The Federation / Klingon Alliance

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Into Darkness, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    From what we can tell from watching Trek, the Klingon Empire is an Empire of subjugated planets and civilisations.
    This means the Klingons are a dictatorship and have conquered planets and took away freedoms and democracy.
    To change this would result in the collapse of the Klingon Empire.

    So how can the Federation morally and ethically and in all good conscience become an ally and officially sign an alliance agreement with such an entity as the Klingon Empire?
    The Klingon Empire goes against everything the Federation stands for.
     
  2. jmampilly

    jmampilly Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it comes down to strategic value. The Federation and the Klingon are less likely to wage war if they are in an alliance. Even further, regardless of Klingon ideological beliefs, the Federation faces other threats, and an alliance with the Klingons serves as a large deterrent to aggression from other powers.
    Not only is there a strategic value in an alliance with the Klingons, but it also demonstrates the Federation's Prime Directive. Because they refuse to involve themselves in others' internal affairs, they can make alliances based solely off of strategic value, because ideological alignment is irrelevant.
     
  3. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    The Federations job and purpose should be to free all planets from subjugation. The Federation should build a strong military and take down the Klingon Empire and free all those worlds. Should definitely do it now since Romulus is destroyed and the Romulan Empire is in turmoil and the Cardassian Union is of no threat anymore. Now (the time post Romulus destruction) is the time to strike.
     
  4. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, it's kinda infered by the use of the word 'empire', and in the Original Series era they probably still are. But y'know, I think it's probably an artefact of another time, certainly by TNG. I can't rightly recall any direct detail being given ever on exactly who or what these "subjugated planets and civilisations" you mention are, merely general lip service to that being what they did in the past to get to where they are by TOS. But hey, that's what empires do! It doesn't mean that they can't change, or that the events of STAR TREK VI don't see them having to free many of those subjugated nation states, ala the fall of the USSR.

    Admittedly I expect it wasn't easy, for them or for their subjects/former colonies. A 'Klingon Ukraine' or two is bound to have existed somewhere. But by, say, Picard's time it might reasonably be expected that the Empire is only truly an empire in title alone.
     
  5. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    If the Klingon Empire had given freedom to any or all of it's subjugated worlds it's economy would have shrank and it's access to resources shrank to such an extent they wouldn't have been able to amass a military anywhere near as powerful as we see it is in DS9.
    The Federation is spread over 8000 lightyears with 150 worlds, the Klingon Empire would never match that if they didn't retain their empire in full.

    Even if you said the Klingon military budget was double the Federations, you'd still expect an empire of 4000 lightyears and 75 subjugated planets.
     
  6. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Caped Trek Mod Admiral

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    How do you know?
     
  7. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    I suppose if you think about it, Starfleet is just the name given to Earths military branch. Humans have basically said join our Federation (join us Humans) and we'll look after you and protect you.

    The Klingons may do the same, they show up and say "you will join the Klingon Empire and give us resources and we will protect you. You can go about your business as usual but you pay us to patrol your space and look after your world.

    Not all species would wanna be in the Federation, some may prefer the Klingons more full frontal and aggressive approach at protection.

    Some planets might prefer to hand over their space and call it Klingon space, they don't have to bother building their own militaries, they just hand that job over to the Klingons in exchange for goods.

    So in a sense, the Federation is a coporate entity and the Klingon Empire is also a corporate entity.
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    We know at least that the former "Imperial Klingon Fleet" (ENT/TOS/TAS) is known as the "Klingon Defence Force" by the time of Next Gen. Changes have definitely taken place. I can't imagine the ENT/TOS/TAS-style Klingons being welcome as allies of the Federation.

    The renegades in "Heart of Glory" explain some of the changes.
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    They can have a treaty because they are there. Best to have that treaty and set terms as to how they will get along.
     
  10. MNM

    MNM Captain Captain

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    They cant. Not without being huge hypocrits.

    Now thats not to say the treaty wasnt practical or beneficial, because clearly it was. But it doesnt match the Federations supposed ethics or morality.

    I know some books have mentioned council memebers resigning etc in protest at the continued alliance due to exactly this fact, but I would have liked to see that as a sub plot or something in the series.
     
  11. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, exactly. :)

    The reality is we *don't* know. None of us do. It's just supposition.

    Maybe the Federation *did* have some hand in "freeing" those subjugated worlds, after the alliance happened. Maybe that's what the alliance actually helped bring about. Maybe it was even written into the Khitomer accords or something, and when Gowron publically dissolved them in DS9 he started going back to the old ways. Or maybe he didn't, and the DS9 Empire's level of size is just a result of, I dunno, them all focusing their Warrior Spirits into something other than conquest.

    It can happen.

    The thing is, the OP talks as if the Federation and the Klingon "Empire" during the time of TNG are still enemies... which they're not. Or that either side would still be wary of each other... which they aren't. And whatever animosity might have still existed between them following the monumental events of STAR TREK VI, it all remains speculation and hearsay because that's an entirely unchartered (by canon, anyway) section of Star Trek's narrative. By the time TNG comes round it's clearly all bunny rabbits and puppy dogs between 'em (until the Dominion comes along and starts to piss in the water of course ;)).
     
  12. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree that a Federation-Klingon alliance seems contradictory to the Federation's principles. It seemed (I think in Heart of Glory) that they originally intended to portray the Empire as almost a member of the Federation, having even shared technology (judging by the blue and red warp nacelles of the Klingon ship). But as time went on, the Klingons seemed more and more autonomous, and basically had more of a non-aggression pact with the Federation, rather than an alliance, and that was mostly out of a need to contain the Romulans (IE Klingons view it as the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and such).

    As for personal freedoms, especially of the subjugated worlds of the Klingon Empire, in TOS, the Klingons were an analogue to the USSR. By TNG, they were more an analogue to the Russian Federation, even if TNG preceded the collapse of the USSR by several years. Basically, I understand the Klingon Federation being one that gave up the old ways of conquest, and were making a transition to a more federation-like state. But that transition was far from complete, and in DS9, clearly they regressed, when they went to war with the Cardassians, but that ended up being blamed on (or retconned?) the Dominion infiltrating them with Changeling-Martok.
     
  13. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    Place it into modern times. How can any of the EU nations have an alliance with the US? The US goes against everything the EU stands for.

    It's called "political expediency".
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Where on Earth do you get that from? Economy grows when people are given freedom to run their business the way they want.

    In the first season of TNG when we see the Klingons it's implied that the 'Old ways of the Klingon Empire' have changed and they're no longer the fierce warriors they once were. That's kind of contradicted come Sins of the Father and then the rest of the series but the writers never show us what other planets are like inside the Klingon Empire.

    I suspect either they wiped out the population *before* forming the alliance or they are kind of like China in that they're a harsh dictatorship but they have established a capitalist marketplace.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Federation did sign more than one treaty with the Cardassians, I've usually seen the Cardassians as "Klingon-lite."

    Politics make for strange bed-fellows.




    :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  16. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Federation! Fuck yeah! Off to save the motherfuckin' day yeah!

    Seriously though. How's that ideology working out for Uncle Sam?
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that's another thing that the Federation has proven worthy to sign any piece of paper that they think will prevent an armed conflict. They agreed to give the Romulans a huge technological advantage just to prevent a war.

    It'd be great if it were possible to just go after every dictatorship and liberate its people. As current real world events seem to prove, no matter how much of a military advantage you have, the war will be far more costly in both resources and lives than you expect it to, the civilian population will not cooperate with a foreign force that is bombing their back yards, and most of the time once you're gone another warlord will just march in be just as bad.

    America has had more success promoting freedom just by selling coca-cola than it ever has through military action, at least in the last 70 or so years.

    Rules of sovereignty are still observed in the 24th century.
     
  18. QCzar

    QCzar Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm sure somewhere in the Federation's constitution there are mandates requiring it to act in the best interests of its member worlds. While I'm certain that includes upholding its core principles, it surely also includes not shooting itself in the foot.

    No matter how high minded its ideals, the UFP is still a political entity and has to function in a galaxy outside itself that isn't just populated with half-naked space hippies and talking germs. Where powerful factions exist that well and truly mean it harm and where one misstep could be the difference between peace and cataclysmic war.

    It is a game of competing self-interests and it's much easier to lose than to win. If you can convince an old enemy that your mutual interests intersect, that a united front can waylay the ambitions of a mutual foe and that the benefits of peace between you far outweigh the costs, you'd be a fool not to go for it. Even the most lobeless Ferengi could see that.

    Alliances can be either fairly simple things (like the brief one between the Dominion and Starfleet in DS9 "To the Death") or incredibly complex ones, which the Federation itself arguably is. We've only ever gotten a very basic viewing of this alliance but, especially during TNG, I got the feeling there was way more to it than what we saw.

    Whatever the specifics, it has obviously benefited the Federation, and indeed the Alpha Quadrant itself, much more than it has occasionally harmed it. A continuous cold war or, even worse, a hot one between the two would have been disastrous for both sides, leaving them more open to the expansionist desires of their many foes.

    I dare say that forging this alliance is one of the most important acts the Federation carried out on the behalf of its members and citizens in the entire 24th century. The benefit to the Klingons is equally clear as, despite their bluffing, they were likely no match for the Romulans in any way. It may very well be contemptible (I'm sure some Klingons feel the same way), but the alternative would've probably resulted in the world we saw in "Yesterday's Enterprise".
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Throught Human history treaties have been signed between parties with philosphical differences. The Western Allies and Russia during WWII.

    Empires can change overtime as well yet retain the same name.
     
  20. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It isn't just 'early instalment weirdness' in TNG season one which suggests the Klingons don't operate an Empire along the lines of "subjugate and conquer" anymore. IIRC, doesn't DS9 have a Klingon restaurant on its promenade? This indicates that the Klingons did ultimately focus their energies on creating other, less aggressive methods of wealth production.

    While I don't doubt in the TOS era they were definitely up for a little slash-and-burn on lesser planets and peoples, that's clearly not how the post-alliance Klingon Empire works.

    (Perhaps to the point of not feeling very much like the Klingons as we knew them in TOS, but hey-ho. The TOS Klingon Empire was clearly much more militarized, just like the TOS Starfleet was apparently more militarized than that of the TNG era. Different times, different priorities.)

    And as to the Federation's side of things, even if the Klingons do still have countless planets that are being run in a tyrannical way, the reality is it *isn't* Starfleet's job to "free" those planets. It's not. In fact, doing so would be expressly against the prime directive. Whatever means under which those planets originally fell into Klingon rule, the reality is that it's their affair, not the Federation's. That might sound like a harsh line in the sand, but it's the truth.