to the US Navy of USS Ronald Reagan.
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Old June 30 2013, 07:42 PM   #139
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Sybok wrote: View Post
strange for a "military" ship to look like a carnival cruise ship in space packed full of 5 star rooms and science labs and families and dolphins
I know I already dissected this post, but something else occurred to me. You claim the presence of dolphins aboard the Enterprise D as proof that Starfleet's not military. And yet the first time in which a dolphin presence was mentioned on screen (as "cetacean ops") was in Yesterday's Enterprise, in an alternate timeline where the Enterprise was intentionally depicted as a warship.
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Old June 30 2013, 08:33 PM   #140
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Dolphins ? Where ?
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Old June 30 2013, 08:46 PM   #141
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Dolphins ? Where ?
Mentioned in one line of dialogue, never seen.

http://www.st-minutiae.com/academy/l...ure329/221.txt
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Old June 30 2013, 09:45 PM   #142
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

PLUS: The US military actually does have dolphins:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_dolphin
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Old June 30 2013, 11:37 PM   #143
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The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Whatever mistakes any modern day militaries may have made is not automatic proof that militaries are evil...
Ah yes, the inevitable "You only think Starfleet isn't a military because you think militaries are evil" canard. If and when I ever find someone to whom that claim applies, I'll be sure to ask them what THEY think Starfleet is.

OTOH, I could ask the reverse question of you: why do you love the military so much that you are hostile to anyone OTHER than the military being the heroes?

I don't care what Roddenberry said, he's not God and he was wrong on this matter.
Read all of the following before commenting, because it is a single point:

He was not wrong on the fact that Starfleet is not a military organization. Primarily this is because "military" is as much a legal definition as an organizational one; the military is empowered by law to engage in combat operations sanctioned by the state either by direct legislative action, pre-existing treaty obligation, or by executive order (depending on the constitution of the state in question). This, in the context of international law, defines the difference between authorized uniformed combatants and unlawful irregular combatants; the former act on the authority of the government they are sworn to, the latter act on their own behalf and would be considered terrorists and/or criminals.

Those legal definitions are a relatively recent innovation in human history and would serve to outlaw or otherwise severely restrict things like mercenaries, privateers, letters of marque and other little tricks that governments have historically used to menace their enemies with violence. Current legal conventions aside, it is not and has never been the exclusive province of "the military" to fight wars and defend the homeland, and there's nothing much to suggest that will be the case in the future.

Having a permanent standing military solves certain problems in the context of Cold War tensions and the current paradigm of military technology. That context is an anachronism in Star Trek's future and hasn't been applicable for centuries. They are, evidently, operating on a paradigm where a permanent military organization is equally anachronistic and politically untenable for reasons WE do not fully understand (not that we can't guess), and that is simply the future we have depicted.

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
No, it's like saying a ship isn't a warship because the Captain says so and because much of his crew brought their families along for the ride (an act that would be unconscionable on an actual military vessel).
Again: it's like saying a military base isn't one because the wife and kids live next door.
Apples to oranges; if "next door" is on a ship at sea, then it applies.

nightwind1 wrote: View Post
LobsterAfternoon wrote: View Post
Monkey, well said. It actually jive nicely with Ronald D. Moore's opinion, which is that Starfleet is roughly equivalent to the US Coast Guard, which can be put under the command of the Dept of the Navy during wartime but is usually the purview of the Department of Homeland Security.
As a former Coastie, that has always been my view.
Mine too. That's the way I've always depicted it in fanfiction or short stories: normally Starfleet is administered by the science council, but in wartime the Federation government invokes part of the Federation charter that places Starfleet under the command of the Defense Council.

As I said before, the specific reason is probably that starships and space stations are very expensive and a large exploration fleet is easier to justify politically and economically than a large military fleet; the exploration fleet has a way of paying for itself during peace time while at the same time being large enough and powerful enough to be effective in war time. More to the point, clearly the Federation is not immune to jingoism, and a permanent military organization would only provide fertile ground for the more hawkish figures in Federation culture to push their agenda.


The Wormhole wrote: View Post
After all, in the navy it's unlikely you'll find a scientist with a full-time bridge position. But, given the scientific nature of space, a space military would have to have a science staff on hand...
First of all, WHAT scientific nature of space? Space is no more "scientific" than the ocean or the air, but we don't have science officers as command-level positions on nuclear submarines do we?

Second of all, if this were true we would expect to see science officers on the bridge of Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian and Jem'hadar ships as well. The fact is we do not, and on a few occasions we have seen that those services are entirely unfamiliar with the benefits of HAVING a science officer on board. Starfleet is unique for using trickery and innovation to win its battles, especially in situations where firepower alone is insufficient. One of the reasons for this is that Starfleet prefers to win its battles WITHOUT killing their opponents, something that is much more difficult to do than simply blowing their collective heads off with precision gunfire.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Sybok wrote: View Post
-captain jean-luc f***ing picard said himself starfleet was NOT military, pretty sure he knows what he is talking about, the idea he was sharing his opinion is pure rubbish. Go join the army and start walking around telling everyone "THE ARMY IS NOT A MILITARY!!"
Picard also said humans no longer believe in religions
He said humans no longer practiced SUPERSTITIONS. Not exactly the same thing.

Admittedly, Enterprise was a bit sloppy with the MACOs, due to writer's ignorance.
I again repeat that it is not ignorance to depict a non-military organization AS a non-military organization. Even less so in the context of depiction of the MACOs, who make Starfleet security look like a boy scout troop and are clearly intended to be a purely military organization in ways that Starfleet never was and never would be again.

That alone is pretty indicative of what is going on. Starfleet COULD have been depicted as a military organization if someone had wanted to do so (as Nicholas Meyer basically did in TUC). But most trek writers and almost all of its producers have had a different vision in mind for what it is and how it operates.

Put simply: if the show runners had intended Stafleet to be a military, they wouldn't have included the MACOs; they wouldn't have NEEDED the MACOs; there wouldn't even be a difference between the MACOs and the security teams they already had. The goal of that separate organization was perfectly met: "Starfleet may be tough, but they aint the military."
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Last edited by M'Sharak; July 1 2013 at 01:23 AM. Reason: to merge three consecutive posts into one
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Old July 1 2013, 12:14 AM   #144
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

In "We'll Always Have Paris", there was a door sign which read, "Tursiops Crew Facility". Tursiops are commonly called bottlenose dolphins. According to the ST: TNG Manual, dolphins are used as navigators on Galaxy-class starships.
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Old July 1 2013, 12:41 AM   #145
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

M'Sharak wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
Dolphins ? Where ?
Mentioned in one line of dialogue, never seen.

http://www.st-minutiae.com/academy/l...ure329/221.txt
Did that line make it off the page and onto screen ? I can't remember hearing it.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Apples to oranges; if "next door" is on a ship at sea, then it applies.
Your contention that the presence of civilians make Starfleet officers not military personal is unfounded and ridiculous, and that was my point. What does the presence of civilians have to do with the status of non-civilians and their organisation ?

Yes, the Enterprise-D has families on board because of the very long nature of its exploration mission. It's also tasked with protecting the assets of the Federation, and to that effect it can send the civilians away in the saucer section when about to engage in battle.

I seriously don't see why you can't understand that.
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Old July 1 2013, 01:22 AM   #146
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
M'Sharak wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
Dolphins ? Where ?
Mentioned in one line of dialogue, never seen.

http://www.st-minutiae.com/academy/l...ure329/221.txt
Did that line make it off the page and onto screen ? I can't remember hearing it.
It's in the episode but it's really a throwaway line - just some words for Geordi to say as he's steering the Ferengi out of frame and out of the scene.
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Old July 1 2013, 01:27 AM   #147
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Your contention that the presence of civilians make Starfleet officers not military personal is unfounded and ridiculous, and that was my point.
The presence of civilians ON STARSHIPS does. Especially since these are not civilians attached in a working capacity or as part of a mission requirement (e.g. scientists, reporters, advisors, etc) but are in fact the spouses and children of officers and/or civilians attached to that ship. This for the Enteprise-D, arguably the largest and most powerful starship in the entire fleet, a ship which is regularly assigned to combat missions or missions which potentially carry a very high risk of combat.

Nor am I claiming that THAT ALONE makes them a non-military organization. Picard's explicit statement does that for me; the fact that the most powerful ship in the fleet carries non-combatants as a matter of course is just the clearest example of the mindset behind that statement.

Yes, the Enterprise-D has families on board because of the very long nature of its exploration mission.
Enterprise-D never gets far enough from Federation space for this explanation to be even REMOTELY true. In TNG's first season the Enterprise visits two different starbases and even manages a trip to Earth; throughout its seven years in service, in fact, the Enterprise-D is not more than a few days travel from a starbase or a few weeks' travel from Earth.

It's also tasked with protecting the assets of the Federation, and to that effect it can send the civilians away in the saucer section when about to engage in battle.
Which reflects the nature of the organization itself: the ship is designed so that it can be rapidly converted into a combat vessel when the need arises, in much the same way a civilian can be trained to drop whatever he's doing, go grab a weapon and report for duty.

Which, in essence, means that Starfleet is an exploration service that doesn't mind being conscripted. They bring their families along because exploration is their MAIN role; they separate the saucer because combat is an emergency role.
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Old July 1 2013, 11:30 AM   #148
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The presence of civilians ON STARSHIPS does.
No, I disagree, quite simply. For the reasons I've already stated. Unless you can make your case better, I find that unconvincing.

Enterprise-D never gets far enough from Federation space for this explanation to be even REMOTELY true. In TNG's first season the Enterprise visits two different starbases and even manages a trip to Earth; throughout its seven years in service, in fact, the Enterprise-D is not more than a few days travel from a starbase or a few weeks' travel from Earth.
Yeah, blame that on writers making the ship go at the speed of plot. But that was the implication from the pilot, and the "continuing mission".

Which reflects the nature of the organization itself: the ship is designed so that it can be rapidly converted into a combat vessel when the need arises, in much the same way a civilian can be trained to drop whatever he's doing, go grab a weapon and report for duty.
Yes. Starfleet is military AND science AND exploration AND relief. Remember that the secondary command center is called the "battle bridge".
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Old July 1 2013, 02:05 PM   #149
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
First of all, WHAT scientific nature of space? Space is no more "scientific" than the ocean or the air, but we don't have science officers as command-level positions on nuclear submarines do we?
You know, nebulas, wormholes, space anomalies, the occasional time travel incident, and so on.

Second of all, if this were true we would expect to see science officers on the bridge of Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian and Jem'hadar ships as well.
But we have seen Klingon science officers. Kang's wife was science officer and XO of his ship. In DS9's Soldiers of the Empire when Dax was serving on Martok's ship, she was assigned to the bridge's science station. Also, in TNG's Redemption Part 2 and DS9's Shadows and Symbols we see Klingons win their battles with scientific solutions. Romulans have science ships which do belong to their military (the crew wears military uniforms).

But most trek writers and almost all of its producers have had a different vision in mind for what it is and how it operates.
I'm not convinced of that. Roddenberry had a "vision" for what Starfleet is and how it operates, but everyone else is just following his edict that Starfleet isn't a military. I do believe they are doing this out of some belief that it has to be done rather than a desire to show Starfleet as non-military. After all, everyone hated the rules imposed by Roddenberry in TNG that there should be no interpersonal conflict among Starfleet officers, and that's adhered to to such an extent that it takes a prequel and a reboot to bring back interpersonal conflict among Starfleet officers. Therefore it's possible that claiming Starfleet isn't a military is just another thing which some folks along the way realized is wrong, but are forced to go along with simply because it's one of Roddenberry's rules and it would appear that even after a reboot it still applies.
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Old July 1 2013, 02:59 PM   #150
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Which reflects the nature of the organization itself: the ship is designed so that it can be rapidly converted into a combat vessel when the need arises, in much the same way a civilian can be trained to drop whatever he's doing, go grab a weapon and report for duty.
Yes. Starfleet is military AND science AND exploration AND relief. Remember that the secondary command center is called the "battle bridge".
And to the extent that any one of those roles could be considered primary, "military" isn't it. It's like saying that a high school teacher is actually a highly versatile janitor because the school requires him to mop the floor of his classroom every day.
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