Scotty and his military comment

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Obviously they exist. We saw them in the 22nd century working in parallel with Starfleet. We don't see them in the 24th century -- at least, not that we know of -- but then we've never seen the Andorians either, and I doubt they've gone extinct.

    Anyway, it's not all that hard to account for. The Dominion War would have had an EXTENSIVE ground theater on the worlds of contested systems (Chin'toka in particular) that we simply never saw because Starfleet ordinarily doesn't get involved in land action. That, probably, is where you'd be likely to find large groups of Andorians, Tellarites and Federation MACOs.

    Doubtful, since the only reason those Starfleet officers were there is because they needed to keep that particular sensor array and nobody had shown up to relieve them yet. AR-558 was apparently something of a backwater where no other ground combat was taking place except for that one little sensor array.
     
  2. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    Oh, okay. If your argument is that Starfleet has many roles besides combat and there could (even if not confirmed) separate contingents that are solely predicated for combat (rather than exploration, diplomacy, police action, etc) then I agree.

    Starfleet is military by it being an armed force of the Federation but clearly their charter is far more diverse than most of today's modern military organizations and perhaps only a small portion of their overall funding goes directly into weaponry, space defenses, combat training, etc.
     
  3. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I know you're coming in late, but that's not always even true in the real world. The JSDF is legally classified as an "armed force" but in Japanese language, practice and law its personnel are technically civil servants employed by the prime minister. IOW, Japan considers itself to have no actual military; it merely has military equipment that happens to be run by a group of trained civilians.

    And the Federation exists in a completely different world with a completely different legal (and technological) framework.

    No, Starfleet is a bunch of ARMED scientists who engage in combat. Moreover, they're not particularly good at it.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    But if that sensor array was that vital to Federation interests, why didn't they send the actual military in to defend it?

    I'm not trying to be a dick here, but if you watch the various 23rd and 24th century shows you would realize that Starfleet is the Federation's military. In the very first Star Trek pitch, Robert April has "Naval Officer" right above his name.

    Starfleet has combat regulations just like every other military.

    A soldier wearing a Starfleet comm badge.

    No one that we see beamed down was wearing anything other than Starfleet uniforms.
     
  5. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    Actually, I was in this conversation early but then dropped out and came back late.

    In World War 2 the US military was comprised of a lot of teachers, truck drivers, farmers, construction workers, etc, with basic military training who were quite destructive. The bottom line is whether a scientist/part-time soldier is shooting at you or a lifelong solder you are probably going to duck just the same. I'm sure a phaser fired from an armed scientists who knows Superstring theory hurts just as much as fired from a guy who only knows how to shoot the weapon he's holding.

    Starfleet is probably closest in comparison to the Coast Guard where armed combat against foreign militaries is just a single component of their overall role. However they are by definition a military/armed force of the United States.

    If a country fights its battles by arming all available milkmen and sending then on invasions of neighboring countries . . . . that's their military. And no matter how ineffective that strategy of national defense may be its probably no less efficient than Starfleet's overall combat record. ;-)
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But that would only be possible if technology has rendered war such a trivial affair that just about anyone could successfully fight an entire war without really being trained to do so. That's obviously true in SPACE combat, which seems to be more of an engineering task than a strategic one. But that is OBVIOUSLY false in ground combat: the Klingons, the Romulans and the Jem'hadar are effectively Ugly Bags of Mostly Badass and not the kinds of people you'd expect to fight off with a platoon of lightly-armed geologists who took a self-defense course in their spare time.

    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, not because militaries are uncivilized, but because WAR is an uncivilized activity that is 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" and even have his first officer back him up isn't the reflection of a single person's inexplicable idealism; Starfleet is the kind of organization where a man like Picard could become the Captain of their most powerful starship.

    That tells us quite a bit about how Starfleet in general views itself. It also tells us that we have never really seen the Federation's military: if Starfleet was their only defense against the Romulans or the Klingons, they would have been conquered centuries ago.
     
  7. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    The flaw in your argument is that you seem to feel that if there are other secret or randomly mentioned military organizations that somehow that would preclude Starfleet from being a military organization.

    Sorry but Picard is wrong unless the definition of "military" evolves over the next several hundred years to something different than what it is now.

    But as of now (2013) here on Earth, a military is an armed force of a state. Starfleet is shown countless times participating in armed combat against external foes/threats to the Federation. Thus they are a military.

    Someone can always envision a way out and simply say that the word "military" in the 23rd century comes to mean an organization dedicated wholly for combat or that state defense is the majority of its overall mission. Thus Picard and Scotty were correct but you are wrong (since you didn't specify you were using a futuristic definition of "military").
     
  8. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And yet, the guys who only know how to shoot the weapons they're holding are going to get their asses kicked by the guys who also spent five years learning parkour and jujitsu and training how to move and fight as a team over difficult terrain in low visibility, high-stress situations.

    Starfleet is in its element in space (most of the time) and tends to use science and engineering to solve its conflicts. Their INFANTRY tactics, on the other hand, are laughable at best.

    And as has been said before, the coast guards of most nations are NOT military organizations and are legally classified as law enforcement agencies despite being fairly heavily armed.

    I offer a counter-proposal: this society only provides weapons to its milkmen because the high demand for milk means the milkmen can be everywhere all the time and it is therefore highly efficient to give them police powers (e.g. if you rob a convenience store, the local milkmen will quickly locate and arrest your ass). Because the milk trucks are also very robust and highly mobile, they may also double as a defense service if and when the country is invaded by foreigners.

    The milkmen do not, however, become a military organization unless they are legally classified as the exclusive agency authorized to conduct war against the nation's enemies. This is such, because "military" or "armed forces" is legal concept as much as a linguistic one and has different implications in different languages (particularly latin and African languages the equivalent word refers almost exclusively to land armies, as it used to in English until recently). Not being an officially-sanctioned armed force would make them a "paramilitary" or "militia" force by modern conventions, which I think fits Starfleet just fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not at all. I believe Starfleet is not a military organization because they SAY they're not a military organization. That's simply not the kind of thing a member of a military could actually be heard saying without getting a Section 8.

    It probably has, but even with the MODERN definition he could easily be correct. It partially depends on Starfleet's LEGAL status, but mostly on the fact that the organization's established purpose is exploration and scientific research.

    Again, not necessarily. "Armed forces," and "Uniformed forces" can be military in nature, but armed police forces and law enforcement agencies aren't considered military organizations either despite their capacity to engage in defensive warfare.

    Which would be the CONVENTIONAL definition of "military," especially in light of the fact that Picard is french.:p
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk and Picard were both empowered to take the Federation to war...
     
  11. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starfleet is a multiple-role organisation, centered primarily on exploration (so their primary mission is NOT military), however they ASLO served a military function.

    - They are involved in humanitarian relief efforts (US military does this)
    - They are involved in tracking down smugglers and interstellar (multi-national) criminals and pirates (US armed services are a good parallel to this, even though the Coast Guard also does this)
    - They lead and participate in peacekeeping missions, and are heavily involved in diplomatic missions (UN and US forces do this).
    - They act as a defense force for external and internal threats (the very definition of a military organisation).

    They ARE a military by any reasonable definition, but their primary mission is one of science and exploration.

    They bring military efficiency, techniques and training to scientific endeavors, and serve the same role as UN ilitary forces for the Federation.

    It is possible, and likely, that member planets also have their own military organisations, per their rights as sovereign members of the Federation.

    I look at Starfleet as analogous to an international Navy, or the UN military, but with a heavy focus on science and exploration rather than the traditional military role.
     
  12. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    Ummmm, the battle history of a military does not define whether they are a military or not. How many wars have the militaries of Peru or the Philippines actually won? Does that mean we rename their armed forces to something else? The Federation has fought and won (or at least not lost) to the Klingons, Romulans, Dominion, etc, etc. So your point is moot. The US has the dominant military in the world today but that doesn't mean we can't get our arses handed to us in any individual battle or operation.

    American Infantry and Armor at the beginning of WWII wasn't anything to write home about but they got better as the war went along (experience). US Artillery was the dominant combat arms component for the US in the war and had no equal. It was the branch most feared by our foes.

    The US Coast Guard is tasked with defending US Soil in times of War. I'm sure you can find information on the Role of the Coast Guard. Its one of the 5 Armed Services of the United States.

    Here's something you need to realize. Any MILITARY can undertake police action. In many parts of the world a nation's military is tasked or often used to pacify its citizens or fill law enforcement roles. This also happens in the US. A common misconception is that the military cannot bear arms against US citizens without the declaration of martial law. However if National Guard forces are still under the control of the Governor (not federalized) they can easily be "deputized" before undertaking security or law enforcement missions (aka carry live rounds with clear rules of engagement). Federal forces on the otherhand are barred by law. That does not mean other countries follow our lead on this.

    Again, I don't seem to be conveying this properly. If the milkmen only engage in law enforcement they are not military. If they are used for state defense against external threats (aka invading other countries or repelling said invasions) then they are by DEFINITION an armed force of the state (aka MILITARY FORCE).

    If you have your milkmen act in the mission of state defense (or by definition has that as one of its purposes) it is now a military organization. If the Texas Highway Patrol is suddenly ordered to invade Mexico by the State it becomes a military organization. If the National Guard rounds up rioters in the street its a military organization performing law enforcement duties (because its also tasked with defending that same state from any invasion or invading any foreign state).

    Again, a government can have a military force do whatever it feels appropriate. And any force that is armed and acts in the defense of the state (whether that be through offensive or defensive action) is a military.
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Never said it did. I've said that their relative lack of specialty in combat training reflects the fact that they are not a military organization. And even Riker called combat proficiency a "minor province" in a commander's duties, something which Star Trek has been remarkably consistent about.

    So is the Chinese Coast Guard, despite the fact that it is not a military organization.

    I realize that. And here's the thing YOU need to realize: any NON military organization can participate in a war.

    That's not a misconception, that's the Posse Commititus act that explicitly prohibits them from doing so except under very specific circumstances. By contrast, some other countries -- France, for example -- have explicitly military organizations that operate in a domestic law enforcement agency.

    Asking if Starfleet is a military organization is like asking if the LAPD is a Gendarmerie. When a police captain says "The LAPD is not a military organization," you don't point at the SWAT team and say "Yes you are!"

    Why not? Militaries do that too.

    Why? Non-militaries do that too.

    Yes, and governments are free to define whether the people it sends to do those tasks are civilian organizations, uniformed government agencies, or sanctioned military organizations. Some governments -- Japan, for example -- avoid using a formal military organization altogether for historical and political reasons; I suspect the Federation has a similar reason for downplaying Starfleet's defense role as being merely one of a list of emergencies they are trained to handle.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    That is also in the same episode as Picard's "we aren't the military". I wonder how many starship commanders thought combat proficiency was a "minor province" during all those battles on Deep Space Nine? You seem to hinge everything on Picard's statement, yet he's been wrong before. I tend to think of his statement as his idealized vision of what Starfleet is.

    You're right that Star Trek has been incredibly consistent but not about Picard or Riker's comments. Combat tactics have seemed incredibly important going all the way back to Balance of Terror.

    When they were expecting a war with the Cardassians to erupt at Galorndon Core, they sent Starfleet.

     
  15. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    Somebody is in denial. The bottom line is that Starfleet is an armed force of the Federation and by definition they are a military. Nothing you can say (pulling vague facts about the Chinese Coast Guard or Japanese military) can change that. They fight the Federation's wars so they are UNDENIABLY a military organization.

    I'm sorry that upsets you so and you feel like Picard lied to you on the show but . . . . that's just how it is.

    As for your other comments.

    Whether the Chinese Coast Guard is tasked with defending the coast against foreign forces is the call of the Chinese Government. They might reserve that role exclusively for their Navy. Who cares? I stated that Starfleet was most like the US Coast Guard in its multiple roles. I'm not really concerned with what the Nicaraguan Coast Guard does either (even if that turns out to be a fascinating comparison).

    Look Eddie, I explained how it works between the National Guard and Active component troops. I carried live rounds in Operation Safe Skies . . . and guess what . . . the passengers were mostly US CITIZENS. Hmmmm . . . clearly you don't understand the difference between Federal and State control and the dual chain of command of the US National Guard. Read my paragraph again, I'm not wrong here. While the National Guard is part of the US Armed Forces they can bear arms against its citizens in a wide variety of circumstances. (Posse Commititus only applies to units activated under Federal Control)

    LAPD is not a military organization. Starfleet is. LAPD doesn't get sent to Afghanistan for counterinsurgency, security or peace enforcement operations. But if they did . . . they WOULD BE MILITARY (see the definitions of military you constantly ignore).

    Is your argument that militaries that conduct law enforcement activities cannot be considered militaries? Is your next tactic to declare that because Starfleet does law enforcement it cannot possibly be a military force (because we know it is as by definition they fight wars on behalf of the Federation --- MILITARY)

    Japan's restrictions on its defense forces does not have anything to do with Starfleet. The Japanese SDF is a military force that is legally restricted in terms of size and offensive capabilities. I met some Japanese soldiers at White Sands Missile Range years ago. Trust me, you don't want to piss those guys off. I'm sure you telling them they weren't a real military wouldn't go over too well either.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In point of fact, it's the same SCENE.

    All of them, I should think. It would definitely explain why they sustained the high losses that they did.

    Which still begs the question: what kind of organization IS Starfleet that two of its most prominent officers can believe that it isn't a military organization? How many soldiers in the history of warfare have ever said this or anything similar to it of their own armies?

    Is what Starfleet would look like IF it was a military. That may or may not be part of what Tasha Yar had in mind when she says to Castillo "Lot of changes, Lieutenant. Alot of changes."

    In pictures:
    This is a military.
    [​IMG]



    This is not.
    [​IMG]

    The difference is not as subtle as you might think. Most significantly, it is only the desperation of a war they are decisively loosing that prompts the formalization of Starfleet into a military organization. The DS9 fleet comes close, but not THAT case.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  17. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet is the military. Why else would Picard think his officers needed combat training against the Borg if he wasn't expecting to fight the Borg? Where was the Federation's military during the invasions of Sector 001?

    That is the same bridge where they fight the Borg and are sent by Starfleet to confront the Romulans and the Cardassians on multiple occasions.
     
  18. KGator

    KGator Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Mentally? . . . that's debatable.
    So you think a ship is military if it is darker and some guys have to wear some weird silver belt/vest type thing on their uniform . . . I see.

    Well that clears it up. :drool:

    Unfortunately the bottom line doesn't change. If they fight on behalf of the Federation they are an armed force. If they are an armed force they are a military.

    Fashion and mood lighting doesn't actually contribute as much to the definition of military as you have been led to believe. ;)
     
  19. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    It's hard to discuss anything with you if you can hold mutually-exclusive opinions simultaneously. It's a strawman, but people are actually considering that option, making it not a strawman, but then it is, somehow.

    For whom we have no evidence outside the 22nd century.

    We actually see them train.

    Then that is the flaw in your argument: you are relying on eyewitnesses rather than hard evidence.

    Based on what ? The colour of the lights above the bridge ? The fact that you have to step up to get to the command chair ?

    What people believe is irrelevant. Q, for instance, proved Picard wrong at least once.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    That means Starfleet is the military in Generations! Because we have the mood lighting and some guy is wearing one of those silver belts. :lol:
     

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