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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old June 24 2013, 02:42 PM   #16
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

SarYehudah wrote: View Post
Is there such thing as actual soldiers with body armor?
http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWground-defense.html
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Old June 24 2013, 02:48 PM   #17
Charles Phipps
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

If they had the Special Effects budget, they should include Mass Effect personal shields.
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Old June 24 2013, 06:29 PM   #18
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
It's not that hard a concept to wrap one's head around. Starfleet handles the Federation's defense as part of its job but it does a lot more stuff that compromises about 60% of its job. The PD actually makes this possible, arguably. If the USA wasn't involved in foreign wars, we'll....the last war we'd have fought in was WW2.
Which, in addition to being a very good point, leaves one to wonder how an organization like the United States would be able to maintain a military this size without the constant threat of foreign hobgoblins to justify those huge expenditures. If your military hasn't been at war with anyone in sixty years, people start to wonder if they still need it; the the day comes when you find out that you need it, and you find you no longer have it.

Starfleet is the solution to that problem. They ALWAYS need funding, because exploration is always a good idea (and sometimes it can be highly profitable for the Federation). They keep their fleet large and active, they keep their equipment up to date, they keep their crews trained and competent, and providing them with adequate weaponry means that IF something scary happens, they can pull the exploration crews off the frontier and have them dig trenches.

In other words, it's a bit like having a militia composed entirely of scientists. One day Russia declares war on you, and all at once a hundred thousand Adam Savage and Jamie Hynamens report for combat duty at the Large Hadron Collider.

The issue is complicated by the fact that the show is ABOUT Starfleet so we never see Planetary Security for Earth. Also, the "defenses" Earth and other races have which get ignored by V'ger and other groups.
FWIW, the novelization of STID implies that most ground/space combat is performed by "automatics." It's implied that the fighter planes that make a flyby over Kirk's speach are also unmanned drones. In that context, it's a foregone conclusion that one may not actually NEED a standing military to have a competent fighting force; the Earth Government really just maintains an arsenal of automated combat systems capable of defending the planet and can deploy them on a moment's notice without the huge expenses of needing to train and staff an army.
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Old June 24 2013, 06:54 PM   #19
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
If they had the Special Effects budget, they should include Mass Effect personal shields.
Interestingly, they DID use personal shields in the videogame version.
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Old June 29 2013, 06:55 AM   #20
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization, so their combat training is just one aspect of a VERY extensive curriculum.
Starfleet IS a standing military organization.
From TOS to "The Undiscovered Country" it would appear that this is true to a certain extent.

Kirk and some of the crew are multi-role soldiers who happen to explore and perform diplomatic duties during peace time. Others like Jaeger from "The Squire of Gothos" are dedicated scientists who go along for the ride.

"Errand of Mercy"
KIRK: That's the first thing that would be lost! Excuse me, gentlemen. I'm a soldier, not a diplomat. I can only tell you the truth.
"Metamorphosis"
KIRK: I'm in command, Bones. It makes it my fault. How do you fight a thing like that?
MCCOY: Maybe you're a soldier so often that you forget you're also trained to be a diplomat. Why not try a carrot instead of a stick?
"Whom Gods Destroy"
GARTH: Upon the firmest of foundations, Mister Spock. Enlightened self interest. You, Captain, are second only to me as the finest military commander in the galaxy.
KIRK: That's very flattering. I am primarily an explorer now, Captain Garth.
GARTH: And so have I been. I have charted more new worlds than any man in history.
"The Wrath of Khan"
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.
"The Undiscovered Country"
SPOCK: The dismantling of our space stations and starbases along the Neutral Zone, an end to almost seventy years of unremitting hostility with the Klingons, which the Klingons can no longer afford.
MILITARY AIDE: Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?
C in C: I'm sure that our exploration and scientific programs would be unaffected, Captain, but...

So we can guess that after ST6 there was a reduction in Starfleet's military program which lead to the more peace-oriented explorers of TNG and later.
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Old June 30 2013, 02:08 AM   #21
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

I really liked the idea of the MACOs, who could be assigned to a starship whenever military force was necessary. I hope a future Trek series will employ some form of this plot device as well, as it helps maintain Starfleet's "primarily exploration" theme while allowing for an occasional shoot-em-up.
Of course, the MACO's are yet another device borrowed from Yamato. See season 2 and the addition of Sgt. Knox (american version) and the "Space Marines". They don't quite fit with the crew at first but prove to have enormous strategic value as the story unfolds.
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Old June 30 2013, 07:57 PM   #22
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

There's nothing that really precludes a military organization from also being the principal exploration agency for a government. Afterall the Royal Navy was rather instrumental in the charting and exploration of the Pacific, and contained a multitude of captains with a scientific bent. Though fictional, the character of Jack Aubrey and his intense interest in astronomy, hydrography and mathematics to the point of being a member of the Royal Society while also being a RN post captain had plenty of real precedent ranging from James Cook to Matthew Flinders and George Vancouver. And in piece time the RN's complement of marines, and crew composition tended to be substantially different from what their wartime activities and crew manifests looked like.
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Old July 1 2013, 12:16 AM   #23
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
SarYehudah wrote: View Post
do any ships carry about marines for docking engagements?
No. Primarily because Starfleet doesn't operate in the ocean.
Uhura: "Commander Reliant, this is Enterprise, surrender and prepare to be boarded.

Strictly speaking, Starfleet doesn't operate a standing military organization
Starfleet is the uniformed armed forces of the Federation. When there is a time of war, Starfleet doesn't step to the side. It stops exploring and fights. They drop their secondary job and concentrate on their primary duty.

Starfleet doesn't, primarily by virtue of it not being a land force and not having any real need for land vehicles.
Actually, in quite a few episodes some kind of ground level wheeled/hover vehicle would have been handy. Something in between a shuttle and simply walking. Creating a believable "future jeep" for the TV show just wasn't going to happen.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Herkimer wrote: View Post
Starfleet's always changing its focus because the Federation Government is switching gears every time a new administration pops in.
That's a really good point, on a number of levels. Different governments having different priorities
This is basically my explanation for the variations we see in the application of the Prime Directive in different episodes.

Every few weeks, a Starfleet Captain will receive the latest interpretations, amendments, and court decisions concerning the PD.

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Old July 1 2013, 12:17 AM   #24
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Nob Akimoto wrote: View Post
There's nothing that really precludes a military organization from also being the principal exploration agency for a government.
There's even less that precludes an exploration agency from also being the principal military organization for a government. If an organization can be one thing and moonlight as the other, the overlap works both ways.

The thing is, the Federation is rarely at war and its prime directive prohibits it from proactively engaging forces that do not pose an immediate threat to Federation citizens. It could be said that Starfleet has a military role, but they exercise that role VERY infrequently and spend almost all of their time exploring and charting space.
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Old July 1 2013, 01:13 AM   #25
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Starfleet is the uniformed armed forces of the Federation.
"Uniformed armed forces" is a specific legal category used in international law that distinguishes the officially sanctioned armed forces of a country from irregular armed cadres such as terrorist organizations and resistance movements. The two are judged by different standards in the ICC and war crime tribunals; uniformed forces can be held as prisoners of war while irregular militants are unlawful combatants and/or terrorists.

The United Federation of Planets probably isn't based on the Geneva Conventions and old Earth notions about the legal status of uniformed armed forces would be considered quaint and primitive, especially by the standards of, for example, the Vulcans, who were already exploring space when humans were still fighting over hunting grounds. However the Federation chooses to regulate its war-fighting capability, there's little reason to assume their standards will be the same as ours, or even BASED on ours, especially since Earth was the least advanced and the least mature both technologically and politically of the Federation's four founding members.

What's very interesting, also, is that the Vulcan High Command in ENT doesn't appear to be a military organization either. To the extent that the Vulcans even have a CONCEPT of "military" it's clearly an armed uniformed force, but whatever the Vulcan word for such an organization it clearly bears little resemblance to conventional Earth definitions, despite the fact that it very CLOSELY resembles Starfleet.
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Old July 1 2013, 02:51 AM   #26
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Is Starfleet a military?

By 24th Century Definitions - No, Maybe? Banana? Cantaloupe?

By 21st Century Definitions - Emphatically, yes.
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Old July 1 2013, 04:23 AM   #27
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Is Starfleet a military?

By 24th Century Definitions - No, Maybe? Banana? Cantaloupe?

By 21st Century Definitions - Emphatically, yes.
21st century definitions imply legal statutes that the Federation does not (and probably never did) recognize. Nor would OUR definitions meaningfully override theirs, since the Trek universe bears very little resemblance to our own.

IOW: Starfleet is a military inasmuch as Jedi Knights are police officers.
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Old July 1 2013, 07:28 AM   #28
Herkimer Jitty
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Is Starfleet a military?

By 24th Century Definitions - No, Maybe? Banana? Cantaloupe?

By 21st Century Definitions - Emphatically, yes.
21st century definitions imply legal statutes that the Federation does not (and probably never did) recognize. Nor would OUR definitions meaningfully override theirs, since the Trek universe bears very little resemblance to our own.

IOW: Starfleet is a military inasmuch as Jedi Knights are police officers.
Wookiepedia wrote:
Jedi Peacekeeper – Those Jedi wishing to pursue a peacekeeping role were stationed within planetary or sectoral government's security agencies where they worked as the area's special police.
So what you're saying is that Starfleet is a military.
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Old July 1 2013, 02:56 PM   #29
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Is Starfleet a military?

By 24th Century Definitions - No, Maybe? Banana? Cantaloupe?

By 21st Century Definitions - Emphatically, yes.
21st century definitions imply legal statutes that the Federation does not (and probably never did) recognize. Nor would OUR definitions meaningfully override theirs, since the Trek universe bears very little resemblance to our own.

IOW: Starfleet is a military inasmuch as Jedi Knights are police officers.
Wookiepedia wrote:
Jedi Peacekeeper – Those Jedi wishing to pursue a peacekeeping role were stationed within planetary or sectoral government's security agencies where they worked as the area's special police.
So what you're saying is that Starfleet is a military.
I'm saying that Starfleet can lend itself to a military role if and when it needs to but otherwise isn't an organization that actually fits the modern definition of "military" and apparently doesn't even fit the 24th century definition.
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Old July 1 2013, 03:55 PM   #30
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
I'm saying that Starfleet can lend itself to a military role if and when it needs to but otherwise isn't an organization that actually fits the modern definition of "military" and apparently doesn't even fit the 24th century definition.
Wikipedia wrote:
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or pereceived threats.
I'd say Starfleet fits that definition. And I'd say this distinction of "if and when it needs to" is meaningless because it always needs to. Even when there is no war. The Neutral Zone always has to be patrolled, for example, and that's a military operation. As long as the Federation has potentially hostile neighbours, the need for a military role is permanent. The fact that most of the fleet might be doing something else (which I don't think is even true much of the time) doesn't make Starfleet non-military any more than the fact that the USCG spends most of it's time doing search and rescue, disaster response and so on makes the USCG non-military.
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