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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

View Poll Results: Which is the most powerful military?
Starfleet 17 22.08%
Klingons 2 2.60%
Romulans 1 1.30%
Dominion 57 74.03%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 10 2013, 11:15 PM   #31
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

The Dominion apparently needed time to prepare, too, though. They don't necessarily always keep huge conquest fleets ready to deploy at a moment's notice. In fact, they may normally have only a small force available, searching out new worlds to bring into the Dominion by Vorta carrot diplomacy, and only using the Jem'Hadar stick when deemed necessary by the Founders. In the case of stumbling over the Federation "early" (they supposedly knew of its existence and were preparing to deal with it in the long term), they had to take time to prepare "defense" (i.e., conquest) fleets and troops while the Federation was doing more or less the same thing - recalling starships and pulling others out of mothballs. The fact that the Dominion can grow their troops from infancy to fighting fitness in a few days is to their advantage, and they apparently can build battleships faster than the Federation, but then, the Feds build ships for multipurpose deployment, while the Jem'Hadar's ships are more-or-less built exclusively to fight, and are probably much simpler technologically anyway. If you can have an effective fighting force put together fairly quickly, you don't need to keep it around all the time.

As for the Borg, again, the Federation's continued survival suggests they are dealing with the Borg effectively (that, or the Borg aren't really out to assimilate them).
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Old June 10 2013, 11:16 PM   #32
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

If they had just poured through the Wormhole it would have been game over before the federation could have grouped together.
Which is the risk you run in believing that impossible things such as stable wormholes don't actually exist.

And that's a very good reason to do what the UFP does, and send out exploration starships to find out whether the universe really is like you believe it to be, or whether there are nasty surprises out there, surprises that will come to you regardless of whether you scout them out in advance or not...

Plus with Borg out there I would want a fleet of 200 ships at least ready to respond at all times like in first contact.
Respond where? If you guard Earth, Vulcan is lost. If you guard both, Andor has even less hope. You lose the outer colonies anyway - but when you do, this gives you some warning about where the threat is coming from, and enables you to do the slowing-down-and-escalating thing. You just have to readjust your parameters for the superfast travel methods of the Borg.

That the Borg "always" target Earth (even though ST:FC has dialogue to the effect that they advance and the Federation falls back, establishing that other places are being targeted and lost) just goes to show that even the deepest core of the Federation cannot be safe from speedy penetrations. It is probably just the Collective showing off - it isn't a justification for pulling forces from all other fronts and concentrating them at Earth. After all, if the Borg have enough speed to bring in one Cube to defeat 40 ships, they have everything set up for bringing in fifty Cubes to defeat 2,000 ships! You don't stop the Borg by escalating your defenses. You stop them by praying that they keep only sending individual Cubes, while you frantically research for indirect ways to defeat the Collective...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 10 2013, 11:17 PM   #33
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Pavonis wrote: View Post
The Dominion apparently needed time to prepare, too, though. They don't necessarily always keep huge conquest fleets ready to deploy at a moment's notice. In fact, they may normally have only a small force available, searching out new worlds to bring into the Dominion by Vorta carrot diplomacy, and only using the Jem'Hadar stick when deemed necessary by the Founders. In the case of stumbling over the Federation "early" (they supposedly knew of its existence and were preparing to deal with it in the long term), they had to take time to prepare "defense" (i.e., conquest) fleets and troops while the Federation was doing more or less the same thing - recalling starships and pulling others out of mothballs. The fact that the Dominion can grow their troops from infancy to fighting fitness in a few days is to their advantage, and they apparently can build battleships faster than the Federation, but then, the Feds build ships for multipurpose deployment, while the Jem'Hadar's ships are more-or-less built exclusively to fight, and are probably much simpler technologically anyway.
A lot to bet on speculation though.

The federation got lucky that the dominion delayed.
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Old June 10 2013, 11:48 PM   #34
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Life's a gamble - what're you going to do?

How many wars has the Federation fought in its existence? It survived a couple of centuries so far, and apparently has a few more in store for it - at least until the 31st century. It's fate beyond that is unclear. Maybe the Dominion will win in the long run, maybe some other superpower will destroy them, or conquer them, but the Federation won't win by keeping all their ships close to home indefinitely. A fear-based siege mentality won't win them any friends, won't help them expand, and won't necessarily help them survive longer.
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Old June 11 2013, 12:02 AM   #35
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

On the other hand, the Dominion thrives on "siege mentality" of sorts. Its leaders are certainly "fear-based" - they cower out of sight, presenting no target to either external or internal enemies. They aren't just difficult to find, they maintain the impression that they don't even exist! And their forces do appear extremely concentrated: they are seen in decisive defensive action around the hideout world of the leaders once, but make only extremely sporadic appearances elsewhere.

Reaching out is no doubt good for survival. But it might be a good idea to do it without confessing to doing it... Even the Borg lurk in the dark depths of space, rather than conquering territory and presenting targets for counterattacks.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 12:14 AM   #36
Pavonis
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Granted, the Founders are fearful creatures, basically making every policy of the Dominion a fear-based one, but their Vorta representatives are incredibly outgoing, friendly, even charming. If they weren't representatives of such a scary polity, who wouldn't want to be part of the Dominion?
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Old June 11 2013, 12:14 AM   #37
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

TheRoyalFamily wrote: View Post
They didn't mine the wormhole until it was absolutely clear that war was inevitable, and the Dominion was setting up an invasion force. Up until that point, they were merely "defending their ["ally's"] space," reenforcing Cardassian space, since the Klingons destroyed much of the Cardassian military.
And no reason was ever given for the wait. Starfleet would have saved itself a lot of trouble by preventing the Dominion from establishing such a signfiicant fleet in the alpha quadrant. It's possible, however, that the Dominion would still have been able to manufacture enough vessels to wage war against the Federation without the additional ships from the gamma quadrant.

Timo wrote: View Post
It is also rather likely that Starfleet simply wasn't ready for war yet. We heard later on that Starfleet had thousands of ships - but several episodes had established that it was impossible to bring such numbers to the vicinity of DS9 in any appreciable time.
Sisko says as much during "In Purgatory's Shadow" when he notes that the Dominion picked "a perfect time to invade." He cites the war with the Klingons and the Borg invasion of First Contact as reasons for the Federation being short on ships. They definitely weren't ready for war. Who knows what may have happened without the assistance of the Klingons and (eventually) the Romulans?

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Old June 11 2013, 12:27 AM   #38
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Granted, the Founders are fearful creatures, basically making every policy of the Dominion a fear-based one, but their Vorta representatives are incredibly outgoing, friendly, even charming. If they weren't representatives of such a scary polity, who wouldn't want to be part of the Dominion?

I have a feeling if the Federation, Klingon and Romulans had not been such huge powers the dominion would have most liklely sent the Vorta in first.

If Humans had encounterd them pre federation then there is a good possiblity the Vorta could have spun it so earth joined the dominion peacefully.
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Old June 11 2013, 12:40 AM   #39
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
I have a feeling if the Federation, Klingon and Romulans had not been such huge powers the dominion would have most liklely sent the Vorta in first.

If Humans had encounterd them pre federation then there is a good possiblity the Vorta could have spun it so earth joined the dominion peacefully.
This makes sense to me. The Dominion sent the Jem'Hadar only because they viewed the Federation and its neighbors as threats. What's not clear is whether their assessment of the Alpha Quadrant changed significantly after the simulation that Sisko and the Defiant crew were put through during "The Search."

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Old June 11 2013, 01:04 AM   #40
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

It's unclear how big an invasion force the Dominion could have mustered up in short notice.

But it's pretty clear, the Dominion did not want to alarm the entire quadrant into all out war. They preferred a political invasion to a military one. They wanted to make a deal with everyone, then say "I have altered the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further". That's why they never attacked the Ferengi, because they knew no military might was necessary to conquer them.
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Old June 11 2013, 04:59 PM   #41
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

He cites the war with the Klingons and the Borg invasion of First Contact as reasons for the Federation being short on ships.
Which makes very little sense. How did those things result in a starship shortage? The Borg might have destroyed about a hundred ships at the rate things were going in ST:FC - that wouldn't even register on the scales established in the DS9 war stories. Why is Sisko lumping it together with the potentially destructive Klingon thing?

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 05:06 PM   #42
Crazyewok
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
He cites the war with the Klingons and the Borg invasion of First Contact as reasons for the Federation being short on ships.
Which makes very little sense. How did those things result in a starship shortage? The Borg might have destroyed about a hundred ships at the rate things were going in ST:FC - that wouldn't even register on the scales established in the DS9 war stories. Why is Sisko lumping it together with the potentially destructive Klingon thing?

Timo Saloniemi
I dunno 100 ships is pretty big. Rember the 7th fleet. They lost near 100 ships and that was considerd a disaster! Plus the federation would have sent some of there best ships against the borg seeing as the stakes were so high so if they lost some of there best ships or they were so damaged they had to go into repairs for a few months it would have been at least a big pain in the arse.

I get the impression the federation keeps there fleet at the bare minimum to do its job. So if they lose any number of ships it makes some sort of impact even if it means withdrawing a ship from border patrols and frontier protection to cover lost ships.
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Old June 11 2013, 05:38 PM   #43
Timo
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

I dunno 100 ships is pretty big. Rember the 7th fleet. They lost near 100 ships and that was considerd a disaster!
Well, for the 7th Fleet.

But Starfleet at large didn't seem much shaken by the loss of 40 ships in peacetime - "Back up in a year" was the phrase used in "Best of Both Worlds"...

Subsequently, we saw that "elements" of three fleets thrown together amounted to 600 ships.

Plus the federation would have sent some of there best ships against the borg seeing as the stakes were so high
I'm not sure if it's possible to "send" ships against the Borg - there doesn't seem to be time for that, what with the Borg Cubes being so damn fast. You scrap together what you can get, in "BoBW" at least (where the desperation of gathering the small fleet is evident both from the dialogue and the haphazard collection of models used for creating the fleet graveyard scenes).

OTOH, they held back the E-E which was supposed to be advanced and all. So perhaps "proven and reliable" counts for more than "best"?

I get the impression the federation keeps there fleet at the bare minimum to do its job. So if they lose any number of ships it makes some sort of impact even if it means withdrawing a ship from border patrols and frontier protection to cover lost ships.
Agreed on that. But there would have been a war brewing during ST:FC already, so the bare minimum would have been ramped up in some fashion, even if absolute maximum in practice doesn't differ much from bare minimum.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 11 2013, 05:39 PM   #44
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
I get the impression the federation keeps there fleet at the bare minimum to do its job. So if they lose any number of ships it makes some sort of impact even if it means withdrawing a ship from border patrols and frontier protection to cover lost ships.
I get this impression, too. It's likely that several ships were recalled to Federation space once the Dominion entered the Alpha Quadrant, and any ships nearing completion were rushed so they'd be ready in the event of full-scale war. It's difficult to know how many ships are available at any one time because we see only the ships relevant to a specific episode or TV series.

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Old June 11 2013, 05:54 PM   #45
Sran
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Re: Most Powerful Military Powers in Star Trek

Timo wrote: View Post
Agreed on that. But there would have been a war brewing during ST:FC already, so the bare minimum would have been ramped up in some fashion, even if absolute maximum in practice doesn't differ much from bare minimum.
The Dominion entered the Alpha Quadrant about halfway through the fifth season of DS9. If each season is a year's time based on the Earth calendar, between five and six months passed before the war started. That would have been enough time for ships within range of Federation space to return. It also would have been enough time for vessels under construction to be finished.

The Dominion threat existed long before they formed an alliance with Cardassia. We know from the events of "Paradise Lost" that ships already in service were being refitted to prepare for war. It's possible that every Starfleet vessel was given similar upgrades, even if no such thing was ever said on screen. Also consider that it's easier to make new ships if a pattern for a ship's design already exists. Miranda, Excelsior, and Galaxy-class ships were in service years before the Dominion became known. Making more in a short period of time was certainly do-able.

--Sran
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