The Federation at war with the Borg?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Robert DeSoto, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Robert DeSoto

    Robert DeSoto Lieutenant Commander

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    Watching the debate in the conference lounge in I Borg, about the Federation being at war with the Borg, who do you agree with?

    Now the question is not whether or not genocide is justified in this "war", but whether or not you believe a state of war exists between the Federation and the Borg.

    It was mentioned in the Best of Both Worlds that the Federation was in a state of war and Picard was at one point considered a casualty of war. After this invasion, however, do you believe a state of war still exists?

    I believe the Federation's conflict to the Borg is similar to the "war on terror". It isn't a continuous draw out conflict like WWII and there is no formal declaration of war. But the enemy has declared their intention to destroy your way of life and attacked you at every opportunity.

    The Borg made two invasion attempts on Earth. Will probably try again. Invasions are generally an act of war. Picard himself was reprimanded for not using genocide against the enemy and was ordered to do so should another opportunity arise. Starfleet even goes as far to build its first "war"ships like the Defiant.

    Voyager never used the term war, they were mostly concerned with going home and not starting fights with the Borg. But they didn't explicitly say anything that would contradict the dialogue from The Best of Both Worlds or I Borg that they were at war either.

    So what do you guys think? Is the Federation at war?

    Also, it might be relevant to state if you think the United States is at war. I think if you don't believe the US is at war, then you probably wouldn't agree that the Federation is at war either.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    At best it could be termed a cold war. There were only the occasional flare-ups.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Borg, by their very nature, are always at war with everyone. They are literally incapable of peace. Their overriding directive is to assimilate, and destroy what they cannot. So therefore, by definition, the Borg are at war with every sentient species in existence. (Except for the lucky few, like the Kazon, whom the Borg consider unworthy of assimilation.)
     
  4. Shon T'Hara

    Shon T'Hara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Until Voyager, there was never an encounter between the Borg and Federation that didn't end with shots fired, so I'd say "state of war" covers it. The only reason the conflict was so sporadic was the distance between Federation and Borg space and the fact that only one side could reliably reach the other.
     
  5. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

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    It depends on what the original idea for the Borg was really, in "Q Who" they didn't seem to actually assimilate any cultures, just their technology. Then from "The Best of Both worlds" it's implied that the Borg have seemingly altered their outlook, suggesting that from now on due to the Federation's mere existence and influence, the Borg will now forcible assimilate everyone they meet.

    In this context you could argue that the Federation is merely trying to correct an issue they may have been responsible for in the first place, and destroying the Borg would be the lesser evil in this instance.

    Of course this all goes out the window by the time of "First Contact" and "Voyager".

    Yes, ultimately the Federation and the Borg are at war, the Borg's single mindedness in how and what they do to achieve what they believe is right is going to keep this "conflict" going. The Borg believe that they're improving those they assimilate, in a perverse mirror version of what the Federation does.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, there was no contact that didn't involve single-minded attempts at assimilation or destruction. I would say that means war, at least by human definition. The Borg may have simply considered it a natural progression of daily life.

    RAMA
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Riker's and Crusher's verbal interaction during the conference says that yes there is a war between the Federation and the Borg (at least in Riker's mind). When Riker comment that he believes there is a war, Beverly response with, "There's been no formal declaration of war." Riker seem to be saying that the event, the series of actions, that compose a war are occurring. Crusher isn't really saying that a actual war isn't ongoing, only that a legal nicety wasn't observed, either by the Borg, or the Federation council.

    A declaration of war is a formal authorization by the body government to take the state into war, engage in combat. The Borg "government" seems to be extremely simple, the Queens make decisions and the collective of drone carry out the "policy."

    If the Federation council had declared war on the Borg, Crusher would/might have known of it, and others at the conference definitely would have brought it up. But would Picard have require a formal authorization to respond to, or counter attack the Borg in the manor he originally intended? I believe that Starfleet has a standing manidate to defend the Federation. Starfleet captain don't appear to need to "check with the brass" prior to engaging in fairly major hostilities. There are standing rules of engagement and Captain's discretion.

    Even without a government authorization, Starfleet was at war.

    La Forge's computer virus would have shutdown the Borg's neural network, disconnect the interconnects that form the collective. Geordie was going to make all the Borg individuals again. Many would likely die as a result, either through shock, artificial organs shutting down or by being trapped in dead spacecraft. But would that have constituted "genocide"

    When you come right down to it, the Borg are nothing more than a large group of slaves. The collective really makes no decisions, because if it did, the first decision it would make is "let us go."

    Genocide means killing a people (various descriptions), the Borg aren't a people are they?

    Based upon Picard's "we fall back" speech in FC, yes. And off screen, the Federation is slowly and gradually losing.

    Yes, twice the President asked for and obtain authorizations from Congress to take the country to war, separately in Afghanistan and later Iraq.

    The Constitution stipulates that permission must comes from Congress, not the President. Now what's going on with Libya is in need of Congressional approval.

    :)
     
  8. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

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    I'm not seeing a strong parallel here. I don't think the US is currently "at war". Iraq and Afghanistan right now much more closely resemble international, and unfortunately, mercenary police actions. The Taliban is a criminal organization masquerading as a religious group, selling heroin to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. They're the Mafia mixed with Islam and heroin. Not a country to go to war with.
    But, getting back to serious matters :vulcan: - The Borg attempted full scale invasion, and nearly succeeded. The Borg do have much greater mobility than the Federation, with either raw speed or transwarp technology (T'Warp). If you think of assimilation as the religious element of Taliban, there is something, but the Borg just don't seem to represent a terrorist group. To my mind they more closely represent corporatism and the military-industrial complex.
    I Borg is after BoBW, so I can't see any ambiguity in the question of whether the Federation is at war.
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Geordi's plan to destroy the collective wouldn't have worked given what we know in "Descent".

    But yes, the Borg are basically at war with everyone and everything. There's no real need for a formal declaration of war since the Borg don't utilize diplomatic relations like others do.
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    IMO, to be at war, both parties should have the same definition of war. And I believe the Borg do not consider what they do a war. They consider it their normal state of excistence.

    Example: locusts go from field to field, feeding, destroying the crops. The farmers hate them for it, but to the locusts it's the most normal thing to do. They don't consider themselves to be at war with the farmers.
     
  11. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A declaration of war, once adopted, can also legally change the government inside the declaring state. How the Federation operates for the "duration." Government programs and services could be temporally restricted or suspended so as the Federation could utilize those resources (money and supplies) to protect itself. During wartime, the rules for the Federation council could change, legislation and budgetary matters could be passed much more quickly.

    A formal authorization would bring into play mutual defense treaties with allies like the Klingons.

    An authorization would change the way Starfleet operates as well, Borg ships could be fired upon and destroyed without warning. Or computer viruses employed. A transfer of ships, assets and resources from exploration to defense.

    Civilian freedom of movement could be curtailed, areas of the Federation where Borg incursion were expected might be place off limits. Something the Federation council might legally be forbidden to do during peacetime.

    So, it isn't just about sending a piece of paper to the Borg.

    :)
     
  12. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

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    The closest the Federation seemed to come to any type of declaration was to declare a "state of emergency" during the Borg attack, as mentioned on DS9. It would seem odd they'd have done that without formally treating the situation as the potential beginning of a prolonged armed conflict.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it's possible that the federation charter doesn't allow the council (or the president) to formally declare war. but does allow for "states of emergency." the institution of the declare war might not legally exist. however, crushers comments would seem to go against that.
     
  14. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Federation is at war with the Borg, because the Borg are intent on encroaching upon the Federation and assimilating everyone, a hostile act that presents no discussion.

    However, generally speaking the Borg aren't at war with anyone (their perspective). They merely perceive that they have the right to assimilate anything they choose. The Borg are more like pirates. They do not recognize any other being as having any rights. They kill and destroy to take what they want regardless of the ramifications. War is irrelevant to them, until the species they seek to assimilate goes on the offensive (species 8472) rather than maintaining a defensive posture.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Those can be done already.
     
  16. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I had the command decision, I would have introduced the virus to destroy the Borg. Simply put, the Borg were hell bent on taking over the Federation. Their "assimilate at will" attitude does not leave any room for discussion. The only way to have peace with the Borg is to either be stronger and nano-probe invasion proof, or be inconsequential enough not to beckon their interest. If you're stronger, do you sit back and watch your weaker allies fall into Borg subjugation? I think not.

    The Borg are a fascinating experiment in cyborg technology. If they had an "assimilate upon request" edict instead, perhaps it would be fine to work with them. Actually, THAT is the kind of virus I'd like to see introduced. The Borg shift into an assimilate when permitted stance and are no longer overtly hostile. And, they would also be staunch protectors of their allies, assuming a deadly invasion force ever comes about (like The Dominion).
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When did we see a Starfleet vessel fire on a Borg ship without there first being communication?
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Borg are always the first ones to communicate. "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Any time anyone gets within range, they always hear that. Nobody ever has to hail the Borg, they always do it first.
     
  19. Bonzo the Fifth

    Bonzo the Fifth Commander Red Shirt

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    Not to mention that the Borg, in many ways, can be considered less a civilization and more extensions of a single being. You don't 'declare war' on an individual. If a landing party comes under fire on a planet, they can take all reasonable means to protect themselves, including deadly force, if necessary.

    It just so happens that the Borg, due to their nature, are both an individual threat and an extremely hostile one.

    Honestly, Geordi's virus was likely the most HUMANE solution available at the time of 'I Borg', since not everyone would have been as easily 'recovered' as Picard was by surgical means, and, even if they were, the logistics would have been far too daunting to even attempt to manually liberate one ship, much less the entire race.

    And when you consider the possibilities of other races assimilated in the meantime while the question is dithered upon, which is the greater crime against sentience, really?

    I hate when the question of genocide comes up in these debates. I hate it when it comes up in Doctor Who vis a vis the Daleks... Genocide is one thing when we're talking about a society of individuals who pose no harm to you or the slaughtering of the innocent or murdering people for the crime of being different. But if their very nature is to murder, to kill, and there's not way to placate or reason with them beyond catering to that intent, then diplomacy and ethics do not apply here. You're not dealing with a sentient civilization, then, but a force of nature. Are those innocents slaughtered in the meantime somehow lesser than the ravening, rampaging civilization that's destroying them?

    Absolutely, take every measure to avoid the eventuality of destroying them all, if some or all can be saved, but there comes a point where you have to decide who has a greater right to live...

    But as I said regarding the Daleks, I do find it tiresome that SF tends to almost always have one of these civilizations merely to spark a false debate on the rights to life of things that have no business living. It doesn't even have a parallel on earth. There's never been a modern human civilization so bloodthirsty that they were at war with everyone, all the time, where no negotiation was possible... Even the go-to society for Evil Civs, Nazi Germany, wasn't THAT bad, and had they been, I'm pretty sure the entire German nation would have been so much nuclear slag by the end of the war.

    The fact is, REAL civilizations are comprised of several different kinds of people. Those who support action, those who don't, some who want a third way, etc. Cultures and civilizations deserve the greatest respect and consideration by others while the more hostile parts of them should be worn down through diplomacy so that we can all get along.

    The Borg are not a civilization. They are an imposed monoculture, with no variation, and our rules of war, negotiation and ethics do not apply to them.

    I know that sounds extreme, but I don't see any way around it.
     
  20. Robert DeSoto

    Robert DeSoto Lieutenant Commander

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    so it seems nearly every agrees that a war exists at least on some level.

    The reason I brought it up was because I had the same debate with one of the admins over at memory alpha. He raised some valid points at first (same as Dr. Crusher's arguments), but just like in I Borg, I shot down those points. Unlike Crusher, who eventually conceded that they were in fact at war, the admin just kinda went off the deep end, rambling on something about a Janeway-Chakotay war. Anyway he also said a state of war and a war is not the same thing. Then he posted a wiki definition for "state of war" which totally did not help his argument at all. Quite the opposite. Then he said that no war can exist without a declaration of war. (The reason why I brought up the war on terror was the admin said that no US citizen can consider themselves at war without Congress declaring war.) So ya I told him to try telling that to some Iraq/Korean/Vietnam war vets lol.

    Anyway, I pointed out to him, that a bunch of random fans here seem to agree with me, but ya, he was not coming back from the deep end. Him being an admin of course, he can write whatever he wants on memory alpha and lock it.

    After checking his profile tho, I can understand. He has edits and posts, every 90 seconds. I don't think this guy has a life. or a job. I dont even kno if he sleeps. Maybe hes an andriod or something lol. I mean we have some pretty crazy fans here too, but 90 secs? like his edits would be literally 1 min and a half after I post something. No matter what article I write in or what day or time.

    I dont really care what article says. Or if I win or lose. I just like to debate shit. But I can picture some crazy guy with a long beard sitting in a basement editing memory alpha all day lol. Probably a loner with some serious OCD issues. The kind of guy that would snap and go on shooting spree. So if editing memory alpha will prevent this loner from going crazy, by all means, edit the shit out of my article lol

    I'll just continue my debates here. (Although I know we have some crazies up in here too lol).