A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Mysterion, May 28, 2013.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I remember they tried about six or seven different names for the Enterprise's operating authority, during the early eps of TOS. Some of them sounded really corny and pulpish, like 'Star Service' and 'Space Command' and all that. UESPA wasn't much better, to be brutally honest...I greatly prefer Starfleet to any of the other names they used. Although it also works to have UESPA be something completely different, as they have since done.
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The American military had a Space Command for about 17 years, then it was merged into the existing Strategic Command as part of a reorganization.

    Vulcan had a space central, possibly for orbital traffic control. Remind me please, which episode had space command in it?

    .
    Seven: "Yes, I heard him, Isis. We're aboard a space vessel. From what planet?"

    Kirk: "Planets actual, the United Federation of Planets."

    Except he didn't say that.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Squire of Gothos

    (actually it was 'Spacefleet Command')

    I'm fairly sure that does happen. When a new world joins the Federation, most of its space fleet is absorbed into Starfleet, but not all of it. I think there's a novel in which, subsequent to Bajor's joining the Federation, members of the Bajoran Militia are interviewed for postings in Starfleet, though the Militia still exists even after that.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    That information was need to know. And Gary Seven, did not need to know.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Please, like Kirk doesn't tell every man, woman and herd of goats where he's from.

    :)
     
  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Time Travel. "Spoilers, Sweetie".
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Didn't we first clearly hear the words "United Earth Space Probe Agency" while Kirk was casually strolling down a corridor with a military pilot from the late 1960's?

    :)
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Which thus casts the whole "UESPA" story in doubt.

    The expression in "Unification II" is "the Vulcan defense vessels". Might mean vessels from a separate organization, but might just as well mean perfectly regular Starfleet vessels which happen to defend Vulcan.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  9. timmy84

    timmy84 Commodore Commodore

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    Original Star Trek is hard to reconcile with later Trek if you refuse to accept later Trek as being fact (or at least, the most accurate interpretation of that information). For example, it was mentioned on this thread that Star Fleet doesn't refer to an organization, but to a star fleet. However, in later trek, Starfleet is referred to as an organization, and that the original series Enterprise was a part of that organization. Also that the Federation Starfleet has always existed.

    I know we try to desperately find explanations to make original Trek fact, but later Trek contradicts it. Its simply that. We know that UESPA is not giving orders to Starfleet by the end of the 23rd Century. We also know that non Federation governments view the Federation as Earth. Earth is the capitol of the Federation, and what we have seen on screen is that humans make up the most of the Starfleet's population. We also know that everything is in English on a Starfleet vessel (although I'm sure panels can display in any language, that doesn't change the fact that signs, like on doors are in english). English isn't an alien language. Its a language from Earth. Where the Federation has all of its government buildings.

    So for me, which of course is just my opinion, is I disregard the UESPA references in the first series. It makes no sense to the greater continuity of this universe. Starfleet is the Federations defense agency, and is responsible for all defensive and offensive operations. At the same time Starfleet is a large organization, and performs many peacetime tasks. Like exploration.

    Later trek has inserted UESPA into Trek history. So it did exist.

    :borg:
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Different situation.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would agree.


    Look at it this way, when a Turkish warship is the command ship of a NATO fleet (like off the horn of Africa), it is referred to as the NATO flagship, but it's still a Turkish warship. The other ship's in that fleet are referred to as NATO warships, but are still the property of their individual countries.

    ****

    NATO flag being flown on a Dutch warship.

    [​IMG]

    :)

    .
     
  12. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    My "head canon" based on the situation in Enterprise and various references in TOS: Starfleet was initially an Earth agency, and other Federation members had their own space navies. In its first century or so, the UFP was more like something between the United Nations and NATO...an alliance of independent nations that retained autonomy. In Kirk's time (perhaps after Axanar, an event that was played up as if it were the origin of the Federation), the UFP became more of a centralized authority, and as part of this, Starfleet, probably because it was at that point the dominant space agency in the UFP, started integrating individuals, and sometimes entire crews (e.g., the crew of the Intrepid), from other member planets.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Three things.

    1) The FJ tech manual is a fan production almost 30 years old. I don't see how it's even relevant anymore (to the extent that it ever was) considering everything that's come after it.

    2) The standing definition of "military" is an organization primarily tasked with national defense and border security, particularly against military threats from other nations and/or non-governmental organizations. An organization for which this is a secondary or supplemental mission role would, in modern terms, be described as "paramilitary" or even simply "armed."

    3) Despite what many have said time and time again, the practice of maintaining a standing permanent military is relatively recent innovation in human history, and the blanket term "the military" even moreso. Starfleet exists on a spectrum of militarism closer to that of a police department or a coast guard: hardly "civilian" but nowhere close to a specialized combat-ready force.

    I've been saying for years now that the depiction of Starfleet throughout eleven (now twelve) films and 24 seasons of television have depicted Starfleet as either a highly versatile and well-armed exploration program or a laughably inept military. The recent theme of "Into Darkness" not only reflects this trend, it's a ringing endorsement for it as clearly Admiral Marcus feels the exact same way about Starfleet and goes through some rather elaborate steps to militarize it (in addition to the direct implication from John Harrison that Marcus recruited him in the first place because the old-style concept of standing militaries is so anachronistic that the Federation barely knows how to do it anymore). Much of what you would expect FROM a halfway competent military is absent from Star Trek's depiction of the fleet, which is easy enough to reconcile by accounting for the notion that Starfleet equipment, training and doctrine puts a FAR greater emphasis on the peaceful and scientific use of its technology than on its defensive/security roles. Moreover, the handful of starships we've seen that actually specialize in combat are in EVERY case depicted as both controversial and highly unusual.

    Put simply: too much gets by Starfleet, too much is absent, too much is simply forgotten or let slide for it to actually BE a full-time combat organization. Much of what happens on Star Trek makes a lot more sense if you compare their combat proficiency less to naval officers and soldiers and more to, say, police officers. Federation worlds undoubtedly DO have highly competent and specialized military forces for defending themselves from invaders, but in the age of automated/orbital defense platforms and ground-based weapons that can smash whole starships out of the sky, I doubt any of those military organizations have ever operated their own starships. Most fighting probably takes place on the ground anyway, and what little fighting DOES happen in space can usually be handled by Starfleet.
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some agreement, some not.

    IMO, "Starfleet" is Earth's organization and always has been, but Earth -- being a Federation member -- has to obey the edicts of the Federation just like everyone else. I think people are grossly overstating the cohesion of a multi-planet superstate like the Federation professes to be; it's not just "America, only larger." This is a state where individual members constitute whole solar systems. Nothing even comparable to that exists today; with our current level of technology it would be taking every country, every state, every province and territory in the world and putting each one on its own little planet, all orbiting the same distance from the sun. In that scenario, the United States wouldn't share the same military or the same space program; it would be miracle if they shared the same CURRENCY.

    I think that Earth just happens to have one of the most prolific and sophisticated space services in the entire Federation. It's a bit like how the Russian Federation and the United States have/had the only workable manned space systems in the world and therefore all the contributing members of the ISS depend on the Soyuz or (until recently) the space shuttle to get astronauts and materials to and from the station. Europe has an unmanned cargo ship that's very efficient at sending supplies, Japan has an effective if slightly less capable one. The SpaceX company now has one too, but at the moment the Russians have the best space program for manned flight and so anyone who wants to do anything in Space these days goes and works with the Russians. I see Starfleet as a similar organization, just diversified to the point that they can do just about ANYTHING in space, up to and including kick ass. Other Federation members almost certainly have their own fleets, their own ships, their own priorities, their own command structures, but like Starfleet they're subject to the overriding authority of the Federation, and UNLIKE Starfleet, their capabilities are so limited that nobody in their right mind would ever send them to do anything in deep space.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But that much is also true of the old Royal Navy. Due to severe limitations in technology, doctrine and zeitgeist, that force never was able to patrol the oceans, ensure the security of overseas assets, secure the trade routes or even protect immediate offshore interests. The ability to stop an invasion depended largely on other navies being equally inept and very, very timid, and thankfully was never really put to test.

    As with most military organizations, the ability to implement some punitive measures every now and then, at least in theory, was sufficient raison d'etré for the Royal Navy, and sufficient for securing England's sovereignty as well. Starfleet isn't all that different from this...

    Makes sense - but is based solely on what is not seen. We've never seen actual ground fights of the "pitched battle" type, fights that both sides would have prepared for and desired. We've seen mighty space fortresses in action, but never in the defense of UFP planets. And we've never seen "national" fighting forces represented by characters, sets or VFX - and the scant few dialogue references to such (ambiguous enough to possibly instead be references to Starfleet forces serving on that particular "national" theater) have involved space rather than surface assets.

    For all we truly know, no "national" forces exist whatsoever.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not to the extent of what we've seen in Starfleet. In terms of defensive capabilities and tactical readiness even the 17th century RN was far more specialized.

    On the other hand, you yourself once pointed out that during that time period the word "military" referred to the land force and wouldn't have been applied to the Royal Navy anyway; by their definitions, the navy wasn't the military either.

    Except Starfleet's raison d'etré is peaceful exploration and scientific research. They are armed because the galaxy is a dangerous place, and they perform defense/wartime missions because they are armed. When you consider that the Federation is at peace far more often than it is at war and that even the very few declared wars almost never pose an existential threat to the Federation or any of its members, then a significant expenditure on such a combat force would be politically and logically difficult to justify (and could only be justified by the presence of a permanent military-industrial complex, which poses problems all its own).

    Instead, the Federation can afford to build and maintain a truly enormous exploration fleet because under normal circumstances that fleet would be out charting new worlds, identifying new resources, rescuing stranded ships, building good will with Federation neighbors, etc. In the event of war, you have this huge exploration force that already has their own weapons and their own ships; they can slip seemlessly into the combat role until the threat is neutralized, then go back to their day jobs without so much as a hickup.

    And yet we've never seen any sort of ground action involving large numbers of Andorians, who by TOS are still described as something of a warrior race. We can positively infer the presence of a large Andorian ground army by both the relative absence of Andorians in Starfleet and their lack of participation in fleet actions; they probably gave up their spaceflight aspirations and stuck to what they do best, which is kick the snot out of people in close quarters combat. The only thing we don't know for sure is WHERE the Andorians are active, but since there's nothing to indicate they have gone extinct or become pacifists, that remains the only relevant question: Where is the Andorian army?

    Well, we know the "Federation Naval Patrol" is a separate entity from Starfleet, so that's one. We also know from "Gambit" that Vulcan has its own intelligence services, so that's two. More recently, we know that private security companies still exist in the 23rd cenury as per Scotty's question to the guard on the Vengeance (and he could well have been right).

    Besides, it stands to reason that Starfleet is not the only combat-ready fighting force in the Federation, probably for the same reason the Coast Guard isn't the only fighting force in America.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    The problem with this assertion is that the Starfleet seen in TOS, TNG, DSN, and VOY is explicitly established to be the Federation Starfleet on multiple occasions:

    DSN: Tribunal: "O'BRIEN: I've been in service to the Federation Starfleet all my life. No one has ever questioned my loyalty."

    VOY, Dark Frontier: "BORG: A vessel has been detected. Unimatrix four two four grid one one six. Activate. Alter course to intercept. Vessel identified. Federation Starfleet, Intrepid class, one hundred forty-three life-forms. Prepare for assimilation."

    TNG, The Most Toys: "This is not a mannequin. This is Data. This is formerly Lieutenant Commander Data of the Federation Starfleet. The only sentient android in existence."

    And then there are the numerous references to Starfleet ships as "Federation starships" rather than "Earth starships:"

    VOY, Initiations: "This is Commander Chakotay of the Federation starship Voyager. Why have you fired on me?"

    VOY, Equinox: "This is Captain Ransom of the Federation starship Equinox. We're under attack. We need assistance."

    STVI: "Send to Klingon High Command. 'This is Excelsior, a Federation starship. We have monitored a large explosion in your sector. Do you require assistance?'"

    DSN, Emissary: "On Stardate 43997, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise was kidnapped for six days by an invading force known as the Borg."

    TNG, The Pegasus: " I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise."

    DSN, For the Uniform: "You should have thought about that before you attacked a Federation starship."

    TNG, The Ensigns of Command: "I am Lieutenant Commander Data of the Federation starship Enterprise."

    STV: "He requests that you send a Federation starship to parlay for our release at once."

    And more.

    And that's to say nothing of the fact that we see the Federation President, not the United Earth President or P.M., issuing orders to Starfleet in Star Trek VI; of the fact that the Federation President is referred to as Starfleet's commander-in-chief in DSN: "Paradise Lost;" of the fact that we see the Federation President presiding over a Starfleet court-martial in Star Trek IV; of the fact that we see Starfleet taking orders from the Federation Council in TNG: "The Defector;" etc.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that the Starfleet seen outside of ENT is an Earth organization. It is the Federation Starfleet, not the United Earth Starfleet.

    The logical conclusion is that when the writers created Starfleet in TOS Season One, they retconned the prior mentions of the Enterprise belonging to other organizations out of continuity. ENT's scenic artists may have revived UESPA for their 22nd Century United Earth Starfleet, but the Federation Starfleet is clearly a different thing.
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which makes sense, since Earth is a Federation member.

    Don't misunderstand. Starfleet is an Earth organization in the sense that it was invented, maintained, funded and staffed by humans and nonhuman residents of Earth and/or human colonies. Which is to say it's an Earth organization in the same sense that, say, Boeing is an American company.

    And if Boing had the overwhelming majority of its operations and personnel in, say, Texas, it could likewise be referred to as a TEXAN company, despite the fact that it provides services to customers all over the world and isn't necessarily beholden exclusively or even primarily to the government of Texas.

    IOW, I'm not saying the Enterprise is part of Earth's Starfleet. I'm saying that Earth -- out of the goodness of its collective heart and at its own considerable expense -- contributes to the Federation by providing a Starfleet.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No. If it's the Federation Starfleet rather than the United Earth Starfleet, that means that it is an agency of the Federation government (rather than the United Earth government).

    By comparison to real life: The Maryland Defense Foce may be an American force, but it is a Maryland agency, not a United States agency; it answers to the Maryland government (not the United States government), and its commander-in-chief is the Governor of the State of Maryland (not the U.S. President).

    By contrast, even though the United States Navy's headquarters are in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the USN is not a Virginia agency, does not answer to the Virginia government, and its commander-in-chief is not the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    On the other hand, the Federation Starfleet seems to use policies about the contact of pre-warp civilizations and a planetary classification system that come from the Vulcans. So I'm not sure if I agree with the notion that Humans invented it. I think it's just as likely, if not more, that the Federation Starfleet was founded by combining the United Earth, Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite space services.
     
  20. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As Enterprise puts it, Starfleet was once shorthand for the United Earth Space Probe Agency Starfleet (of Star Fleet)...

    Star Trek has always been a bit unclear as to whether (even in post-Federation/post-Enterprise times) Starfleet is a Federation "navy" or an Earth navy. In Star Trek 6 and Into Darkness, we saw a roomful of Starfleet admirals - and they were all human.

    We know that there are all-Vulcan ships, and all Benzite ships...(and early on in TNG, the idea seemed to be that the "Klingons had joined the Federation" - and they had their own ships...and the flew both the Klingon and Federation symbol.) It seemed like the Vulcan and Benzite ships were Starfleet...but maybe the ships were managed by the individual species worlds - kinda like how the the 23rd century, the Enterprise was both a Starfleet *and* UNESPA ship.

    In DS9 they mentioned how the Bajorian Militia would have to be "incorporated into Starfleet" if Bajor joined the Federation (and, btw, a "milita" is a military or quasi-military organization.) I wonder if the Bajorian branch of Starfleet would have been run from Bajor more-so than Earth?

    In "Star Trek" '09 Pine said that "the Federation...in a humanitarian and peacekeeping armada (I think he really meant *Starfleet* was that - and I would have added "scientific exploration" to that.) Peacekeeping is a kinda military thing.

    And in Star Trek 6 we had character with the rank of "major".

    And I think that the MACOS were eventually absorbed into Starfleet...just look at their patch: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070716162823/memoryalpha/en/images/c/cf/Maco_insignia.png

    ^I'm betting that's where Starfleet got that elongated star-shape as part of their emblem/symbol...
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013