Favor the Bold - "Key to the Alpha Quadrant"

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by grendelsbayne, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I was just rewatching Favor the bold, and the scene where Sisko briefs the admirals on his plan to retake DS9 jumped out at me. He says he's confident that the Dominion will choose to oppose his assault on the Bajoran sector, rather than take the opportunity to thrust for some other important target like Earth or Kronos because the wormhole is 'the key to the alpha quadrant'.

    Now, obviously, in terms of actual fact, his prediction did come true, but apparently for very different reasons: namely because the Dominion had a fleet waiting at the other end of the wormhole and had just figured out a way to disarm the mines. Possibly the dominion focus on the wormhole also had something to do with the previously mentioned (by Damar) shortage of Ketracel White in the alpha quadrant. These are things that, unless I'm mistaken, the Federation doesn't know about at this point.

    So I'm left wondering if Sisko's tactical judgement was really justified.

    The Dominion had shipyards and cloning facilities in the alpha quadrant - which suggests that a direct link through the wormhole, though the fastest way to end the war, isn't necessarily vital for them to succeed. Meanwhile, the Alpha Quadrant is only hanging on due to the heavy cooperative resistance from Starfleet and the Klingon Fleet.

    If a Dominion counterattack ignored the thrust towards Bajor and broke through the 3rd fleet to capture or at least decimate Earth, it could destroy the Federation Government, Starfleet Academy, Starfleet Headquarters, the Spacedock and the Utopia Planitia all at once - a potentially devastating blow for all of Starfleet. When the dust settles, the Federation might have a fleet sitting on the wormhole, but its ability to meaningfully contribute to actively fighting the war may have been almost completely removed. And the Klingon fleet wouldn't hold out long by itself.

    So doesn't that mean that Earth is just as much a 'key to the alpha quadrant' as the wormhole is?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  2. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I'd imagine part of the rationale was also that Bajor was more of a "sure thing" for the Dominion. Going after the Sol System would result in substantial losses and MAYBE the shattering of Federation resistance. But presumably the Federation had continuity of government schemes, a sufficiently large fleet presence, orbital defenses, etc. to make such an attack expensive, while just defending Bajor until the minefield goes down would've been less costly.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Whilst the Dominion hada foothold in the AQ, they might have believed it wasn't a sure thing, hence the pressing need to re-open the wormhole. Attacking Earth would have been a strategic blunder at that point. Aside from de-moralising the enemy what goal would it achieve. We don't know how many ships were defending Earth, the size and strength of the Earth defensive grid, (The Breen was a sneak attack, they weren't at war with them). So the Dominion could have recieved heavy losses for no desernable strategic advantage. By attacking Earth and pulling ships away from those that could intercept the already assembled Federation taskforce they would have lost DSN and control of the wormhole. True the Federation fleet wasn't fully assembled, but the immenatn collopase of the minefiled pushed the Federations hand, just as the Federation fleet forced the Domiiion into intercepting it.
     
  4. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    From what I recall of the Breen Attack, they mostly did cosmetic damage to the Bay Area and got all their ships destroyed for their trouble. It seemed more a morale thing, basically a Breen Doolittle Raid. So Sisko dismissing the defensive stance of the admirals probably made good sense.
     
  5. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    See, the thing is: it does make perfect sense from the Dominion point of view that they chose to defend the wormhole. But Sisko didn't have their point of view. He didn't know the mines were about to fall, or exactly how many forces they had in the alpha quadrant to begin with.

    The Dominion picture of Federation forces is much better - it's only been a few months (If that) since the massive Dominion sensor array was destroyed, and Starfleet just doesn't have the capability to replace very many ships and crews in a short time.

    We don't have a lot of info in terms of exactly how everything looked to each side, but what we do know as the audience is this:

    The actual course of the war required the Dominion AQ forces to continue entirely without reinforcements, and they were still very clearly winning - all the way up until the Romulans joined the war. Even the entire Romulan fleet wasn't enough to instantly tip the scales against them.

    Add that to the fact that they did have cloning facilities and shipyards in the AQ, and it certainly seems likely that the Dominion could potentially afford to lose a few ships in exchange for smashing the Sol System.

    And it wouldn't be just a morale victory either. Utopia Planitia is the Federation's major shipyard and the center of ship designing. Spacedock is probably one of if not the largest refitting station for ships in the Federation. Starfleet Academy is the training center for all new officers (which the federation desperately needs). And imagine the chaos if the Dominion succeeded in killing or capturing the Federation Council, President, or a major percentage of Starfleet command.
     
  6. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The 3rd fleet would likely hold long enough for the forces to double back and defend Earth. I'm sure the Utopia Plantia shipyards has their own defenses, not to mention nearly completed vessels on trail runs nearby. Then there's the Mars defense perimeter which is surely upgraded by then. In any event, Earth would fall, but it would be very very very Costly for the dominion. The fleet sent there would be cut off , and have incoming re-enforcements from all sides and a large part of them would get pwned by the Picard and the Enterprise-E (yeah fire them quantum torpedoes!!!). I imagine if Ds9 got that huge weapons upgrade that decimated a klingon task force, Id imagine that stations in Earth Orbit got similar upgrades once the war broke out. There is also the San Francisco fleet yards (The Enterprise-E's dedication plaque mentions that's where it was built, NOT Utopia Planetia-the birthplace of the D and Voyager) . Im sure if they saw an Invasion force heading for Earth, they press every available starship, fighter, phaser equipped cargo vessel into service. I can see them quickly dispatching an Orbital mine field as well within a day or so.

    After all this babbling what I'm trying to say is, Earth is too expensive of a target, and the wormhole would allow the dominion to over double its forces, and wipe clean the alpha quadrant. So yeah, Sisko knew what he was doing.
     
  7. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll agree it would be a very expensive target, simply by virtue of the various weapons platforms.

    Still, one of the Admirals specifically stated that the Third Fleet couldn't hold a major Dominion assault long enough for the reinforcements to double back from the Bajoran sector.
     
  8. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I forgot about that line. Still, The dominion had a pattern to be overly worried about that wormhole, and Sisko knew it. Dominion made it too apparant that they were obsessed with that wormhole. It got around and the Federation pounced on it.
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Sisko's decision was more based on his knowledge of the way the Dominion thinks. It doesn't rush and take risks that could win the war quickly but could also fail horribly and leave them vulnerable. It waits, builds its forces and then launches an attack when it has an insurmountable strategic advantage, just like it tried to do by pulling back to Cardassia at the end.
     
  10. Mycroft Maxwell

    Mycroft Maxwell Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ Good Point
     
  11. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed. I hadn't really thought of it in those terms.
     
  12. mickmike

    mickmike Commander Red Shirt

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    Gettinf reinforcements through the wormhole was more important than Earth at this point in the war. Wasn't it stated that the reinforcements from the Gamma quadrant would have allowed the Dominion to 'crush the Federation'. The Dominion didn't seem ready to attack to Earth and even if they had, it would have cost them. They would also need to commit a large number of their forces to defending the sol system. The Federation is made up of 150 planets, i'd assume each of those systems would have had ship building facilities and would have resisted the Dominion if Earth fell. The Dominion are big picture thinkers and Earth was a long term goal which they would have achieved had Sisko failed.

    *sigh* sorry i just realised i pretty much stated what has been said in previous posts. apologies if i haven't really added anything to the conversation
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013