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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 July 2 2013, 04:54 PM   #181
Greg Cox
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post

HOWEVER although this is more evidence to the military-side of the argument, this IS from TUC, which as you have pointed out, is under Meyers more "Starfleet is Military" outlook.
Which, of course, is just as much a part of STAR TREK as any other movie or episode or regime.
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Old July 2 2013, 05:19 PM   #182
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Thanks, Greg. I was about to say something along those lines.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:59 PM   #183
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I've always felt like it's both military and scientific exploration equally.

Maybe Starfleet should use the slogan from my daughters Disney Jr show The Octonauts (which reminds me a bit of Star Trek btw): "Explore, Rescue, Protect"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR_Ui_3Iz2o
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Old July 2 2013, 10:42 PM   #184
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which was a strawman, not a serious suggestion
How would you know ?
Because her comment had nothing whatsoever to do with what was actually being discussed. It was just a reactionary way of derailing the entire debate without seriously discussing it on its merits.
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Old July 2 2013, 10:57 PM   #185
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
Since WWII, Japan is constitutionally prohibited from having a military. They nonetheless have forces to fulfill necessary functions of a military, of course. But these forces are not legally a military, and they aren't called that. They're called the Self Defense Forces. I don't see why Starfleet can't appear and act as a military (and thus be understandably referred to as one by outsiders) and still at least technically not be one.
As I understand, Japan's defense force is just that, a defense force with no offensive capabilities.
Incorrect. The SDF's naval vessels are equipped with Harpoon antiship missiles and anti-submarine weapons. It operates 16 diesel-electric attack submarines and several guided missile cruisers that are closely based on the Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyer.

To the extent that those weapon systems are incapable of launching attack and/or supporting ground operations on foreign soil, they are indeed "defensive" weapons.

Also, when someone in Japan's defense force finds themselves in legal trouble, the matter is dealt with in civilian court. Starfleet officers face court martial.
Only when the civilian courts aren't available. In contrast: for stealing and blowing up the Enterprise among other violations of Starfleet regulations, Kirk stood before a civilian assembly -- overseen by the President -- to answer for those crimes.
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Old July 2 2013, 11:11 PM   #186
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

It's a straw man very simply because at no point was anyone proposing that be done. The answer to the question "are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet" was clearly "no." And that's the purpose it was supposed to serve in the script, at least one draft of which simply called the character "A MILITARY MAN." Remember that the debate was supposed to mirror that over changing relations between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. in the real world, and the conflict in the film was between those who felt there could only ever be a military solution and those who realized (initially in Spock's case and ultimately in Kirk's and others') that Starfleet's mission had "always been one of peace."

Regarding offensive vs defensive capabilities, can't the same equipment basically be used for either? It's how it's used that makes the difference. And I don't think SF has ever been portrayed as being particularly oriented towards taking the offensive. (Section 31 and overzealous rogues aside.) Almost all of the combat scenarios we saw involved an outside aggressor who started the conflict. Yes, once the tides of battle in the Dominion War turned in their favor they went on the offensive, but this was still in response to the threat the Dominion posed and the fight they started, and moreover was done in coordination with Klingon and Romulan forces. It never seemed like a situation SF sought or were particularly suited to. And really, more often than not, when SF comes up against a powerful enemy in open combat they get their asses handed to them, or are saved only by a last-ditch effort.
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Last edited by The Mighty Monkey of Mim; July 2 2013 at 11:53 PM. Reason: added response to intervening post
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Old July 3 2013, 03:06 AM   #187
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
Since WWII, Japan is constitutionally prohibited from having a military. They nonetheless have forces to fulfill necessary functions of a military, of course. But these forces are not legally a military, and they aren't called that. They're called the Self Defense Forces. I don't see why Starfleet can't appear and act as a military (and thus be understandably referred to as one by outsiders) and still at least technically not be one.
As I understand, Japan's defense force is just that, a defense force with no offensive capabilities.
Incorrect. The SDF's naval vessels are equipped with Harpoon antiship missiles and anti-submarine weapons. It operates 16 diesel-electric attack submarines and several guided missile cruisers that are closely based on the Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyer.

To the extent that those weapon systems are incapable of launching attack and/or supporting ground operations on foreign soil, they are indeed "defensive" weapons.
What I meant was the SDF itself isn't capable of attacking another nation. In fact, if Japan were attacked, there's only so much the SDF could do and in a worse case scenario, Japan would have to rely on defense treaties it has with other nations.

Or so I think. Admittedly everything I know about Japan's defense comes from what I read in a Robert J Sawyer novel. But assuming I'm essentially correct, then Starfleet is indeed capable of launching an attack on another power, though they tend not to. And Starfleet can probably defend the Federation on its own.

Only when the civilian courts aren't available. In contrast: for stealing and blowing up the Enterprise among other violations of Starfleet regulations, Kirk stood before a civilian assembly -- overseen by the President -- to answer for those crimes.
Which of course are extenuating circumstances. Since Kirk and crew saved Earth from a probe that was tearing the planet apart, the President decided to personally step in and issue a pardon. Had there not been any space probe looking for whales, I'm sure Kirk and crew would have been court-martialed by Starfleet.
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Old July 3 2013, 04:15 AM   #188
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
What I meant was the SDF itself isn't capable of attacking another nation.
That is also incorrect. They're fully CAPABLE of doing so if they so choose; the fact that their ships aren't designed or chartered for that is what makes them "defensive" weapons.

If one day the SDF decided they were really pissed off at China and decided to pound Hong Kong with artillery fire, they could easily do so. That they probably wouldn't survive the Chinese counter-attack is the main reason why that will never happen (well, never again).

But assuming I'm essentially correct, then Starfleet is indeed capable of launching an attack on another power, though they tend not to. And Starfleet can probably defend the Federation on its own.
Starfleet barely manages to defend EARTH most of the time. I think defending the entire Federation is probably asking a bit much.

I'm also reminded that Sisko tells Leyton in "Paradise Lost" that the other Federation worlds probably wouldn't take too kindly to Starfleet overthrowing the President and creating, effectively, a "military dictatorship." Assuming I'm essentially right about Federation laws vis a vis military buildup, then Leyton is making essentially the same calculation as Marcus -- his "strengthening Earth" is his belief that Starfleet must become a full military force to counter an alien threat -- and realizes that the current government is in no way prepared to allow this. Sisko explicitly mentions civil war (which is probably what the Founders were hoping for too) which suggests that the other Federation members have their own space forces that could, either individually or collectively, give Starfleet a run for its money.

Only when the civilian courts aren't available. In contrast: for stealing and blowing up the Enterprise among other violations of Starfleet regulations, Kirk stood before a civilian assembly -- overseen by the President -- to answer for those crimes.
Which of course are extenuating circumstances. Since Kirk and crew saved Earth from a probe that was tearing the planet apart, the President decided to personally step in and issue a pardon.
Which still doesn't explain why he was presiding over their trial, nor does it explain how the President manages to simply sidestep the Starfleet legal system for that one charge he DIDN'T pardon, thereby both demoting him and giving him command of a starship by Presidential fiat.

The more likely explanation is that the Starfleet judicial system is only relevant within Starfleet and only practiced on an ad hoc basis; it furthermore can be overruled at will by the civilian government, which is basically what happens to Kirk and McCoy in TUC.
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Old July 3 2013, 11:14 AM   #189
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Because her comment had nothing whatsoever to do with what was actually being discussed.
So you think that she doesn't know what she's talking about. It's amazing how peopel can dismiss the movie's script just because they have a predetermined conclusion.

The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
It's a straw man very simply because at no point was anyone proposing that be done. The answer to the question "are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet" was clearly "no."
Again: dismissing the script because you disagree. As if canon bowed to our collective wills.
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Old July 3 2013, 01:28 PM   #190
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Belz... wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Because her comment had nothing whatsoever to do with what was actually being discussed.
So you think that she doesn't know what she's talking about. It's amazing how peopel can dismiss the movie's script just because they have a predetermined conclusion.

The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
It's a straw man very simply because at no point was anyone proposing that be done. The answer to the question "are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet" was clearly "no."
Again: dismissing the script because you disagree. As if canon bowed to our collective wills.
It's NOT a "straw man " argument!


Again from the SCRIPT AND ONSCREEN DIALOGUE:-

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...


The answer is CLEARLY not NO, but is a MAYBE!
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Old July 3 2013, 01:31 PM   #191
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

The Mighty Monkey of Mim wrote: View Post
It's a straw man very simply because at no point was anyone proposing that be done. The answer to the question "are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet" was clearly "no."
Not so clearly, or why else would he make the distinction about scientific/exploratory programs remaining unaffected and say "but..." before being cut off by Cartwright?

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...
To me that implies that the more combat oriented vessels in the fleet were facing getting mothballed, with the more scientific and exploratory oriented vessels remaining viable in the planned peacetime reorganization.
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Old July 3 2013, 03:30 PM   #192
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

I doubt Starfleet was considering mothballing ALL the military starships, after all, the Klingons weren't the only threat in town (unless the implication of the fact that the Romulan Ambassador of all people was sitting in on a STARFLEET BRIEFING implied that at the time of TUC relations with the Star Empire were far more cordial).

Starfleet has always been shown to be extremely short-sighted in their policies though. Putting families on starships due to their planned extended exploratory missions may have seemed a good idea at the time, but as the fate of the Saratoga at Wolf 359 showed us, that policy did indeed return to bite them on the ass. From the Enterprise-E and Dominion War, that policy seems to have been largely abandoned. The introduction of the Intrepid and Nova classes would also seem to indicate that Starfleet was moving away from the idea of long-term exploratory missions, preferring many smaller ships undertaking shorter tours, than a few large ones conducting long-range missions. Even the Galaxy class starships, despite being designed from the the outset for twenty-year+ exploratory missions and the flagships of the families aboard policy, never seemed to have strayed much from the Federation borders.
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Old July 3 2013, 03:37 PM   #193
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Starfleet barely manages to defend EARTH most of the time. I think defending the entire Federation is probably asking a bit much..
That is funny that one of the key planets in the Federation seems to be facing invasion or destruction every few years from "insert threat here". No wonder there is so much colonization in the future. The earth just isn't a safe place to live!!!

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
I'm also reminded that Sisko tells Leyton in "Paradise Lost" that the other Federation worlds probably wouldn't take too kindly to Starfleet overthrowing the President and creating, effectively, a "military dictatorship." Assuming I'm essentially right about Federation laws vis a vis military buildup, then Leyton is making essentially the same calculation as Marcus -- his "strengthening Earth" is his belief that Starfleet must become a full military force to counter an alien threat -- and realizes that the current government is in no way prepared to allow this. Sisko explicitly mentions civil war (which is probably what the Founders were hoping for too) which suggests that the other Federation members have their own space forces that could, either individually or collectively, give Starfleet a run for its money.
This is just speculation and not necessarily true. In the US Civil War a great number of high ranking federal officers resigned and fought for the sessecionists. In a coup situation you would likely have various commanders or perhaps entire commands, army groups, corps, brigades, military installations, etc, who could choose to side with one side or the other.

Instead of "regional local defense fleets" battling Starfleet forces you would just as easily have Starfleet Force A battling Starfleet Force B. Especially if many of these installations fall within and are maintained/supported by local races or governments who withdraw from the Federation after the coup.
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Old July 3 2013, 06:47 PM   #194
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

solariabsg25 wrote: View Post
It's NOT a "straw man " argument!


Again from the SCRIPT AND ONSCREEN DIALOGUE:-

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...


The answer is CLEARLY not NO, but is a MAYBE!
Not really, because again, at its foundation Starfleet is a scientific and exploratory program. His reply is a sideways way of saying they were going to get back to what they were really supposed to be doing and shed the excess built up in response to a threat that would no longer be posed by the Klingons.

At no point was there any reason to think that SF would go away, except in the minds of the characters who can't imagine it as anything but a military force and can't see themselves as anything but warriors. This was the whole source of conflict and development for Kirk and company in the film! While initially sympathetic, by the end of it our heroes see the wrongness of this and work to thwart the efforts of those so obsessed with war that they'd join their own enemies to slaughter their own leaders in order to preserve that way of life. The view that "SF is the military, its officers are soldiers, and that's just the way it is and must always be" is held by the VILLAINS in this movie.
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Old July 3 2013, 07:42 PM   #195
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
I'm also reminded that Sisko tells Leyton in "Paradise Lost" that the other Federation worlds probably wouldn't take too kindly to Starfleet overthrowing the President and creating, effectively, a "military dictatorship." Assuming I'm essentially right about Federation laws vis a vis military buildup, then Leyton is making essentially the same calculation as Marcus -- his "strengthening Earth" is his belief that Starfleet must become a full military force to counter an alien threat -- and realizes that the current government is in no way prepared to allow this. Sisko explicitly mentions civil war (which is probably what the Founders were hoping for too) which suggests that the other Federation members have their own space forces that could, either individually or collectively, give Starfleet a run for its money.
To me it seemed Leyton seemed frustrated with a President who he felt wasn't taking the Dominion threat seriously enough and decided to take matters into his own hands. That's a bit different from Marcus who felt Starfleet isn't strong enough to take on the Klingons. Although there are similarities, the two seem to have different goals for their endgames. Marcus seemed to be trying to actually start a war with the Klingons, I don't think Leyton was trying to start war with the Dominion.

There never has been any evidence that Federation member worlds have their own military forces. Indeed, it is mentioned on DS9 that when Bajor was admitted into the Federation the Bajoran Militia would be absorbed into Starfleet. Of course in the novels, we do see Federation member worlds do have their own militaries and even the Bajoran Militia continues after Bajor's admittance into the Federation.

Which still doesn't explain why he was presiding over their trial, nor does it explain how the President manages to simply sidestep the Starfleet legal system for that one charge he DIDN'T pardon, thereby both demoting him and giving him command of a starship by Presidential fiat.
Just one of those contrived things we see all the time in movies. And truth of the matter is, it makes more sense to me for the Federation President to be assigning starship commands than it does for Starfleet Academy's disciplinary board.
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