Could the Fed have renegotiated the Treaty of Algeron...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by M.A.C.O., Jun 23, 2014.

  1. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    ...for the Dominion conflict? We know the Romulans government loaned the Starfleet a cloaking device to be used on the Defiant. There was even a Romulan officer stationed on board to supervise it's use. Although she died in the first mission in search of the Dominon (DS9 "The Search"), Sisko was still able to use the cloak.

    Now we know Starfleet is more than capable of constructing and installing their own cloaking devices on to their own ships (TNG "Pegasus"). My question is, with the lax supervision by the Romulans of the cloaking device they loaned Starfleet for the Defiant. Would it not also be plausible for the Fed/Starfleet to renegotiation the terms of the treaty that bans the Feds using cloaking devices? This would be the Fed/Starfleet asking to amend the rules for the duration of the Dominon Conflict. Recall also that after the Romulans signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion; there was never any calls for Starfleet to relinquish the cloak that had been installed on the Defiant.
     
  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Renegotiations generally involve another party wanting to do so too. If the Romulans established the cloak on the Defiant to be the one and only exception, then that's pretty much it. And for all we know, the Romulans may have been constantly watching the Defiant (they wouldn't really need to have a Romulan representative on the ship--or even on DS9--to do that, IMO). As it's their cloak, they probably could track the ship everywhere it goes no matter if was on or off.

    I tend to think the only reason why the Federation agreed to the Treaty of Algeron was to keep the peace with the Romulans. It sounds like the Federation got the worse end of the deal to some, but probably because we don't know what the Federation got out of it. It could be a case that the Federation agrees not to equip its ships with cloaks and the Romulans agree not to send cloaked ships into Federation space or perhaps to continue honoring the Neutral Zone. The Federation may rather give up cloaking technology in lieu of peace.
     
  3. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe they did. The Defiant seemed to be freely operating its cloaking device in the AQ despite the fact they weren't meant to. It is possible that before or during the war the Romulans agreed to allow the use of the cloak. Then again, maybe they simply didn't care enough to uphold it since the risk to them was minimal as the Defiant would be unlikely to go anywhere near Romulan space.

    As for allowing the Federation to use cloaking devices wholesale, I don't see why the Romulans would be interested in that deal. Save the Federation being so desperate they would give the Romulans anything I doubt both sides could come to an agreement.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    The Romulan's aren't stupid, part of the terms of use if memory serves were to provide intel on the Dominion. That would still apply even if the Dominion and RSE had a treaty. No doubt there were some in the Romulan senate/military thought if the UFP and KE should fall they might be next.
     
  5. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Feds aren't stupid, either. I don't know of any real international treaty that doesn't allow for some mechanism of withdrawal by signatory parties. At some point, the Feds can probably say (assuming the Treaty of Algeron is like the majority of real-world international treaties entered into in the spirit of self-interest by political entities), "we're giving you the x number of years/months/whatever notice required by the treaty that we're withdrawing by such and such a future date after the notice period."

    No reasonable political entity enters a treaty that it can't, legally, by the terms of the Treaty, end its participation in. I'm sure this true of the Feds, too. They can just withdraw if other realities necessitate (eg, the Dominion, the Borg).
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I wouldn't be sure of that. Seemingly, giving up cloaking is such a big deal that a treaty to that effect would probably have been signed at gunpoint, without any assurances, provisions or pretenses of fairness.

    Opening the treaty to renegotiation at that point would probably give the Feds cloaking clearance, but the Romulans would be in a position to dictate all the terms. If the original treaty already forced the Feds to give up the strategically important cloaking to obtain whatever it was that they wanted, imagine how much worse the renegotiation of the treaty at this time of crisis and need would be for the Fed side!

    The Federation would probably be politically better off by declaring war on Romulus outright. Neither side would wish to fight that war at the time, so there could be some half-hearted exchanges of fire or mere lukewarm ultimatums, and then the war with the Dominion could go on. A few months later, the Feds could again approach the Senate with proposals for alliance.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My point is renegotiation would not be required at all if the Treaty of Algeron is structured the way real international treaties are structured. Real treaties have mechanisms and timetables for withdrawal built in. The Romulans would be in no position to dictate terms, any more than they were at the treaty's inception--there's no such extreme power disparity between the two polities (and if there were, this would be a treaty only in name; in reality, if this was a document forced on the Feds at some point, without any means of withdrawal, then it would be terms of partial surrender, not a treaty). I see no reason to think the Feds negotiated the original treaty from a position of weakness.

    So given how all examples that I know of of real treaties are structured, the Feds can probably give notice at any time according to withdrawal terms already in the treaty. No renegotiation is required for that. Absent any indication that the treaty doesn't have withdrawal clauses, it makes sense to assume it has them. That's how I'm going to choose to regard it. If it doesn't have such mechanisms built in for withdrawal, then the Treaty of Algeron would be an extreme exception to the rule of how treaties are structured. But why would we go out of our way to assume that the Treaty of Algeron is some sort of rare bird among arms control treaties?
     
  8. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given the rather underhanded manner in which the UFP managed to get the RSE involved in the war, it'd be best not to poke the bear with demanding a decades old treaty--which previously helped to keep the peace--be looked at again whilst in the middle of the biggest war the quadrant had seen in centuries.

    Depending on the wording of the Treaty, I never understood why Starfleet wasn't researching a phasing device, which would've been a huge tactical advantage against the Dominion.
     
  9. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    If the Federation were able to renegotiate the treaty to gain the cloaking device, it seems the Romulans would demand something equally hefty in return. Redrawing the Neutral Zone perhaps. It wouldn't have to be a technological sacrifice.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Yet I argue there is, otherwise the treaty wouldn't exist in the first place.

    ...But the Romulans could insist on the Feds calling it a treaty nevertheless and smiling and bowing when doing so. If they can insist on the Feds stopping being invisible (the gall of it, demanding the patently unenforceable of us and getting it!), they can do plenty more.

    Because it's biblical in scale. We're talking about interstellar war, apparently the first in which Earth was involved, and thus about the end of history. Here come these space aliens who facelessly threaten Earth and mankind with annihilation, and when offered traditional, civil and humane models of conduct, they say no and kill us some more. It's not a situation for which there would be much precedent in history.

    No doubt the Romulan threat was largely Potemkine. But the Romulans would be able to maintain such facades, having intel on Earth when Earth has none on them.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What's "best" can change. What's best when the AQ is quiet is probably not best when 10 Borg cubes are attacking (or are anticipated). What the Romulans think or how they react would be pretty low on the Federation list of priorities at that point, I'd think.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    We know very little about the exact terms of the treaty of Algeron, sure perhaps the UFP could withdraw from the treaty and build cloaks but would be the consequences of that?
     
  13. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Timo, I'll have to disagree with you--because if the Romulans had had that much greater power, power enough to dictate terms--and we have absolutely nothing on Fed/Romulan history to suggest this, in fact what I see is roughly equal levels of power between the two--then they'd have simply attacked and conquered the Federation, or at least carved out a few near anc choice chunks. But they didn't, which to me means they weren't capable or quite feared the consequences for themselves. Why do you argue such a disparity existed, when we have no reason/evidence to suspect that it did?

    I can't agree that simply because an interstellar war might be the result of lack of the treaty, that for that reason it would be denuded of the common language usually included in such treaties. We have arms treaties with Russia which are arguably "biblical" in scope for us, because an all-out war with Russia would be pretty horrendous and likely involve nukes, but these treaties have withdrawal terms and timetables.

    It might be that some people think such a treaty should be utterly unwithdrawable from in principle (I'm certainly not one such), but that's not the reality we see with similar treaties. Meanwhile, the potential threats from completely unrelated quarters--most especially the Borg--are even more biblical in scope than a long war with the Romulans, and would demand any kind of defensive/offensive weaponry that can be deployed be deployed.

    If the Romulans launched a war because the Feds legally withdrew from a treaty, then I would hope it would be clear to all posting here that they would be the lawbreakers, not the Feds.
     
  14. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm not suggesting that they do so on a whim and destabilize the quadrant for no reason. But if the Dominion started launching an invasion backed by Iconian doorways, for example, or if we had some pretty good ideas the Borg were coming back and this time with well more than one cube, or if Species 8472's ruling faction became entirely one of "galaxy purgers," then what would be the consequences of not withdrawing from the treaty?
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    wouldn't those things possible threaten the RSE as well, in which case they could grant an exception to the treaty for a lmited time.
     
  16. Enterprise1701

    Enterprise1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I hope the Treaty of Algeron doesn't apply to the Federation following the Hobus Supernova of 2387.
     
  17. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just like they granted the Federation a whole 1 cloaking device to face the Dominion? And then cut a deal with the Dominion to stay out of the war?
     
  18. Last Redshirt

    Last Redshirt Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I don't see why the Romulans would want to. The Treaty essentially gives them an upper-hand to the Federation, so why would they just get rid of it?
     
  19. M.A.C.O.

    M.A.C.O. Commodore Commodore

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    I made this thread because of how lax the Romulans appeared to be about their loaned cloaking device to the Federation. At both the beginning of the Dominion conflict, to the Romulan's signing a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, to full scale war in season 6, to when the Romualns were duped in to joining the war. It seems the RSE just doesn't care whether the Feds have cloaking or not. Implying that the Treaty of Algeron and it's enforcement was not to important to the Rommies but sacrosanct to the Feddies. It's not uncharacteristic of the Federation to bend over backwards to appease other governments. As Admiral Pressman and others in this thread have stated, it does give the Romulans a tactical edge in the quadrant.

    Also recall that in TNG "The Neutral Zone" (Earth year 2364), the Romualns had not been heard from for 50 years. The Treaty of Algeron was signed in Earth year 2311. TUC occured in 2293. This gives you a time table of events.

    If the Romulans were able to ease some restrictions on cloaking for the Defiant. Maybe the Fed government could have lobbied for more freedom in reagrds to their own cloaking devices. It's not like Sisko didn't use the Defiant's cloak in Alpha, Beta and Gamma quadrants; when I believe he was only sanctioned to use it in the Gama Quad.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Romulas star system was destroyed, however there is no dialog that any other Romulan Star Empire planet/systems met a similar fate.

    The Romulan Empire still exists.

    If the American capital city were destroyed the country would continue, and all treaties would still be valid.

    We could alway designate another capital.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014