Marines and Combat Personel?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by SarYehudah, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    His statement to the Organians is true though. Kirk's a soldier, not a diplomat. If he was a diplomat he wouldn't have needed Ambassador Fox to go along for "A Taste of Armageddon" a few episodes before "Errand of Mercy". You could argue that he felt a bit inadequate afterwards and got additional diplomatic skills training so a few episodes later in "Metamorphosis" McCoy's comment is true as well.

    For your contradiction argument to work McCoy would've need to have made that claim in the same episode as Kirk. In either case, Kirk's still a soldier first.

    It's the answer that your question deserves, not the one that it needs. ;)

    Chekov could've said, "Starfleet is not the military and we will not misuse the device." :alienblush:

    You called him a soldier and as far as I'm concerned, he is one. How you interpret the morality of his actions or role isn't my concern :)

    How do you know that he was the only one? Now you're taking his word for it when just a bit earlier you were trying to discredit him.

    DAVID: I've tried to tell you before. Scientists have always been pawns of the military.
    CAROL: Starfleet has kept the peace for a hundred years.
    Actually, no. In this case I was mistaken, Carol Marcus confirms that the military is Starfleet. :D

    Then why use NOAA if its not comparable? Perhaps a Military would be easier to compare to?

    Then Worf's comment of the military reason for the scientific mission is valid :)
     
  2. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I'm thinking Starfleet undergoes transformations as the need arises and it's "militariness" depends on the timeframe one uses.

    In TWOK, Carol and David Marcus would look upon the military as Starfleet likely because it was in a peacekeeping role. After TUC, Starfleet mothballs its military program and in order to stay relevant to the Federation continues its science and exploration programs.

    In TNG, during the Cardassian war and Dominion war they went military and in other times of peace they went back to being non-military. Picard's statement made sense at the time he said it since they weren't at war with anyone, IMHO.
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Strictly speaking, he's neither. He's trained to fight and trained to negotiate agreements, but he isn't a member of the diplomatic corps OR the Federation's land army.

    And he would say this why? The whole point of calling Regula-1 was to get them to complain to Kirk so he would come to investigate so Khan could kill him. Even if he was in his right mind -- which he isn't -- he didn't call Regula-1 to argue politics to with some twenty-something upstart with a chip on his shoulder.

    It's not the morality of his actions that's in question here. A groundless accusation needs no rebuttal, even less so if it's clearly meant to be inflammatory.

    David's claim in particular isn't based on anything other than his lingering daddy issues; just a couple of months later, we see him returning to Genesis on a Starfleet vessel anyway.

    David's a hothead, not a liar. He TRIES to be truthful, he just doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time.

    If anyone else thought of using protomatter to stabilize the matrix, he probably wasn't aware of it.

    That or she's disputing his claim that Starfleet has become a pawn of the military.;)

    Because the only thing it needs to MAKE it comparable would if their ships carried surprisingly powerful weapons.

    A military would only be comparable if their ships carried surprisingly sophisticated sensor suites, laboratories, integrated scientific computer systems, specialized support craft designed for exploration and investigation, personnel and entire departments aboard ship specialized in scientific investigation, and a day-to-day mission schedule that includes scientific research, cartography and non-human biology, and this IN ADDITION to there being some question as to whether or not that organization was an actual military.

    In essence, NOAA has more in common with Starfleet than the Navy does; about the only thing the Navy has in common with Starfleet is that their ships are armed.

    Worf's comment on its military VALUE is valid, since as strategic operations officer it is his job to assess the military value of just about everything Starfleet does. The nature of the mission, however, is given by Sisko as a scientific endeavor, not a strategic one.
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    At the time Kirk made his statement in "Errand of Mercy", he was a "soldier, not a diplomat". Strictly speaking, he was correct. At different times in his career his role grew or changed.

    A soldier by definition isn't limited to land forces as it includes "one engaged in military service" and "a skilled warrior".

    To give you evidence that Starfleet is not a military. Since he doesn't, you're left with evidence that points to Starfleet being a military during the TOS Movies.

    And the words to focus on is that you called him a soldier and that's what is interesting here. Like I said, how you view the morality of his actions isn't my business :)

    His claim that Starfleet will misuse the device might be based on daddy issues. His claim that Starfleet is military is confirmed by both Carol Marcus and not refuted by her or Chekov.

    But you like to cherry pick what he gets right and gets wrong, eh? If he's not a liar then Starfleet is a military. If he doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time then it's a good thing Carol Marcus is there to back him up on the Military issue.

    David: Military!
    Carol: Starfleet!

    ;)

    Wait a second, we already have comparable organizations. It's the military :)

    From the US Navy website:
    Submarines - capable of underwater operations and designed to carry out research, rescue, or specific wartime missions


    This "question" really comes up in a specific point in time in TNG.

    Naval Oceanography Operations Command
    http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC

    Science in search of a tactical advantage is something a military would be interested. Worf confirmed it for their mission and the US Navy uses science for their real world missions as well.

    "The mission of the Naval Oceanography Antisubmarine Warfare Center, Yokosuka is to provide asymmetric war fighting advantage for ASW forces in Seventh and Fifth Fleets through application of oceanographic sciences; and accurate and timely weather forecasts, warnings and recommendations for COMNAVFORJAPAN ashore forces to facilitate asset protection responsibilities and risk management decisions."
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That depends on who you ask, and in what language.:p

    He didn't call Regula-1 to discuss Starfleet's legal status. He called them to set a trap for Kirk.

    It isn't, though, because "soldier" and "baby killer" are mutually exclusive terms. You know that perfectly well, you're just being argumentative.

    Carol never confirms anything, and lack of refutation is not evidence.

    Or he's just wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

    Indeed. It would have been confirmation if Carol had said "that military has kept the peace for a hundred years."

    The only U.S. Navy submarine designed to carry out scientific research is the NR-1, which I understand was recently scrapped. DSRVs can carry out rescue operations and the Virginia class has sensors that can be used for reconnaissance and for collecting limited topographical data of littoral waters.

    Significantly, with the singular exception of the NR-1, the U.S. Navy hasn't conducted an actual exploration mission since 1958, and not with a naval vessel since the Congo River expedition in 1885. The closest they got to being an exploratory force in modern times was in recovering space capsules during the Apollo program.

    This, again, is because scientific exploration requires increasingly sophisticated sensors and computers to obtain relevant information, equipment which is generally too expensive and too specialized to be fitted to military vessels. OTOH, weapons technology has been getting more and more compact and more and more effective over the years to the point that vessel designed purely for scientific research could be converted to an armed configuration just by bolting on an Exocet launcher and a CIWS. Considering this is essentially what Starfleet did to NX-01 on its maiden voyage, the comparison is especially appropriate.

    ... has no ships of its own and depends entirely on unmanned satellites or data forwarded from NOAA.

    As would a civilian agency whose job it is to provide military services. Lockheed Skunkworks, for example, has done considerably more scientific research on jet engine technology than the Department of Defense.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Whose being argumentative now?

    We both are ;)

    And he didn't refute Starfleet being a military despite responding to David's other request.

    You called him a soldier. How you want to deal with his actions again isn't my concern. :)

    David says "Military" and Carol confirms with "Starfleet". We can go round and round with this but it's alot easier for me since I'm just quoting dialogue :)

    So he's not the only one who put protomatter in the genesis device then since he's wrong about that too?

    She used "Starfleet" as the same as "military" which makes it pretty clear cut.

    "The Navy funds a good deal of research on the physics and chemistry of seawater, underwater acoustics, and other aspects of the submarine environment. Exploring the geography of the undersea world is another important priority. Nuclear-powered submarines can conduct a wide range of oceanographic research and undersea exploration in addition to their military missions.

    Such links between military interests, exploration, and scientific research have a long history in the United States. The Navy, in particular, has played a major role in oceanographic research and exploration since the early years of the nineteenth century."
    http://americanhistory.si.edu/subs/work/exploring/index.html


    But they did conduct exploration. The US Navy. A military conducting exploration.

    The navy has at least 6 oceanography vessels.
    NAVOCEANO has operational control of six T-AGS 60 class ships: Pathfinder (T-AGS-60), Sumner (T-AGS-61), Bowditch (T-AGS-62), Henson (T-AGS-63), Bruce C. Heezen (T-AGS-64) and Mary Sears (T-AGS-65).

    The T-AGS 60 class ships were designed and constructed to provide multipurpose oceanographic capabilities in coastal and deep-ocean areas for NAVOCEANO.

    On board, surveyors are equipped to conduct physical, chemical and biological oceanographic operations; multidisciplinary environmental investigations; ocean engineering and marine acoustics; marine geology and geophysics; and bathymetric, gravimetric and magnetometric surveying.

    Typical missions of the 329-foot-long (100 m) T-AGS 60 vessels may include oceanographic sampling and data collection of surface water, mid-water and ocean floor parameters; the launch and recovery of small boats known as hydrographic survey launches (HSLs); the launching, recovering and towing of scientific packages (both tethered and autonomous) including the handling, monitoring and servicing of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs); shipboard oceanographic data processing and sample analysis; and precise navigation, trackline maneuvering and station-keeping to support deep-ocean and coastal surveys.
    Curious then, let's say the Defiant is part of a civilian agency as you contend... who are they providing the scientific research to for use in the military? And who is the military in DS9?
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. And a fictional non-entity called him a "baby killer" without being refuted.

    Does the statement stand? Why or why not?

    Good point. He could be.

    No she doesn't. It's not even clear they're talking about the same organization.

    ... that it does not conduct itself.

    Which, unlike NOAA vessels, are operated entirely by civilian crews and/or civilian contractors.

    And it's funny you mention that, because my sister's girlfriend actually worked on the USNS Henson after she left the Navy.:techman:

    I don't contend Starfleet is a civilian agency. They're clearly a uniformed service just like NOAA even though their exploration mission means they are not technically a military organization. They are providing scientific research for use by Starfleet in any capacity it sees fit, including but not limited to its scientific, exploratory, law enforcement or emergency missions.

    As for "who is the military" I don't see that the Federation actually has one; for whatever reason, they don't seem to NEED one. It's one of the three Ms that has for some incredibly odd reason been excised from their society, the other two being Money and Mass Media.

    If you're quite through being argumentative, I'm perfectly happy to discuss how weird it is for any society like the Federation to be able to exist without a standing military, without money, or without a visible mass media network served by professional journalists and entertainers. It is difficult to conceive of how the Federation could lack these things, but it clearly does, and Starfleet is as much a military organization as Professor Moriarity is a television personality.
     
  8. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Without knowing that soldier's full history I won't make that guess. Fortunately for us, we do know Star Trek's history and during TOS and the TOS Movies, Starfleet was a military.

    Back to back without interruption. Pretty clear Starfleet is the military.
    DAVID: I've tried to tell you before. Scientists have always been pawns of the military.
    CAROL: Starfleet has kept the peace for a hundred years. I cannot and will not subscribe to your interpretation of this event.
    Are there civilian nuclear-powered submarines? If there aren't, that leaves the US Navy's assets to conduct that research.

    "Nuclear-powered submarines can conduct a wide range of oceanographic research and undersea exploration in addition to their military missions. "

    And those oceanographic survey ships tallies well with a snapshot of Starfleet. Scientists and specialists that are not soldiers like Jaeger. These are the ships that does the surveying like the USS Grissom from TSFS. And you have the rest of the soldiers or military aspect of Starfleet as represented by Kirk. You have a military Navy that conducts research, exploration and science. The US Navy is a lot closer in comparison to Starfleet than the NOAA.

    Well so is the US Navy being a uniformed service that also can fight and conduct research, exploration and science.

    If the military doesn't exist in the Federation, why does O'Brien or Nog acknowledge being a solider in Starfleet? If Starfleet doesn't fight the Dominion who will? Why did the Organians stop the Enterprise, Kirk and Spock as "military forces" if they were not the military?

    Before you can discuss a military-less Federation, shouldn't you be more accurate in assessing and acknowledging when Starfleet is a military?
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You don't have to guess. Argument from assertion is not evidence and neither is lack of refutation.

    Is still not a confirmation.

    Partially true: the submarine service records data collected by their sensors during normal operations. This is made available to civilian researchers IF AND WHEN the mission is concluded and declassified. Attack submarines are actually very poorly equipped for that type of data collection and most of that data is used in navigational studies in the absence of more detailed observations from specialized exploration vessels.

    No, because Starfleet officers are not civilians, nor do civilians make up the majority contingent of their crews. NOAA vessels include civilians among their research staff but are OPERATED by a uniformed service of the Federal Government.

    In contrast with Starfleet, which is a research fleet that conducts war.

    Probably the same reason Ben Sisko acknowledges being the Emissary of the Prophets: it's a role he has taken and accepted due to circumstances beyond his control. Even so, Starfleet is hardly a branch of the Bajoran Priesthood.:alienblush:

    Why would anyone else need to?

    I'm being as accurate as I can be based on the information available. It's just that "a group of people who participate in a war" is not the same thing as "a military." Ironically, this was VERY MUCH the case during the years in which naval forces were the foremost leaders in the exploration of the world's oceans; privateers, mercenaries, rebel bands and wandering psychopaths were just as likely to end up on the firing line as career soldiers. Indeed, the army rank "Private" originates from the old English practice where a larger number of soldiers who signed on for battle were in fact "private soldiers" who showed up to fight purely because the Crown offered to pay them for their troubles; throughout the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the MAJORITY of soldiers found on Europe's battlefields were, in fact, mercenaries.

    The nature of warfare and those who fight it has been in flux for centuries and new technologies are already threatening to unravel conventional notions of military vs. civilian targets. This for a planet like ours where we customarily go out of our way to define the difference. The Federation exists in a universe where many aggressive species make no such distinction or -- in the case of, for example, the Borg and the Dominion -- where such a distinction is logically impossible. There are advanced civilizations like the Organians, the Metrons, the Paxans, the Aldeans and even the Prophets that are fully capable of defending themselves against aggressors without having anything that even RESEMBLES a military organization. The Aldeans, in particular, can repel invading forces with the mere touch of a button, and Minosian weapon technology was so powerful their entire species was obliterated just for want of an "off" button.

    Moreover, the Federation faces day-to-day threats from non-military sources: carnivorous space creatures with peculiar abilities, enigmatic alien robots with immense destructive power, natural disasters that can wipe out entire solar systems, sociopathic demigods with an axe to grind, temporal anomalies that screw up reality itself, and all kinds of other weirdness that could never reasonably be confused with "military" forces that nonetheless possess the ability to destroy entire worlds.

    I've said it before, and I'll say again now: when a hyper-intelligent thunderstorm sends an email threatening to blow away your capital city, you'd probably want to call NOAA, not the Navy. And if you live in a country that is attacked by hyper-intelligent storm clouds slightly more often than it is by other people, the NOAA might as well BE the navy.
     
  10. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    A governmental research fleet that conducts war (and conducts war as the main combatant, not just in some sort of supporting capacity) is a military. At least a de facto military.

    But other species in the universe do make the distinction (Bajorans, Cardassians). And those that don't, like the Borg and the Dominion, are usually the ones that are presented as the antithesis to the Federation.

    Who says the purpose of a military is to protect only from military threats, and not other hostile and/or dangerous forces as well?

    But that comparison is flawed because Starfleet is a single organization tasked with fighting both weird sci-fi threats and classic military threats. NOAA could deal with hyper-intelligent thunderstorms but it couldn't fight classic wars - because it is not armed and is not meant or trained for combat. That's the whole point of it being a uniformed service but not a military service. In order to also fight classic military threats, NOAA would have to be armed and trained for combat - at which point it would become a military organization (at least de facto, though I'm pretty sure it would also be legally reclassified as a military organization).
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which is why, LEGALLY, Starfleet would be equivalent to the JMSDF even though OPERATIONALLY it is managed as a NOAA-style exploration fleet most of the time.

    Bajorans do. Cardassians, not so much. They're a society run by/as a military society and they have some very peculiar ideas of what "civilians" actually are.

    It stems from the legal and social implications that come with asking your military to do things OTHER than tackle military problems.

    Simply put, the military CAN do just about anything you want it to do. They can fight your enemies, they can enforce the laws, they can secure the borders, they can explore space, they can build roads and bridges and cities, they can respond to natural disasters and accidents, they can build and even operate schools and hospitals, they can throw concerts, they can take out your garbage, they can wash your car, cook your meals, answer the phones, guard you while you sleep.

    But the fact that they CAN doesn't mean it's a worthwhile thing for them to be doing; at a certain point, you have to ask yourself whether or not that's something the military SHOULD be doing in the first place. And that point, usually, comes up as discussion of resource allocation: given that the military's PRIMARY role is to fight wars against your enemies, then is it really ideal to place those secondary roles under military control instead of creating separate institutions for that purpose?

    There's a tendency in these discussions to assume "Starfleet isn't a military" is an indictment of military forces being too violent or too aggressive. That, to me, seems breathtakingly immature: military priorities and military readiness are fundamentally incompatible with the ideals of a civilized society precisely because WAR is an uncivilized activity ill-suited for amateurs, generalists and especially idealists. That a Starfleet officer could even say with a straight face "Starfleet is not a military organization" isn't the reflection of a single person's inexplicable opinion; Starfleet is the kind of organization where a man like this could become the Captain of their most powerful starship. That tells us quite a bit about how Starfleet in general views itself.

    They could if their ships were armed, and it wouldn't take much to "up gun" a NOAA vessel to a configuration comparable to a Starfleet vessel without sacrificing its science sensors. Moreover, space combat seems to be a highly technical affair where technology and creativity carry the day; that Starfleet needs manned combat vessels AT ALL is actually somewhat of a mystery. There's little need for a military organization to specialize in that field because it seems that fighting in space is actually more of an engineering task than a military one.

    My belief, however, is that in the 23rd century, space battles are not nearly as important as one might assume. Most wars are actually fought on the ground and most fronts of those wars may never require the presence of an actual starship from either side (shuttles or long range transports are more than enough). War would have become such a highly specialized activity by their century that the level of expertise needed to be in any way good at it precludes even generalism in military arts: soldiers of the Federation would have to be ready to face species who are INNATELY violent and spend their entire lives being raised for combat and may themselves have lifespans more than twice that of a normal human, who could be meeting them on the battlefield as youngsters yet with four decades of battlefield experience behind them. Those soldiers would require upwards of a decade of intensive land and zero-gee combat training in simulators that would make the Battle Room look like a pingpong table.
     
  12. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Seriously? Those "bolt-on" additions would not a warship make. You'd end up with a merchant-spec vessel about half as fast as most naval frigates, without combat damage control facilities, without integrated sensor and combat information systems. Which probably wouldn't matter much since it would be crewed by people who hadn't trained to use those systems, anyway.

    You are comparing Starfleet with today's navies and NOAA in an age and a world that has long been explored and mapped. If we compare instead to the 18th and 19th centuries we find navies with military officers dong all kinds of exploring and scientific research. The British Royal Navy, of course, with Cook and Bligh and Beaufort and the Beagle and the Franklin and Scott expeditions. But the US Navy was also heavily involved in exploration, surveying and the science of navgation. Many Civil War navy leaders had already made a name for themselves in scientific fields: Cadwalader Ringgold, John Rodgers, Charles Davis, and Charles Wilkes of the Trent affair. After the war people like Thomas Selfridge and Charles Davis Jr. made big contributions to mapping and science. To name but a few. The US Naval Observatory was one of the nation's premier scientific facilities, and for a time boasted the world's largest telescope. The navy even had a small corps of officers with advanced academic and scientific education, the Corps of Professors of Mathematics.

    I guess what it comes down to is you think "military" is a narrowly-defined thing, which Starfleet is not, while I think it is a more broadly-defined thing, and Starfleet is. Even in the 24th century, Picard's personal opinion notwithstanding.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which is probably why, with the very notable exception of the Defiant, no one has ever referred to Starfleet vessels "warships."

    That's easy: train two or three officers -- say, the "tactical officers" -- on how to use the fire control console on the bridge of the ship. Exocets, like photon torpedoes, don't actually take all that much skill to use effectively, and the Phalanx CIWS is almost fully automated. The combination of these could be managed by a single officer with a properly configured laptop, which I suppose would fit on a pedestal right behind the Captain's chair.:techman:

    And we also find that the word "military" at that time almost exclusively referred to LAND armies. We furthermore find that the use of privateers and private contractors -- what we would call civilians -- to fill combat roles in time of war was fairly common at the time and considerably more feasible. Still more, we find that exploration at the time required virtually no special equipment of any kind, just knowledge and experience and a willingness to risk life and limb to reach the destination and get back alive.

    No comparison is really apt except for what is firmly established by ST: Enterprise, that Starfleet was founded for the goal of scientific research and the peaceful exploration of space and began to carry weapons only because people kept shooting at them. They have the best and most powerful ships because Earth and later the Federation considered science and exploration to be very worthy pursuits and therefore Starfleet had the best funding; they double as an armed force because nobody really wants to spend money on a purely military space fleet that they don't really need.

    It's the "Picard's personal opinion" thing that really throws. To what extent IS it a military organization if one of its most prominent officers doesn't even think that it is? How many military officers -- in the entire history of human warfare -- have ever believed the organization that worked for WASN'T a military?

    It's like if a security guard tells you "The Securitas Corporation is not a police department," and you respond "Well, you have guns, you have uniforms, you enforce rules and laws and you have the power to make a citizens arrest... I say you're a police force!"
     
  14. neozeks

    neozeks Captain Captain

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    So you do agree Starfleet is at least de facto a military?

    They may have funny ideas of what civilians are (unsurprisingly, since they are a brutal dictatorship) but there is clearly a distinction between the military and the civilian population.

    But the Federation has no separate institutions. It has just one institution, Starfleet, that is tasked both with exploration and fighting wars. You could easily reverse everything you said - at a certain point you have to ask whether fighting wars is something an exploration organization should do?

    Obviously, the Federation has concluded having one organization doing both things is practical and appropriate for it's needs. And it's a lot easier for a military to explore than for a non-military to fight wars.

    I sincerely doubt you could make a NOAA vessel capable of going toe-to-toe with hostile combat ships (which Starfleet ships do on a regular basis).

    But leaving that aside, you failed to address the part of my post where I said that if you somehow did make NOAA combat-ready, that very thing would turn it into a military.

    I can't speak about the 23rd century because we haven't seen a war in that timeframe but the Dominion War pretty clearly shows space battles are the primary way one fights a major war in the 24th century. Which is hardly surprising, considering the "geography" of interstellar space.
     
  15. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    But if you're making present-day comparisons, the comparable vessel would definitely be a warship, as Starfleet vessels are tasked with and train for fighting against any foreseeable opponent.

    The captain would have to be one of the trained officers as he would be the one in charge. And even if the officers were thoroughly trained with their bolt-on-weapons, they couldn't shoot their missiles to very long range, because they don't have search radars. And they couldn't find submarines, because they don't have sonar. And they couldn't chase pirates, because they are too slow.
    No, it applied to navies, too, just in a more specialized way than today.

    USN Regulations, 1870:
    [​IMG]

    Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, 1879:
    [​IMG]

    Privateers were countenanced because of the high start-up costs of building and maintaining a navy, and depended on the profit motive of the prize system. Neither of which seems to apply to the Federation.

    Not the case at all. Navigation and surveying instruments were very specialized precision equipment. Chronometers for determining longitude were some of the most advanced pieces of technology in the world at the time.

    It makes sense that a space military would originate as an exploration agency, because that's the reason people first go to space. It also makes sense that, once space is found to be dangerous, that the exploration agency would form the basis of the space military.

    Not comparable. I have enough information to know there are some powers that a police agency has and a security company does not. I do not have such information for Starfleet.
     
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I do have to guess. You only present two sentences about this soldier. With Star Trek we do have the episodes to draw from which tells us when Starfleet was and was not a Military. Just like when you say that he is a soldier. :)

    You say not a confirmation, Carol Marcus says Military = Starfleet.

    And what is the difference between the Defiant making their collected data available to Federation civilian researchers with classified access and/or military researchers in Starfleet?

    David Marcus was a civilian that accompanied the scientific mission to Genesis on a Starfleet vessel. The Marcus' and their whole civilian science team were working on a classified project for Starfleet. Civilians working for Starfleet, the military, as the scientists referred to.

    How does that description not describe a military if it conducts war?

    So Starfleet drafted O'Brien and Nog like a military and they're serving as soldiers? Gotcha.

    Because if no one fights the invaders then the Federation falls. Are you arguing now that no military fought for the Federation and that they didn't contribute military forces along with the Klingons and Romulans?

    Or that Sisko's plea with the Federation President that the Dominion doesn't discriminate between military and civilian targets makes no sense because there is no military?

    The Organians identified Kirk and the Enterprise as Military Forces. Carol Marcus identified Starfleet as The Military.

    Naval forces, huh? Military. :)

    Which fought as "soldiers" in a "military".

    Well, since the Federation isn't at that level, they still use a military to fight their wars.

    Which as others have pointed out are only part of the makeup of adversaries Starfleet might face. You forget the conventional military forces of the other star nations.

    No. You'd call the USAF's Cyber Command to put together a worm to disable the thunderstorm. Then the Army, Navy and National Guard to cordon off the waters and land that the thunderstorm threatens and help with the evacuation. NOAA will assist with forecasting where it might show up. And the USAF if it has to deliver a special nuke into the heart of the storm.

    And only if all else fails, Jeff Goldblum to hack into the storm's network.

    If NOAA was armed, I agree. Again, since it is not but the US Navy is, well I side with the Military.

    But really, how hard is it to consider that Starfleet during it's hundred plus years of operation be able to change as necessary from a military to a non-military organization as the need arises?
     
  17. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely, although I think the term we're looking for is paramilitary.

    Which is why I don't believe that Starfleet has principal responsibility for the Federation's ground wars (seeing how it is, you know Starfleet, not Dirtfleet). This is also why I tend to believe the MACOs still exist well into the 24th century, and why I believe that "the military" is a term that refers primarily to a highly versatile land army that possesses automated systems capable of adequate space superiority missions.

    Which is to say that Starfleet may actually be a much less important organization than we give it credit for; if you only had movies about the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo astronauts to go by for a snapshot of what was going in the 1960s/early 70s, you probably wouldn't even be aware of the Vietnam War or the Watergate Scanadal; you'd see Kennedy's "We choose to go to the moon" speech in "The Right Stuff" but never be aware of the Cuban missile crisis or Kennedy's assassination.

    Star Trek doesn't really show us the state of affairs for the Federation except for a limited bubble around the main characters themselves; even our slightly wider angle in DS9 isn't nearly as large as we think it is, given that Sisko and company apparently fight on a battle front that revolves entirely around the Bajor/Cardassia systems.

    So I'm thinking Starfleet is just a smaller piece of a much larger puzzle, and may not even be the most important piece. If nothing else, the scarcity of Andorian or Tellarite space forces in the 24th century is indicative that we are definitely NOT getting the whole story.

    That depends on their legal status. The Coast Guard, for example, is only considered a branch of the military because U.S. law says it is.

    Also, I'm thinking the definition of "war" in the 23rd century may also be somewhat different than the rest of us expect. For example, it seems to be the case that flying around and blowing up other people's space ships is NOT generally considered an act of war (Hence Archer does this with surprising regularity without causing a diplomatic incident). On the contrary, war is conducted exclusively for the control of PLANETS; thus, getting the Klingons to shoot down the Enterprise probably wouldn't be enough to set the Federation to war, nor would the destruction of a Klingon vessel by Kirk. But bombing the Klingon home world would definitely do the trick.

    How sure are we about that?

    Bashir's think tank apparently states that the Federation stands to loose up to a trillion lives if they aren't victorious over the Dominion. A war fought primarily in space wouldn't have those kinds of stakes; it is evident, therefore, that MOST of the fighting in this war is actually taking place in ground engagements throughout the Federation and that the space combat phase is mainly fought over strategically valuable transport routes -- e.g. the Wormhole -- through which invading armies would normally travel.
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because in the whole of American history, no one has ever said of the U.S. Navy "Our purpose is peaceful exploration," and no captain of CVN-65 was ever heard using terms similar to "The Navy is not a military organization, its purpose is exploration."

    IOW, Starfleet is -- and describes itself as -- an exploration fleet that participates in war. That may seem weird relative to modern practices, but let's face it, that's hardly the weirdest thing Star Trek has ever asked us to believe.

    That's just it: since neither their mission role nor their command structure would actually be affected, the change is totally unnecessary. There's nothing in Federation law that says "the organization that participates in war" HAS to be a military organization. Starfleet probably never became a formal military organization because they were able to fulfill that role without actually changing their legal status.

    We know for a fact that if the Federation got desperate enough they WOULD change it, and Starfleet would look very different afterwards (as we see in "Yesterday's Enterprise"). But even in the Dominion War, the Federation's simply never been that desperate.
     
  19. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Stupid writers, nothing more. Kirk's Starfleet was explicitly the military. Then Roddenberry changed his mind, and Picard spewed that drivel, and we've been stuck with that nonsense ever since.
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I realize that, but too much of Star Trek has depended on that underlying subtext that we're stuck with it, especially now that JJ Abrams has elected not to change it. So we need some coherent way to rationalize it in-universe.

    My rationalization is that Starfleet wasn't created to BE a military and was never intended to be used as one, but because the hazardous nature of their exploration mission necessitates having have the best ships, the best technology and the most effective and versatile weapon systems, the federation basically conscripts them en masse whenever a fight breaks out.

    Just to be clear: my PREFERENCE would be for Starfleet to play it straight, have it be evolved from the Air Force or a combination of Earth space programs (Roskosmos/NASA/Spaceguard etc) that got adopted by United Earth and then by the Federation as an expeditionary force chartered to locate new trade partners, new allies, new exploitable resources, etc. Alot would have to change for Starfleet to be depicted this way, though, and ST09 was on a trajectory in that direction until Scotty dropped the bomb on that idea in STID. :shrug:
     

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