Scotty and his military comment

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies: Kelvin Universe' started by Charles Phipps, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus it's kind of hard to say exploration is their default mission seeing as the first sign of a threat Kirk basically sidelines the exploration mission their on and deals with the threat.
     
  2. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Oops, I clicked on this, few people care anymore topic by mistake. *looks at bloody pool on floor* Did that used to be a horse?

    re @ Greg Cox, great one! :guffaw: The motto of the show is misleading! :guffaw:
     
  3. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think pure explorers have
    General Order 24
    If that exists of course (not some scam between Scotty and Kirk)

    I think the main aim of the 5 year mission was exploration (even if it were between delivering medical supplies or errant colonists) however Kirk was always saying we're the only defense in this sector of space.

    Was there any exploration in TNG though - any star mapping, any going out into the big black just for the heck of it? I can't remember that much but I may be mistaken.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    A lot of this, of course, is just a matter of dramatic convenience. Giving Kirk a specific crisis to deal with or a short-term mission to carry out gets the plot rolling much faster, and gives an episode (or novel) more of a sense of urgency, than if he's just exploring some random solar system for the heck of it and something unexpected happens.

    Which is not to say that you can't get a decent plot out of a purely exploratory mission, but the show was smart in not defining the Enterprise's mission too narrowly. Giving it a wide range of assignments, including military ones, opens things up to a greater variety of plots. You can do war stories, disaster-relief stories, espionage stories, first-contact-stories, morality plays, surreal mind games, horror stories, etc.
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That still doesn't explain how a ship like Voyager would immediately default to a mission of exploration the moment their ASSIGNED mission is completed. If nothing else, it establishes that in the absence of specific orders from Starfleet, every starship IN the fleet has a standing imperative to explore space and collect detailed data on anything and everything they encounter and to continue to do so even when that information serves no conceivable military or strategic benefit to the Federation or to the ship itself.

    Moreover, we have learned from dialog in DS9 that it is fairly common on Starfleet vessels to be equipped with science labs and amenities for civilian researchers and staff. That, again, is another feature Starfleet ships have in common with full-time research vessels and is not shared with their military counterparts: with a few highly notable exceptions, every starship can function as a research platform, but not all of them are suitable for combat.
     
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, Trek was based on the age of American colonization (hence Rodenberry's "Wagon Train to the Stars" pitch and the treating of whole planets as simply larger-than-normal adventure towns). As such, Enterprise' mission was originally conceived as a group of professional explorers opening up space for Earth expansion on "the final frontier". The military nature of whatever organization the Enterprise belonged to wasn't really even a question (nor had they completely decided what kind of organization that really was, e.g. UESPA vs. Space Central vs. Starfleet).

    The series EVOLVED to a kind of begin to resemble the Age of Sail in TOS' third season, but was never really "Based on" that concept until Nicholas Meyer picked that premise and ran it for a touchdown in Wrath of Khan.

    I didn't say it necessarily should. I'm suggesting then "The Mote" never had any illusions about the human space force being anything but a full standing military organization, and therefore represents a kind of reference point to what "the military can also explore" would actually look like if applied properly.

    Another (possibly better) point is the Earth Alliance in Babylon 5: nobody is mincing words about what Earthforce actually is, despite the fact that their largest and most awe-inspiring starships are specifically designed for exploration. Captain Sheridan is depicted as having occasionally performed exploration missions on the Agamemnon, and we later learn that Earth-Minbari War was primarily the result of a spectacular misunderstanding during an otherwise peaceful exploration mission into Minbari space. The Earth Alliance has detailed and extensive first contact protocols and devotes a fair amount of its resources to charting new worlds and contacting new civilizations as well. So here, too, we have a space military that seems to have a very large science/exploration budget, but has never pretended to be anything other than a standing military and has never equivocated about their mission statement.

    In summary: for all the characteristics people keep listing of modern militaries, the one thing they all possess -- the one thing Starfleet lacks -- is absolute clarity over the fact that they ARE the military. That there's even room for the question suggests everything we need to know.

    Star Trek presented many strange ideas for many different reasons; the idea that an armed exploration service with an explicitly non-military charter could function as the primary peacekeeping force for an entire nation is NOT, in fact, the strangest thing they have ever asked us to believe.
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then sit down and do the math. Of the 726 broadcast episodes of Star Trek, exactly how many of those involved Starfleet vessels being pulled away from scientific/exploration duties for military, natural disaster, police action or other emergency?

    Which is weird, because "checking on remote colonies, investigating lost colonies and ships, dealing with diplomatic crisis" also falls under the category of "exploration."

    By MY count: 17 episodes showed the Enterprise on scientific/exploration missions, 3 depicted events independent of whatever the ship's overall mission actually was, and 10 depicted emergency/other missions. Of the "other" missions, four of them actually BEGAN as routine scientific expeditions (Galileo Seven, the Alternative Factor, Court Martial, Operation Annihilate) and one (Devil in the Dark) began as an emergency mission that later transformed into a scientific/exploration one when what began as a defensive action mutated into a first-contact scenario. Four of those emergencies (Balance of Terror, Arena, Errand of Mercy and again The Alternative Factor) were explicitly military emergencies, and of those three, only Balance of Terror wound up being resolved through combat action, while the others were resolved by relatively peaceful alien intervention.

    The distribution of exploration to emergency missions holds pretty steady throughout Trek history, just at a glance. DS9 is the singular outlier in this only because it shows us a time when the Federation -- really, the entire alpha quadrant -- was being invaded by a stupefyingly prolific menace in the form of the Dominion. And yet, even in the seasons PRIOR to the outbreak of the Dominion War, the balance also holds true for DS9: roughly one emergency mission for every three exploration/scientific ones. :vulcan:

    It's actually closer to two thirds, which falls to just over half if a series of peaceful missions suddenly devolve into emergencies (as happened five different times in TOS season 3). Another interesting case study is Star Trek Enterprise: 10 out of 26 episodes involve the Enterprise -- which is explicitly a non-military vessel being deeply involved in purely military incidents. Here, too, we're DIRECTLY TOLD that their default mission is exploration, and even Archer later comments to Captain Hernandez "You're going to spend a lot of time boldly going into combat."
     
  8. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, Roddenberry explicitly based it on the Hornblower novels. The "wagon train to the stars" bit was his pitch to the networks BECAUSE it was a current show they could grasp as a metaphor.

    Meyer based Khan on submarines, not age of sail.

    No, I'm saying that you seem to assume a military starfleet MUST look like the Macarthur.

    JMS did it right. Roddenberry did the first time around, but got it wrong the second.

    That tells me you know nothing about the military.

    I didn't say "strange", I said inane, as in stupid and irrational. Why are you so devoted to "proving" the non-military nature of a patently military organization?
     
  9. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    Um, when most of the galaxy is still unknown, any military will explore. It's what we do when we don't know what's out there and we don't have a mission to hand. Military or strategic benefit don't enter into it. We don't do so much now because we've already explored this planet.

    [/quote]Moreover, we have learned from dialog in DS9 that it is fairly common on Starfleet vessels to be equipped with science labs and amenities for civilian researchers and staff. That, again, is another feature Starfleet ships have in common with full-time research vessels and is not shared with their military counterparts: with a few highly notable exceptions, every starship can function as a research platform, but not all of them are suitable for combat.[/QUOTE]NOBODY had a science ship back in the age of sail, and navy ships still managed a lot of science. You're mistaking the Calypso for a contemporary of the Victory or Constitution. If we still had much planet to explore, our warships today would find some space for labs. But with instant communications and a fully charted world, we don't need more than survey gear (ok, visual navigation gear, but it can be used to survey) and meteorological gear, an oil lab, and sickbay, plus nbc gear. Starfleet is sometimes in instant comms range, often out of it, and therefore needs more of that stuff to hand because they can't send pictures and samples back to a lab for someone else to look at.
     
  10. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I haven't watched the first episodes of VOY for a while but my understanding was that Voyager was a science ship. Amazingly armed with a tremendous amount of weapons and shuttles but non-the-less her primary mission was of research.
    But then the first time we saw her she was on her way to intercept a Marquis ship. Hardly a scientific mission.

    And the Marquis were against the Federation because they were on lots of exploration missions?

    Admittedly during her trek across the Delta quadrant it seemed that Janeway was also interested in scientific study as well as diplomatic and ways to speed up her ship. She was a scientific ship after all. I'm sure information she gathered about the Delta Quadrant was of interest to Starfleet headquarters. The location of different species, their Warp scale, their danger level to the Federation. I don't think Janeway ever went on military reconnaissance deliberately. But I think Starfleet military would be very interested in the Borg and Species 23456 (whatever).
    A starmap of the Delta Quadrant and the location of strategic planets would be of interest to the military.
     
  11. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure you really have that right. Rodenberry drew inspiration from the hornblower novels (very loosely at that) for the character of Kirk and his tendency to lead away missions all the time. The Adventure Town conception, however, is straight out of the Wagon Train formula (and copied just as closely, sometimes inexplicably so, in shows like Lost In Space and Wild Wild West). It was one of the more common tropes in the 1960s because the only successful TV shows at the time were, in fact, westerns.

    Meyer, on the other hand, is said to have depicted Starfleet as "Horatio Hornblower IN SPACE!" hence the change in uniforms and costumes, the bridge layout, the whole "Peter Preston always wanted to go to the sea... cough cough... er go into space" thing, and the depiction of photon torpedoes as basically flaming cannonballs. The mutara nebula scene borrows some inspiration from submarine movies in a highly convoluted and convenient way (in exactly the same way and for the same reason as "Balance of Terror") but that wasn't his overall basis for his depiction of Starfleet.

    Significantly, I'm saying the Macarthur is a very clear example of what a military organization looks like on a mission of exploration. Starfleet wouldn't have to copy it precisely, but some of the differences between them would be somewhat harder to explain.

    It could just be that "The Mote" is one of my favorite science fiction stories (as you can probably tell) and I tend to hold it as the gold standard for imaginative space opera in general. But when a comparison to other stories produce so many similarities (e.g. "Abbadon's Gate" or Seaquest DSV) I tend to believe that the basic structure of the Macarthur's exploration mission would be at least partially reflected in a military Starfleet were that actually the case. Especially since we have "Yesterday's Enterprise" as a glaring example of what a military Starfleet would actually look like.

    If you are suggesting that there are active members of the military who do not believe that the military IS the military?:wtf:

    If that's really the case, you might just be right.

    A French guy with a British accent is stupid and irrational. A non-military Starfleet is just a different spin on future geopolitics.

    I'm not "devoted" to anything of the kind, I just call it like I see it. It's an organization whose ranking officers have several times referred to it as a non-military in nature; its founding goal is said to be the peaceful exploration of space; several of its officers have at times alluded to a set of core beliefs that all life forms -- even hostile ones -- have a right to live and have gone out of their way to avoid the deaths of even implacably hostile life forms.

    Taken as a whole, this tells me that Starfleet is a space agency created for the peaceful exploration of space and for scientific research. They are equipped with defensive systems and weapons due to the inherent dangers of space exploration itself; they are tasked with peacekeeping and emergency response duties due partially to the weapons they carry and their overall capabilities but largely because of their high profile and extensive presence in and around Federation space, and because it tends to be staffed by officers of uniquely high moral character (with a few highly notable exceptions).

    It's not just a point of semantics. It's a very different kind of organization with a very different kind of background. Starfleet wasn't created because the Federation needed someone to fight for their interests in space, Starfleet was created because the Federation wanted to explore space.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  12. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant while attempting to recover an under-cover agent who had infiltrated the Maquis.

    Which would, IMO, be a rather unseemly mission for a science vessel in any organization but Starfleet.

    The Maquis were against the Federation because the Federation couldn't muster the requisite military power to force the Cardassians to give up their claims on several disputed colony worlds and let themselves get roped into a bad peace deal that left the Maquis colonies twisting in the breeze.

    So, basically, yes.:p
     
  13. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes but the British Navy - military were always picking up James Bond from his undercover missions.
    So a perfectly acceptable job for the military if you believe in Ian Fleming or the movie adaptions
     
  14. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And yet, when was the last time 007 was recovered from one of his missions by an oceanographic research vessel? Even one belonging to the Royal Navy?

    More importantly: if you were the President of a pan-galactic alliance of like-minded races with the goal to recruit more and more alien species to your cause and a strong desire not to alienate new candidates by coming off as imperialistic or threatening, wouldn't you want to try and disguise your armed forces as something totally innocuous?
     
  15. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    As I recall, the UFP could have beaten the Cardassians militarily, but the council was more willing to appease than fight.

    On rThe current military being confused, we have current leaders who do not understand our purpose and forget our missions. The navy was rebuilt to take the fight to the Barbary pirates, yet we now have an admiral who doesn't think we can get involved in Somali piracy. When the Iranians captured the British sailors, instead of expanding freedom of navigation exercises, we drew new lines miles outside their illegal claims and couldn't sail inside those new lines. We're more worried about hearts and minds than being able to fight, we totally freak over urinating on dead enemies, and yet give the enemy a pass on beheadings, castrations, and mutilation of our dead. Our generals are more worried about supporting a political narrative on sex crimes in the military and showing training metrics than actually doing anything concrete about it. Most forms of discipline are now illegal or restricted to senior officers. I had more authority as an E-4 than as an E-6. We failed to heed Heinlein's warning about pt norms and political correctness.
    I say all that to illustrate a military that no longer thinks like one, not to argue those specific points.
    Oh, and many oceanographic research ships are also electronic intelligence gathering ships; the soviets weren't alone in hiding behind "civilian research" flags.
    Roddenberry expressly used modern US navy structure to make it easy for the audience to grasp, but the situation was based on Hornblower: no comms, diplomatic authority, the ability to start, fight, and negotiate an end to a war all before home even knew about it, exploration, etc.
     
  16. Darkwing

    Darkwing Commodore Commodore

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    This dry land thing is too wierd!
    Interesting video, but Starfleet doesn't disguise their weapons like that normally. A better way is to go the way of the Society of Cinncinatus. Show the civil control of the military is a key element of said force, reinforce by oaths to the founding document, NOT to the principal political leader, and civil government that isn't based on conquest. As a foreign government being courted, disguised weapons systems would make me question their non-aggression stance MORE than an openly armed force. Deeds matter more than words, and hiding things like that are pretty loud voices suggesting false flag and other hidden aggression. It makes the UFP sound like a protection racket.
     
  17. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Oh that one's easy: Janeway is insane.

    You and I have very different definitions of "exploration".
     
  18. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Federation kinda does: they give their most powerful weapons to "explorers" operating deep space survey/science vessels. Though not exactly camouflaged, the idea in this case is that the explorers can be everywhere, and that the nation is a lot more comfortable funding a massive exploration fleet than a combat force, especially since the exploration fleet can take care of the combat if you need them to.

    That's basically what they did in Babylon 5 and Mass Effect, with impressive results.

    In the latter case, the Alliance Navy actually shows itself to be (IMO) a more effective exploration agency than Starfleet, especially since the Alliance has a set of very realistic and concrete exploration goals: identify natural resources, locate lost artifacts our friends are looking for, chart new planets whether they're habitable or not, and smoke out any pirate scumbags you might stumble upon. During Wartime, their exploration goals shift to strategic concerns: "Find things that could give us an advantage against the enemy." They even have the famous "Alliance Exploration Flotilla" that specializes in this sort of thing.

    Which is why the Federation doesn't hide its weapons, it just keeps them under the control of a non-military agency which is forever dedicated to what seem to be peaceful purposes. Take the video from above and insert a context: a nation with a large government-owned freight corporation, where most of the freighter captains and freight train engineers are part of a large government agency. Their main job is to haul freight and ensure efficient commerce, but the government also has them carry at all times at least one container with a weapon system.

    This would basically be a modernized spin on the traditional "militia," civilians whose right to "keep and bear arms" basically includes Exocets and cruise missiles. Scary as that is, the fact that in the Trek universe most commercial transports, ships and even cities can be equipped with forcefield defenses adequate to defend against misuse of those weapons might make that idea somewhat more tenable. It MUST, in fact, due to the implications of replicator technology and the tech level involved: 24th century science is advanced enough that a high school kid could construct a nuclear warhead on his own over a single afternoon, and some method of quickly detecting, disarming or defending against such shenanigans would be inherent in a secure society.

    Not that I disagree with this in any way shape or form... but if that's the case, why did Starfleet promote her to Admiral??? :scream:

    Not so much. Traditional navy expeditions have followed this pattern as well; the search for the lost Roanoke Colony, for example, or the Navy expedition to make first contact with Japan. The Apollo-Soyuz test project was arguably more of a diplomatic mission than an exploration one, as was the shuttle mission to the Mir, to a certain extent, a relief mission for the space station and an olive branch to the Russians. Poilitical outreach and diplomacy has been one of NASA's unofficial missions for several decades.
     
  19. Belz...

    Belz... Commodore Commodore

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    Have you ever watched _any_ Star Trek ? Being insane is a requirement for flag ranks. :D
     
  20. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Just ask Admiral Komack:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Or was it Admiral Westervliet?