Scotty and his military comment

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet is the military.

    There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
     
  2. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Starfleet is definitely the military, though its priorities are somewhat different than our modern-day military. I have no problem with Scotty voicing problems with a particular mission, but the idea that he doesn't think Starfleet is the military seems very odd.
     
  3. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Captain Captain

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    I suppose it depends on how you define one.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Can you name any other organization that has fought a war on behalf of the Federation?

    Starfleet participates in war games and border defense as well.

    Sounds like the military to me...
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    A genuine question here, because I'm not really 'au fait' with the structure:

    NASA tends to recruit military personel to become astronauts, with a particular focus on the air force. Not to say they don't recruit scientists as well, but the recruiting policy has always tended to favor military (or ex-military) personel with experience in aeronautics.

    Does this make NASA part of the military?
     
  6. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Nah, NASA isn't the military. It makes use of military expertise, like how a news network might hire a retired general to comment on military matters, but NASA doesn't wage war, have members who take an oath, etc.
     
  7. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Given that even today our military does stuff like disaster relief and provides environmental and engineering expertise, there's no reason that Starfleet can't have an even more varied set of tasks.
     
  8. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    If you take the time to read the post you were quoting, you'll realise I also said that.

    Well that's certainly one definition. With Starfleet it sure seems multidisciplinary, but they still are the 23rd-24th century equivalent of the military.

    Wait, how do you know how much of their ressources they devote to all that ?

    So basically your counter to every element of my list is "nope" ? It's irrelevant because.

    Entirely of scientists ? Is Uhura or Sulu or Chekov or Kirk or Riker or Worf or Yar or Rand or Sisko or O'Brien or Paris or Scotty or Archer or Mayweather or Sato or Reed a scientist ?

    Did you just argue that the Federation has a military branch to combat its enemies, by which it is surrounded by almost all sides it seems, but that despite the battles we saw in every iteration of Trek so far fought by Starfleet, that we somehow never saw these guys or their ships ?
     
  9. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Personally, I do not disagree that Starfleet has pretty much always been portrayed as having many aspects and roles that reflect those of the military, and that it does not appear that the Federation as a whole has any other dedicated force that fills these functions. (Individual planets it seems may have such forces that exist in parallel to but not directly under Starfleet Command, as Earth did prior to the founding of the UFP but after Starfleet was already well-established as an apparent outgrowth of organizations like NASA.)

    So yes, for most intents and purposes within Trek, SF is the military. But how militaristic it really is has always been debated, and the portrayal of such subject to many differing interpretations by various writers under varying story constraints. And to say that there is "absolutely no evidence" that Starfleet is at least nominally distinct from the traditional concept of a military is not quite accurate:

    1.
    PICARD: Starfleet is not a military organization. Our purpose is exploration. ("Peak Performance" [TNG])

    2.
    FORREST: You think you'll be comfortable with the military on board? ("The Expanse" [ENT])

    Granted, one of the above statements applies to the 24th century of a different timeline and the other applies to a time frame preceding the incorporation of the UFP, but nevertheless the exchange in Into Darkness clearly follows from decades of ambiguity and debate among both fans and show-runners, and was no doubt written as an acknowledgement thereof.
     
  10. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    I chalked up those comments about Starfleet not being the military to the personal opinions of the speakers. Picard in particular is very high-minded and not a fan of violence, so it sorta jives that he'd consider Starfleet to be one thing, while Worf, for example, might view it as another.
     
  11. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I certainly have no problem with anyone choosing to interpret the evidence as one pleases, including deciding that the bulk of the evidence runs contrary to some of it, but it's still not factually correct to say that there's "absolutely no evidence" that Starfleet is not military. Even if those statements are ultimately open to interpretation and may be regarded as outliers, they still represent (limited) canonical evidence of exactly that.
     
  12. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    It's a lot easier to prove that it _is_ military than to prove that it isn't, simply because proving a positive claim is easier. I think we all agree that they do a lot of exploration and research and aid, etc. But it still is the military arm of the Federation.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, we have personal opinion of a few characters vs. the fact that every Federation war/skirmish we've ever seen has been fought by Starfleet.
     
  14. Silversmok3

    Silversmok3 Commander Red Shirt

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    Starfleet is a military.

    Having actually served in the USAF myself,I can draw some interesting parallels between Starfleet and a modern military.Contrary to what CNN may have you believe,most of the time the US DoD isn't fighting wars.If you look at how many sorties the USAF operates,most of them are transport hours,moving food and fuel for civil and humanitarian purposes.Combat Search and Rescue typically operates rescue missions domestically,and our actions in Haiti with humanitarian aid after their last earthquake are textbook "Starfleet" if you will.

    Back to the latest movie,JJ Abrams' insistence to the contrary of the obvious has to do with the plot.Admiral Marcus' actions of making a secret vessel like the Vengeance are reprehensible if we consider Starfleet to be a humanitarian organization.If we take it as the military organization it is,then Admiral Marcus' actions are entirely justified.He's a commander of a military department looking at a large war hell have to fight.While his actions in setting up Kirk arent kosher,if we base Starfleet as a military the construction and use of the USS Vengeance is entirely justified: and the actions of the characters only serves as a vain act of self destruction.
     
  15. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Duh, the show is ABOUT Starfleet. They're the ones we get to see doing the fighting. If regular military organizations are never mentioned or never appealed to for help, you'd never know they existed otherwise; the first time we ever see or hear about the MACOs, for example, is when Archer realizes his security teams probably aren't up to the job. If they HAD been -- if he had ten men Malcoln Reed and five years to train more skilled security officers -- the MACOs would still be on Earth, languishing in Trek obscurity.

    My suspicion, in fact, is that the MACOs are the military of United Earth, and that this remains the case well into the 24th century. They are probably the ones primarily responsible for the defense of the planet and its various space stations through the use of ground-based weapon systems, drones, fighters, etc. And their response time is still slow enough that even in the 22nd century -- when their existence is not at all up for debate -- they are nowhere to be found when the shit hits the fan.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes it does. The U.S. space shuttle was specifically designed to be capable of performing spy missions against the Soviet Union, up to and including the interception of Soviet spy satellites, which would necessarily constitute an act of war. NASA also conducted about two dozen shuttle missions in the 1980s on behalf of the U.S. military, the exact nature of which remains classified (mainly the launch and recovery of reconnaissance and ELINT satellites). Those same missions are now being performed by the X-37B -- a NASA design that has since been militarized for the NRO.

    You're thinking that Starfleet is effectively the Federation's navy; that analogy falls apart when you realize the Federation literally HAS a Navy, and probably an army and an Air Force too, and that any combination of these are fully capable of fighting small regional wars all on their own. Starfleet as an organization is just one of many, but it's the one whose PRIMARY goal is exploration, not combat.
     
  17. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    As you said, they did those things on behalf of the US military, not as a part of the US military.
     
  18. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Would Starfleet being the military justify the construction/use of the Vengeance? We don't know that Marcus followed the proper procedures for building and staffing the Vengeance (Scotty even remarks that the crew may be private contractors), and he certainly wasn't justified in using it to attack the Enterprise, kidnap Dr. Marcus, etc.
     
  19. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I think it was evident to me, and this belief was validated in the Star Trek: Ongoing Issue #21, that Admiral Marcus considered the Enterprise expendable.

    Captain Robert April:
    According to the movie, Admiral Marcus approved the mission of the Enterprise. She would carry 72 advanced torpedoes, with the intent to kill Khan on the planet Qo'nos. As the ship approached Klingon space, the starship's warp drive malfunctioned - a malfunction initiated by sabotage committed by Section 31. If the Enterprise had completed her mission, and had fired the missiles, the Klingons would quickly locate the origin of these missiles and destroy a disabled starship, a preamble to war between the two galactic powers.

    Admiral Marcus' decision to destroy the Enterprise was his attempt to ensure there were no witnesses to his actions.
     
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We've SEEN the 23rd-24th century equivalent of the military: the Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian and Jem'hadar fleets in particular. Those organizations DO emphasize combat capabilities; their ships are compact and utilitarian, lacking amenities or advanced scientific laboratory equipment or sensor capabilities. The largest ships in most of those fleets are designed purely for combat; the largest ships in Starfleet are designed primarily for exploration.

    Primarily, the fact that various individuals have said at various times that most Starfleet vessels are NOT designed purely for combat. By the 24th century, personnel assignments are being made with the crew's comfort in mind -- e.g. spouses and children being brought on board -- both to the exclusion of other tactical considerations and the bemusement of just about everyone in the universe whose space forces ARE standing militaries.

    Secondarily, it's obvious that Starfleet is incredibly active throughout the galaxy even in peace time: when their ships are not in combat, they are mapping new sectors, exploring alien worlds, charting solar systems and comets, cataloging gaseous anomalies, etc. They spend about 10% of their time fighting or preparing for a fight; unless combat operations are ten times as expensive as their scientific programs (which seems VERY unlikely considering the nature of their weapons) it means that that their science budget is at least ten times larger than their tactical budget.

    Did you expect me to counter them with "yep"?

    Hell, the only people that's even a question for are Worf and Yar, because they served as TACTICAL officers.

    And yet even Worf appears to have relatively advanced knowledge of both computer science and electrical engineering. In "One Little Ship" Sisko asks him to "plant a computer virus" in the warp core subprocessor that would effectively destroy the ship, and earlier we see him and Nog reprogramming the Defiant's fire control systems basically by hand. Even earlier, in "A fistful of Datas" he's able to manufacture a personal forcefield (In a cave! With a bunch of scraps!). Worf may be a warrior at heart, but like most Starfleet officers he has the equivalent of an advanced degree in at least two different fields. Basically, he's a scientist who likes to experiment with weapons.

    As for the others... I'm amazed you even asked.

    Yes. Primarily because
    1) "these guys" probably don't have any ships, and wouldn't need them if they did. Most battles appear to be fought on the ground anyway. Probably in the same way and for the same reasons that the U.S. Air Force doesn't have any space stations and the U.S. Army doesn't have any submarines.

    2) We never saw or heard of the MACOs either until Archer specifically asked for a squad of them to be assigned aboard his ship. If the MACOs are still around a century later -- and they almost certainly are -- Starfleet has even less reason to refer to them or request their presence than Archer did.

    As a matter of interesting parallels: Starfleet vessels appear to be primarily exploration ships with advanced combat capabilities, while Klingon ships appear to be TROOP TRANSPORTS with advanced combat capabilities. The Romulan warbird is implied to follow a similar design philosophy, and even Ferengi Marauders evidently double as trading vessels.

    It seems that advanced races rarely build starships purely for the purpose of fighting other starships. It's not that it's impossible per se, it's just highly impractical and expensive.