Federation Versus The Romulan Empire

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by jmampilly, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They would destroy the two military targets with precision strikes, in the same way as the modern day military would.

    While debating the atomic bombs is outside the scope of this thread, I'd emphasise I think it was probably the right call to drop them in those unique circumstances. The US military DID NOT choose the two cities in question because of a specific military objective, though like most cities in any nation in WW2 they contained significant military targets.

    They were deliberately left off the target lists for 20th air force firebombers partly with the "testing" of the atomic bomb in mind. In fact Nagasaki wasn't even the the first choice target, Nagasaki was added to the target list after Kyoto was removed, because of its cultural significance, and on the raid itself it was only a backup for Kokura.

    Revisionist historians sometimes describe the atomic bombings as unnecessary or even as war crimes. They ignore the two main reasons that everything was done at the end of WW2 by the USA, to just end the constant deaths of its citizen soldiers ending a war that could only end one way, and to say to the USSR "keep off the grass".

    Back on topic, while the darker actions of Section 31s attempted genocide, Sisko's environmental pollution (though the episode suggests that no deaths were involved) and probably other examples suggest the Federation is not squeaky clean, as a policy they would never force an unconditional surrender through the carpet bombing of civilians.

    The main reason being, they don't need to. Area bombing in WW2 was not a choice, the technology existing at the time meant the only way to guarantee dislocation of industry was to carpet bomb an area hoping to take out a factory and those who worked there. As a concept, while vastly more effective in Japan's wooden cities than it was against Germany, area bombing proved less effective than anyone ever hoped, and would prove ineffective again in Vietnam. Modern day estimates suggest an F-16 armed with JDAM or similar smart munitions has the ability to affect targets equivalent to 100 B-17s, due to the accuracy of its weaponry.

    Starfleet could easily destroy a military target in a city without affecting any surrounding civilian targets, so why bother nuking anything?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One would assume that all the players in the 24th century would be well versed in the general capabilities of a starship or an armada of starships, and would prepare defenses accordingly. Precision strikes could be negated by hiding the industries or (in the case of certain threats such as the UFP Starfleet) by extensively using civilians as shields. Industries would probably also be rather distributed; one could even imagine a war industry operating on the household replicators and transporters of a city, while the civilians would still live in those households and just get their food from central kitchens.

    Then we have the Breen strike against Starfleet Headquarters. Apparently, it achieved next to nothing: instead of biblical-level destruction, we see tiny craters, thin pillars of smoke and some charred buildings, plus of course symbolic damage to the Golden Gate bridge. Does this mean the Breen only wanted symbolic destruction and carefully avoided using any of their usual weapons, merely firing dedicated harmless firecrackers to send the message of "these could have been antimatter warheads and this could be a crater deep enough to spew magma for millennia, but we aren't the sort of bad guys our partners-in-war are, and please do remember that at the peace negotiations"? Or does it instead mean that San Francisco and other cities have defenses that turn the awesome destructive power of a standard starship death ray into this harmless show-and-tell?

    Destroying of entire planets was a novelty for the Dominion; apparently, they appreciate captured planets enough to avoid destruction in the usual case. Attacking Starfleet HQ was unheard of as well - but there we didn't learn why this should be. Granted, the Breen attackers didn't survive their heroic mission, but surely Klingons and Romulans would be ready to perform suicide strikes as well?

    In a Federation/Romulan conflict, symbolic strikes of this sort might well feature heavily, considering how Romulans always want maximum effect from minimum effort and go for fancy precision plots instead of frontal attacks...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Prior to the atomic bombing, Nagasaki had been bombed nine times.

    :)
     
  4. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All relatively minor raids. Nagasaki was relatively unimportant in the greater scheme of things except to the people who lived and died there, it wasnt even a particularly good test site for the bomb due to its geography.

    Not sure the point you are making?
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding the size of the Federation versus the size of the Romulan Star Empire, and how it relates to the original question, I do subscribe to the notion that the Federation is more "nebulous" with non-member systems packed between member systems, making a Federation star chart look vaguely like Swiss cheese. Would those non-member worlds be considered in Federation space, as least as protectorates or something? And what would happen if one decided to join another alliance? The size of the Federation is probably not accurate to its true strength, given that we can be fairly certain of its sprawl.

    The Romulan Empire, on the other hand, would be one primarily of colonization and annexation, therefore it would likely be more tightly packed and have a smaller border. This would also fit well with the Romulans being a generally xenophobic people; having a tighter border would make entrance and egress to their space easier to control. That being said, I think the Empire's size is also not an accurate representation of its power. Some have speculated the Empire to be much like ancient Rome - overcrowded, underfunded, and generally in need of MORE of everything. I would counter that surely an Empire capable of mastering the apparently complex nature of an artificial singularity power source is not deprived of key resources, at least. Oppressive? So it seems. Impoverished? I doubt it. The Romulans do like to make a show of things, and surely their massive warbirds are thus designed largely for this effect, and perhaps larger than they "should" have built, but I doubt that they are starving their children to do so.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just that it hadn't been "left off the target lists."

    :)
     
  7. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It had not yet received the 20th air force firebombing treatment, and this was deliberate, but OK! ;)
     
  8. kgartm1185

    kgartm1185 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    "...making a Federation star chart look vaguely like Swiss cheese." Lol, that's so true!:techman:
     
  9. The Emissary

    The Emissary Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Good points. My sentiments exactly. I've always was annoyed by those maps that made each empire like a sprawling connected mass of land. There should be massive gaps throughout the UFP. Which actually could explain the constant "you're the only ship nearby" phenomena. If other ships have to jet around non-Fed space, it may make traversing the entirety of the UFP very difficult.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding the artificial quantum singularity power source, complexity doesn't necessarily imply superiority - quite the opposite might be the case.

    If you create fuel for your cars with the Fischer-Tropsch method, that's "advanced" and "complex" but establishes your nation as a pariah state lacking in natural resources. If you use wood gasifiers, you're toying with even more complex technologies (and risking your life every time you take a ride), but that's because you don't have oil wells.

    Romulus might have been forced to develop AQS systems early on because the peace treaty left it with a fixed territory devoid of natural dilithium resources. Indeed, perhaps there never were any dilithium-powered starships in the Romulan Star Empire, and that's why Scotty was fooled into thinking that the Romulan plasma mortar vessel would lack warp capacity altogether (when all it had was an inferior if advanced and difficult-to-identify powerplant).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just like every member of Al Qaeda has their own personal helicopter to flee at a moment's notice? They know they are being hunted, after all.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Personal pickup truck is more like it. Spacecraft in the Trek universe are dirt cheap, it seems... Indeed, we see far more personal spacecraft than personal ground vehicles!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then why did Chakotay have 40 or so people crammed into that one little raider? :p
     
  14. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think it was supposed to be "relatively" big in Caretaker, they seemed to deliberately keep it vague in order to invent Maquis as the series went along.

    Trek ships are always excessively roomy, even at 160m the Defiant is significantly larger than any modern day submarine, and has a small crew of 50-or-so. They would be quite comfortable!

    Of course this pales in comparison with the Ent-D, even if you swallow the "35% empty" figure from the tech manual, with only 1000 crew on such a massive ship, you could walk around some parts of the ship all day and not see anyone!
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Why, to evacuate them at a moment's notice, of course!

    "Caretaker" is a good example of how little it takes to move a thousand people from harm's way. Another is "Blaze of Glory", where Eddington feels a single runabout would be sufficient to evacuate a contingent of DMZ settlers cum Maquis. Not all that unrealistic an idea, considering how in "The Homecoming", sixty people could be carried aboard that 23-meter craft.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. kgartm1185

    kgartm1185 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I've never thought about this before, but an Intrepid class starship has about 150 people in it, but if Chakotay's raider had 40 people in it, then shouldn't the USS Voyager's crew count have been about 190.:confused:
     
  17. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A lot of the original crew died in the pilot. Conveniently approximately the same number of Chakotay's people survived.
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Excellent point that I overlooked - it does indeed seem to be a finnicky system, but that need not be due to superiority. Perhaps the Federation abandoned all efforts into AQS technology long ago because dilithium was so abundant.
     
  19. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If only it wasn't too late to add a poll so we could all see the overall opinion on the matter...