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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 8 2013, 08:02 PM   #271
OneBuckFilms
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Starfleet is a multiple-role organisation, centered primarily on exploration (so their primary mission is NOT military), however they ASLO served a military function.

- They are involved in humanitarian relief efforts (US military does this)
- They are involved in tracking down smugglers and interstellar (multi-national) criminals and pirates (US armed services are a good parallel to this, even though the Coast Guard also does this)
- They lead and participate in peacekeeping missions, and are heavily involved in diplomatic missions (UN and US forces do this).
- They act as a defense force for external and internal threats (the very definition of a military organisation).

They ARE a military by any reasonable definition, but their primary mission is one of science and exploration.

They bring military efficiency, techniques and training to scientific endeavors, and serve the same role as UN ilitary forces for the Federation.

It is possible, and likely, that member planets also have their own military organisations, per their rights as sovereign members of the Federation.

I look at Starfleet as analogous to an international Navy, or the UN military, but with a heavy focus on science and exploration rather than the traditional military role.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:05 PM   #272
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
KGator wrote: View Post
In World War 2 the US military was comprised of a lot of teachers, truck drivers, farmers, construction workers, etc, with basic military training who were quite destructive. The bottom line is whether a scientist/part-time soldier is shooting at you or a lifelong solder you are probably going to duck just the same. I'm sure a phaser fired from an armed scientists who knows Superstring theory hurts just as much as fired from a guy who only knows how to shoot the weapon he's holding.
And yet, the guys who only knows how to shoot the weapons they're holding are going to get their asses kicked by the guys who also spent five years learning parkour and jujitsu and training how to move and fight as a team over difficult terrain in low visibility, high-stress situations
Starfleet is in its element in space (most of the time) and tends to use science and engineering to solve its conflicts.

Their INFANTRY tactics, on the other hand, are laughable at best..
Ummmm, the battle history of a military does not define whether they are a military or not. How many wars have the militaries of Peru or the Philippines actually won? Does that mean we rename their armed forces to something else? The Federation has fought and won (or at least not lost) to the Klingons, Romulans, Dominion, etc, etc. So your point is moot. The US has the dominant military in the world today but that doesn't mean we can't get our arses handed to us in any individual battle or operation.

American Infantry and Armor at the beginning of WWII wasn't anything to write home about but they got better as the war went along (experience). US Artillery was the dominant combat arms component for the US in the war and had no equal. It was the branch most feared by our foes.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
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Starfleet is probably closest in comparison to the Coast Guard where armed combat against foreign militaries is just a single component of their overall role. However they are by definition a military/armed force of the United States.
And as has been said before, the coast guards of most nations are NOT military organizations and are legally classified as law enforcement agencies despite being fairly heavily armed.
The US Coast Guard is tasked with defending US Soil in times of War. I'm sure you can find information on the Role of the Coast Guard. Its one of the 5 Armed Services of the United States.

Here's something you need to realize. Any MILITARY can undertake police action. In many parts of the world a nation's military is tasked or often used to pacify its citizens or fill law enforcement roles. This also happens in the US. A common misconception is that the military cannot bear arms against US citizens without the declaration of martial law. However if National Guard forces are still under the control of the Governor (not federalized) they can easily be "deputized" before undertaking security or law enforcement missions (aka carry live rounds with clear rules of engagement). Federal forces on the otherhand are barred by law. That does not mean other countries follow our lead on this.

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If a country fights its battles by arming all available milkmen and sending then on invasions of neighboring countries . . . . that's their military.
I offer a counter-proposal: this society only provides weapons to its milkmen because the high demand for milk means the milkmen can be everywhere all the time and it is therefore highly efficient to give them police powers (e.g. if you rob a convenience store, the local milkmen will quickly locate and arrest your ass). Because the milk trucks are also very robust and highly mobile, they may also double as a defense service if and when the country is invaded by foreigners.

The milkmen do not, however, become a military organization unless they are legally classified as the exclusive agency authorized to conduct war against the nation's enemies. This is such, because "military" or "armed forces" is legal concept as much as a linguistic one and has different implications in different languages (particularly latin and African languages the equivalent word refers almost exclusively to land armies, as it used to in English until recently). Not being an officially-sanctioned armed force would make them a "paramilitary" or "militia" force by modern conventions, which I think fits Starfleet just fine.
Again, I don't seem to be conveying this properly. If the milkmen only engage in law enforcement they are not military. If they are used for state defense against external threats (aka invading other countries or repelling said invasions) then they are by DEFINITION an armed force of the state (aka MILITARY FORCE).

If you have your milkmen act in the mission of state defense (or by definition has that as one of its purposes) it is now a military organization. If the Texas Highway Patrol is suddenly ordered to invade Mexico by the State it becomes a military organization. If the National Guard rounds up rioters in the street its a military organization performing law enforcement duties (because its also tasked with defending that same state from any invasion or invading any foreign state).

Again, a government can have a military force do whatever it feels appropriate. And any force that is armed and acts in the defense of the state (whether that be through offensive or defensive action) is a military.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:21 PM   #273
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

KGator wrote: View Post
Ummmm, the battle history of a military does not define whether they are a military or not.
Never said it did. I've said that their relative lack of specialty in combat training reflects the fact that they are not a military organization. And even Riker called combat proficiency a "minor province" in a commander's duties, something which Star Trek has been remarkably consistent about.

The US Coast Guard is tasked with defending US Soil in times of War.
So is the Chinese Coast Guard, despite the fact that it is not a military organization.

Here's something you need to realize. Any MILITARY can undertake police action.
I realize that. And here's the thing YOU need to realize: any NON military organization can participate in a war.

A common misconception is that the military cannot bear arms against US citizens without the declaration of martial law....
That's not a misconception, that's the Posse Commititus act that explicitly prohibits them from doing so except under very specific circumstances. By contrast, some other countries -- France, for example -- have explicitly military organizations that operate in a domestic law enforcement agency.

Asking if Starfleet is a military organization is like asking if the LAPD is a Gendarmerie. When a police captain says "The LAPD is not a military organization," you don't point at the SWAT team and say "Yes you are!"

Again, I don't seem to be conveying this properly. If the milkmen only engage in law enforcement they are not military.
Why not? Militaries do that too.

If they are used for state defense against external threats (aka invading other countries or repelling said invasions) then they are by DEFINITION an armed force of the state (aka MILITARY FORCE).
Why? Non-militaries do that too.

Again, a government can have a military force do whatever it feels appropriate.
Yes, and governments are free to define whether the people it sends to do those tasks are civilian organizations, uniformed government agencies, or sanctioned military organizations. Some governments -- Japan, for example -- avoid using a formal military organization altogether for historical and political reasons; I suspect the Federation has a similar reason for downplaying Starfleet's defense role as being merely one of a list of emergencies they are trained to handle.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:32 PM   #274
BillJ
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Never said it did. I've said that their relative lack of specialty in combat training reflects the fact that they are not a military organization. And even Riker called combat proficiency a "minor province" in a commander's duties, something which Star Trek has been remarkably consistent about.
That is also in the same episode as Picard's "we aren't the military". I wonder how many starship commanders thought combat proficiency was a "minor province" during all those battles on Deep Space Nine? You seem to hinge everything on Picard's statement, yet he's been wrong before. I tend to think of his statement as his idealized vision of what Starfleet is.

You're right that Star Trek has been incredibly consistent but not about Picard or Riker's comments. Combat tactics have seemed incredibly important going all the way back to Balance of Terror.

When they were expecting a war with the Cardassians to erupt at Galorndon Core, they sent Starfleet.

Yesterday's Enterprise wrote:
Military log, Combat date 43625.2. While investigating an unusual radiation anomaly, the Enterprise has encountered what could almost be called a ghost from its own past, the Enterprise-C, the immediate predecessor to this battleship.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:53 PM   #275
KGator
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
KGator wrote: View Post
Ummmm, the battle history of a military does not define whether they are a military or not.
Never said it did. I've said that their relative lack of specialty in combat training reflects the fact that they are not a military organization. And even Riker called combat proficiency a "minor province" in a commander's duties, something which Star Trek has been remarkably consistent about.

The US Coast Guard is tasked with defending US Soil in times of War.
So is the Chinese Coast Guard, despite the fact that it is not a military organization.


I realize that. And here's the thing YOU need to realize: any NON military organization can participate in a war.


That's not a misconception, that's the Posse Commititus act that explicitly prohibits them from doing so except under very specific circumstances. By contrast, some other countries -- France, for example -- have explicitly military organizations that operate in a domestic law enforcement agency.

Asking if Starfleet is a military organization is like asking if the LAPD is a Gendarme. When a police captain says "The LAPD is not a military organization," you don't point at the SWAT team and say "Yes you are!"


Why not? Militaries do that too.

If they are used for state defense against external threats (aka invading other countries or repelling said invasions) then they are by DEFINITION an armed force of the state (aka MILITARY FORCE).
Why? Non-militaries do that too.

Again, a government can have a military force do whatever it feels appropriate.
Yes, and governments are free to define whether the people it sends to do those tasks are civilian organizations, uniformed government agencies, or sanctioned military organizations. Some governments -- Japan, for example -- avoid using a formal military organization altogether for historical and political reasons; I suspect the Federation has a similar reason for downplaying Starfleet's defense role as being merely one of a list of emergencies they are trained to handle.
Somebody is in denial. The bottom line is that Starfleet is an armed force of the Federation and by definition they are a military. Nothing you can say (pulling vague facts about the Chinese Coast Guard or Japanese military) can change that. They fight the Federation's wars so they are UNDENIABLY a military organization.

I'm sorry that upsets you so and you feel like Picard lied to you on the show but . . . . that's just how it is.

As for your other comments.

Whether the Chinese Coast Guard is tasked with defending the coast against foreign forces is the call of the Chinese Government. They might reserve that role exclusively for their Navy. Who cares? I stated that Starfleet was most like the US Coast Guard in its multiple roles. I'm not really concerned with what the Nicaraguan Coast Guard does either (even if that turns out to be a fascinating comparison).

Look Eddie, I explained how it works between the National Guard and Active component troops. I carried live rounds in Operation Safe Skies . . . and guess what . . . the passengers were mostly US CITIZENS. Hmmmm . . . clearly you don't understand the difference between Federal and State control and the dual chain of command of the US National Guard. Read my paragraph again, I'm not wrong here. While the National Guard is part of the US Armed Forces they can bear arms against its citizens in a wide variety of circumstances. (Posse Commititus only applies to units activated under Federal Control)

LAPD is not a military organization. Starfleet is. LAPD doesn't get sent to Afghanistan for counterinsurgency, security or peace enforcement operations. But if they did . . . they WOULD BE MILITARY (see the definitions of military you constantly ignore).

Is your argument that militaries that conduct law enforcement activities cannot be considered militaries? Is your next tactic to declare that because Starfleet does law enforcement it cannot possibly be a military force (because we know it is as by definition they fight wars on behalf of the Federation --- MILITARY)

Japan's restrictions on its defense forces does not have anything to do with Starfleet. The Japanese SDF is a military force that is legally restricted in terms of size and offensive capabilities. I met some Japanese soldiers at White Sands Missile Range years ago. Trust me, you don't want to piss those guys off. I'm sure you telling them they weren't a real military wouldn't go over too well either.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:57 PM   #276
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Never said it did. I've said that their relative lack of specialty in combat training reflects the fact that they are not a military organization. And even Riker called combat proficiency a "minor province" in a commander's duties, something which Star Trek has been remarkably consistent about.
That is also in the same episode as Picard's "we aren't the military".
In point of fact, it's the same SCENE.

I wonder how many starship commanders thought combat proficiency was a "minor province" during all those battles on Deep Space Nine?
All of them, I should think. It would definitely explain why they sustained the high losses that they did.

You seem to hinge everything on Picard's statement, yet he's been wrong before. I tend to think of his statement as his idealized vision of what Starfleet is.
Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization? How many soldiers in the history of warfare have ever said this or anything similar to it of their own armies?

Yesterday's Enterprise wrote:
Military log, Combat date 43625.2. While investigating an unusual radiation anomaly, the Enterprise has encountered what could almost be called a ghost from its own past, the Enterprise-C, the immediate predecessor to this battleship.
Is what Starfleet would look like IF it was a military. That may or may not be part of what Tasha Yar had in mind when she says to Castillo "Lot of changes, Lieutenant. Alot of changes."

In pictures:
This is a military.




This is not.


The difference is not as subtle as you might think. Most significantly, it is only the desperation of a war they are decisively loosing that prompts the formalization of Starfleet into a military organization. The DS9 fleet comes close, but not THAT case.
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Last edited by Crazy Eddie; July 8 2013 at 09:13 PM.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:04 PM   #277
BillJ
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization?
Starfleet is the military. Why else would Picard think his officers needed combat training against the Borg if he wasn't expecting to fight the Borg? Where was the Federation's military during the invasions of Sector 001?


This is not.

That is the same bridge where they fight the Borg and are sent by Starfleet to confront the Romulans and the Cardassians on multiple occasions.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:06 PM   #278
KGator
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
In pictures:
This is a military.




This is not.


The difference is not as subtle as you might think. Most significantly, it is only the desperation of a war they are decisively loosing that prompts the formalization of Starfleet into a military organization. The DS9 fleet comes close, but not THAT case.
So you think a ship is military if it is darker and some guys have to wear some weird silver belt/vest type thing on their uniform . . . I see.

Well that clears it up.

Unfortunately the bottom line doesn't change. If they fight on behalf of the Federation they are an armed force. If they are an armed force they are a military.

Fashion and mood lighting doesn't actually contribute as much to the definition of military as you have been led to believe.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:08 PM   #279
Belz...
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Belz... wrote: View Post
Also remember the Klingons asking Kirk if he's willing to give up starfleet. I guess everybody is enjoying the same strawman, right ?
As a matter of fact, they are.
It's hard to discuss anything with you if you can hold mutually-exclusive opinions simultaneously. It's a strawman, but people are actually considering that option, making it not a strawman, but then it is, somehow.

The MACOs.
For whom we have no evidence outside the 22nd century.

But that would only be possible if technology has rendered war such a trivial affair that just about anyone could successfully fight an entire war without really being trained to do so.
We actually see them train.

I believe Starfleet is not a military organization because they SAY they're not a military organization.
Then that is the flaw in your argument: you are relying on eyewitnesses rather than hard evidence.

This is a military.
This is not.
Based on what ? The colour of the lights above the bridge ? The fact that you have to step up to get to the command chair ?

Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization?
What people believe is irrelevant. Q, for instance, proved Picard wrong at least once.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:12 PM   #280
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

KGator wrote: View Post

So you think a ship is military if it is darker and some guys have to wear some weird silver belt/vest type thing on their uniform . . . I see.
That means Starfleet is the military in Generations! Because we have the mood lighting and some guy is wearing one of those silver belts.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:12 PM   #281
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

BillJ wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization?
Starfleet is the military. Why else would Picard think his officers needed combat training against the Borg if he wasn't expecting to fight the Borg?
Because it's a non-military organization that is expected to fight the Borg. Duh.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:14 PM   #282
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization?
Starfleet is the military. Why else would Picard think his officers needed combat training against the Borg if he wasn't expecting to fight the Borg?
Because it's a non-military organization that is expected to fight the Borg. Duh.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:14 PM   #283
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

KGator wrote: View Post
So you think a ship is military if it is darker and some guys have to wear some weird silver belt/vest type thing on their uniform . . . I see.
I don't think you do.

This is the military.
This is not.


Military
Not Military

Spot the difference.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:16 PM   #284
KGator
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Because it's a non-military organization that is expected to fight the Borg. Duh.
Except that non-military organizations aren't expected to fight on behalf of the State.
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Old July 8 2013, 09:18 PM   #285
KGator
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Re: Scotty and his military comment

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
KGator wrote: View Post
So you think a ship is military if it is darker and some guys have to wear some weird silver belt/vest type thing on their uniform . . . I see.
I don't think you do.

This is the military.
This is not.


Military
Not Military

Spot the difference.
Ummm . . . if your security officer is a Klingon you . . . aren't . . . military???

If there is only one chair in the center of the bridge???

Dresses and cleavage aren't allowed on military vessels (so no Deanna Troi!!!)???

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