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Old July 15 2013, 10:44 PM   #1
TheMightyQ
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Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

I was just discussing this with a friend-According to Wikipedia the Federation is composed of " more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy". In contrast, the enemies of the Federation are made up of one member species. So can someone explain why the Klingons, the Romulans, or the Cardassians are even a threat to the Federation, which has at its disposal the power and technology of so many different species working together?
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Old July 15 2013, 10:48 PM   #2
MacLeod
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

Well just because we haven't seen other races from the RSE or KE doesn't mean they don't exist.
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Old July 15 2013, 10:51 PM   #3
Pavonis
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

Sure. The cultures amenable to joining the Federation were not particularly strong in the first place. If they were, they'd have built an empire of their own. Therefore the cultures that did build empires are capable of standing up to a Federation of mostly peaceful peoples. The fact that mostly humans are seen in Starfleet, and that Starfleet is originally an Earth institution suggests that humans are the primary defenders of the Federation. In a way, humans built an empire out of cooperating with weaker species, instead of conquering them like Klingons or Romulans do. Cardassians managed to be more devious about their empire-building, by insinuating themselves into the Bajoran culture. So the Federation is just the Human Empire by another name, and better at empire building than their competitors.

Basically, the Federation isn't as much more powerful than the surrounding empires as it may seem, they're just less obvious about being an empire. Which I think explains the political situation nicely.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:22 PM   #4
MacLeod
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

The Federation may also be far larger than either the RSE or KE, giving them more space to patrol and defend.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:25 PM   #5
Elias Vaughn
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

The Federation doesn't use as many resources for war as the rest of the AQ empires do. The Federation may not be as warlike as the RSE or Klingon Empire, but we also never hear about RSE or Klingon exploration initiatives.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:30 PM   #6
F. King Daniel
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

The Romulans have the Remans (featured in Star Trek: Nemesis) and probably many other unseen-due-to-budgetary-constraints subject races. We saw some escapees of a Klingon sebject world in the Enterprise episode "Judgement" and several were mentioned amd detailed in the (non-canon yet utterly awesome) novel The Final Reflection.
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Old July 15 2013, 11:38 PM   #7
MacLeod
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

Remember as well the Klingon's focused so many resources onto their military that when Praxis exploded they where unable to cope with the after effects, without the aid of the UFP.
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Old July 16 2013, 02:18 AM   #8
TheMightyQ
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The Romulans have the Remans (featured in Star Trek: Nemesis) and probably many other unseen-due-to-budgetary-constraints subject races. We saw some escapees of a Klingon sebject world in the Enterprise episode "Judgement" and several were mentioned amd detailed in the (non-canon yet utterly awesome) novel The Final Reflection.
Yea well you'd think that conquering other races and keeping them conquered would require significant amounts of resources (i.e Cardassian occupation of Bajor)-Especially when those races obviously are going to do their best from increasing the power of their oppressors. Sure, you get the resources but not necessarily the benefits that come with actual cooperation.

The fact that mostly humans are seen in Starfleet, and that Starfleet is originally an Earth institution suggests that humans are the primary defenders of the Federation. In a way, humans built an empire out of cooperating with weaker species, instead of conquering them like Klingons or Romulans do.
Ha, I was going to ask why humans dominated Starfleet-I suppose this is a reasonable explanation.
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Old July 17 2013, 05:34 AM   #9
-Brett-
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

TheMightyQ wrote: View Post
I was just discussing this with a friend-According to Wikipedia the Federation is composed of " more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy".
The bolded part has no basis at all in canon. Lily asked Picard how many planets are in the Federation, he answered 150. In context, it seems clear that that number refers to both homeworlds and colonies.
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Old July 17 2013, 05:48 AM   #10
BK613
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

-Brett- wrote: View Post
TheMightyQ wrote: View Post
I was just discussing this with a friend-According to Wikipedia the Federation is composed of " more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy".
The bolded part has no basis at all in canon. Lily asked Picard how many planets are in the Federation, he answered 150. In context, it seems clear that that number refers to both homeworlds and colonies.
Well there's this from TOS, Metamorphosis:

COCHRANE: Believe me, Captain, immortality consists largely of boredom. What's it like out there in the galaxy?
KIRK: We're on a thousand planets and spreading out. We cross fantastic distances and everything's alive, Cochrane. Life everywhere. We estimate there are millions of planets with intelligent life. We haven't begun to map them.
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Old July 18 2013, 12:34 PM   #11
F. King Daniel
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

-Brett- wrote: View Post
TheMightyQ wrote: View Post
I was just discussing this with a friend-According to Wikipedia the Federation is composed of " more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy".
The bolded part has no basis at all in canon. Lily asked Picard how many planets are in the Federation, he answered 150. In context, it seems clear that that number refers to both homeworlds and colonies.
Although non-canon too, pre-release promotional stuff for STXI said the 23rd century Federation consisted of 130something planets and 700 colonies.
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Old July 18 2013, 03:43 PM   #12
jmampilly
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

I'm pretty sure that, when Picard said that the Federation consisted of 150 planets, he was talking about member worlds. The impression of the Federation we get in all of the TV series is that there are 150 member species, and those species have multiple colony worlds.
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Old July 18 2013, 03:49 PM   #13
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

Federation's greatest strength - greatest resource base from among the local powers (fourth rate, at best, when compared with other powers we know exist in the galaxy, though); its technological prowess is among the best in local space (not in the galaxy, though).
Federation's greatest weakness - its unpreparedness for armed conflict borders on the comical - this is obvious in everything from starfleet training and procedures to the priorities obvious in its starship design.

Starfleet ships' greatest strength - flexibility: you can create staggering amounts of techobabble with their deflector; easy to modify engines; etc.
Starfleet ships' greatest weakness - construction: it takes far too long to build and repair them.
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Old July 18 2013, 08:23 PM   #14
The Baby Stig
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Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

TheMightyQ wrote: View Post
I was just discussing this with a friend-According to Wikipedia the Federation is composed of " more than 150 member planets and thousands of colonies spread across 8,000 light years of the Milky Way Galaxy". In contrast, the enemies of the Federation are made up of one member species. So can someone explain why the Klingons, the Romulans, or the Cardassians are even a threat to the Federation, which has at its disposal the power and technology of so many different species working together?
Because it was never really thought out very clearly and didn't make a lick of sense, that's why. Moreover, it was fairly clear that, in TOS, we were watching the adventures of an Earth ship, not a Federation ship. The difference being that there were untold different fleets out there as part of the Federation. Sadly, this angle was quashed in TNG and beyond, turning the Federation Starfleet into a 'homo sapiens only club.'

Consider how powerful the Vulcans and Andorians are during Enterprise: they have their own worlds, fleets, armies, etc. Did all of that really go away when the Federation was founded and they meekly retreated to their homeworlds so that the mighty humans could defend them in human-designed starships?

Please. Like much of the vaunted 'canon,' the organization and power structure of the Federation doesn't make any sense whatever and is a thinly-drawn conceit to focus the story on human characters, save for the token 'outsider.'
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Old July 18 2013, 08:51 PM   #15
Pavonis
Commodore
 
Re: Regarding the Strength of the Federation...

How powerful are the Vulcans and Andorians during the 22nd century? They're apparently a match for each other, but what does that mean? The Vulcans had warp drive thousands of years before humanity, probably before the Klingons and maybe the Andorians, too. Why didn't they take over the entire Alpha Quadrant long before the rest of the future Federation members, and end up with a Vulcan Empire matching wits against the strength of the Klingon Empire?

Apparently Vulcans are homebodies. Sure, they have a couple of off-world colonies, though P'Jem was a monitoring station/meditation retreat, so how much "power" does that add to the Vulcans? And the Andorians - how big was their "empire"? Just big enough to match the Vulcans, apparently....

Humans are the glue that holds the Federation together, and they do it by convincing their "compatriots" that without them, anarchy would reign! At least being in a nominally equal relationship with the true Human Overlords of the Federation is better than being explicitly inferior in the Klingon Empire!
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