Why is the Federation so dumb?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Jared, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Let's check the fictional history of Trek.

    2311 - Treaty of Algeron
    2379 - Contrary to the warmongering notion that Romulans are devils who would never ever want peace (why then did they sign treaties with the Feds in the first place?) the events of NEM imply the chance for a real peace. Of course we are not naive, we all know that unlimited expansion is THE Romulan dogma. But even the most rigid Vulcanoid societies can change.

    So yeah, looks like the few decades prediction has not come true which is hardly surprising.
    If you view the Feds, the Klingons and the Romulans as the three main powers in the region we have a three player game. And such a game does not imply all out war (if A attacks B with all he has like in a 2p game C will stab him in the back) but rather the striving for a balance of powers. If someone is weak somewhere the enemy will tickle him a bit but that's it. The one wildcard in this game are the Klingons, they do not necessarily mind to take some chances and perish in glory. But the Romulans are fairly predictable, they will only strike if they can afford to attack the Feds without weakening their defenses against the Klingons.

    Add the alliance between the Feds and the Klingons and it becomes obvious that the Romulans will not seek war as long as a rough balance of powers is maintained. The last war happened in the 22nd century and it was most likely devastating for both sides. Afterwards there have been some border incidents and the usual Romulan sneak tactics of spying and subverting. If you wanna keep the Rommies at bay you better make sure that you have decent intelligence services.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Really?
    Let us analyze Nemesis:
    Enter Shinzon, a human - hated by romulans. He represents the remans, hated by romulans.
    And, yet, the romulans - the romulan military, to be exact: the power any praetor has to have behind him in order to have a life expectancy longer than a few days - overcome their utter disgust to such a degree that not only are they (along with other romulans) complicit in the utter elimination of the senate, but they give Shinzon the leadership of the romulan empire.

    And what caused the romulans to overcome their deep seated racism and disgust to such a degree?
    The fact that Shinzon had a weapon that could kill everyone on Earth and the fact that he promised the romulans to use it in order to sterilize Earth, killing billions.
    Feel the love.

    And this behavior of the romulans was the same from TOS to TNG to the last 24th century canon.

    :guffaw:

    Hitler pre-1938 was WAY less aggressive towards the allies than the romulans are towards the federation.

    I mention this because the appeasers of that period also name-called the ones that were not foolishly naive as warmongers. And they were also hailed as heroes - until the war came, at least. A war made FAR bloodier by the actions of said appeasers.

    Really?
    Helping the Duras family, in order to break the federation-klingon allience.
    An attempted attack on Vulcan.

    And I am not even counting:
    A plot to capture Enterprise, a high-profile starfleet capital ship - by using a defector carrying false information. A clear act of war.
    Attempting to destroy Enterprise that just helped the romulan ship. A clear act of war.
    etc, etc.

    Of course the romulans do not try to start wars as long as the klingon-federation alliance/rough balance of powers/whatever exists.:guffaw:


    The only reason a federation-romulan war has not happened until Nemesis is because the writers were not self-consistent:
    A war was not depicted (only a very bitter cold war) - maybe they did not have the budget for a war, or the war would have been too serialized for TNG, or they had a lot of other plot lines on their hands, etc.
    Why is that not self-consistent? Because the way the romulans were painted, war is inevitable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The idea that cloaking would confer a great strategic advantage seems quite off base. After all, Romulans can cloak at their leisure, yet they appear to be the definite strategic underdogs, always forced to attempt harebrained schemes to gain the upper hand (and always failing).

    In general, giving up technology in an exchange where the opponent gives up aggression or territory is an incredibly advantageous bargain. Technology cannot be monitored, invisibility technology least of all, so you have given up nothing - whereas territory or state of war are obvious things the opponent can do absolutely nothing to obfuscate to his advantage. Basically, the UFP "gave up cloaking" and continued to cloak nevertheless, which must have been a great victory if the Romulans "gave up attacking" or "gave up the Outbackian Sector" and could do absolutely nothing to wiggle out of those quotation marks.

    And since despite this there has been no war, the Feds appear to have made a fantastically successful deal here.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That would be a fantastically idiotic deal.
    Surviving the voluntary fall from a skyscaper gives no one the right to brag about how smart he was. Or how successful (aka positive result achieved by one's competence).

    Writers-induced ridiculous luck gives no one a free pass with regards to incompetency and suicidal appeasement (meaning, the writers depicted the federation leadership as incompetent and suicidal).

    Except they continued to nothing.

    This is worthless as an argument because:
    -it requires us to "forget" real world stealth technology and its advantages
    -it requires us to be idiotic - as it was depicted in star trek, cloak IS a major advantage (an obvious conclusion reached by only a few deductions)
     
  5. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Sure, go on denying anything that actually happened on-screen and pretending that the writers are stupid while you are the only guy who has figured out how truly evil the Romulans are and that total war is imminent.
    There is a reason the Feds are engaged in a cold and not a hot war with the Romulans. First, as already mentioned this is a three player game, there are also Klingons. Second, Romulans prefer intelligence work, sneaking, spying, lying and so on. Their dream is to set up two of their enemies against each other such that they do not get dirty hands themselves.

    Now if we talk about the Borg or the Dominion, powers that simply threaten to overrun you, this is an entirely different ball game and I am the first guy to point out that the Feds weren't prepared for these challenges.
    But giving up a cloaking technology you wouldn't wanna use in the first place after some incident with the Romulans is hardly stupid. And let's please cut this Chamberlain nonsense. First, everybody was fine with Hitler in the thirties, not just one British prime minister. Fascism didn't hurt business. Second, last time people cried "no appeasement!" in the real world a country was raped by the West. I am not too eager to learn the false lessons from history to justify warmongering.


    Indeed, it simply didn't matter much. Of course people can repeat ad infinitum that cloaking technology should give the Romulans a gigantic advantage ... but this is simply ignorant of what actually happened on the screen and hardly the basis for a Trek discussion.
    It's kinda like saying that warp drive should not work and claiming that anything we see in Trek is thus impossible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  6. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Star Trek swings way too far towards idealism on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. It's nice to watch something uplifting and hopeful, but 24th century Trek, even DS9, went way too far with it. That's why the Federation is dumb.
     
  7. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nope becuse season 7 of DS9 had the Bajorans being peeved about the Romulans installing plasma torpedoes on one of their moons.

    Interestingly enough the federation did not see a problem with this.
     
  8. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plasma torpedoes, or the super-duper torpedoes that can annihilate asteroid bases easily?

    We don't know if they're the same thing.
     
  9. Phily B

    Phily B Commodore Commodore

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    :lol:
     
  10. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Thank you for taking the time to give credit where credit is due. Sadly I do not have so much of it as to research and attribute every reference. So again, your efforts are much appreciated. :techman:

    Well, we do know what the Romulans didn't have to give up ... cloaking technology.

    We do know the Romulans, without provocation, had used cloaking technology before to enter Federation space in order to destroy several Federation outposts and murder untold numbers of its citizens.

    We do know the Romulans and Klingons entered into a loose alliance whereby the Klingons obtained cloaking technology and the Romulans got warp technolgy and ship designs, therefore, of the big 3 the Federation was the only one without a cloaking device.

    We also know it prevented the Federation from developing ways of pro-actively being able to detect cloaked ships.

    We also know cloaking technology could have non-military applications.

    And could we infer that the Federation had lifted that ban on cloak technology because the Federation was using it in Insurrection (I can't recall if that was adressed in the film or they just used it without mention).

    So on several levels it was idiotic and dangerous for the Federation to approve such a unliterally binding element.

    And, as you say, we don't know if any concessions by the Romulans were made because it was never mentioned, therefore, we cannot infer or give credit that any were.
     
  11. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Diplomacy doesn't always mean making the logical choices. I personally don't agree with the Federation banning cloaking device use, but I understand why they did it. Frankly, condoning it would mean many vessel coming from many different species equipped with it, making it easy for rogue elements to take advantage. Cloaked vessels are extremely difficult to track.

    "In universe" I could see Starfleet justifying certain ships having a cloaking device installed, like deep space exploration ships or destroyers equipped to battle the Borg. Imagine having that transphasic cloaking device when going up against a cube? The Borg wouldn't stand a chance. Otherwise, outside of combat those vessels so equipped would have the cloaking device off-line and off the power grid, so there's no chance of accidental use. It would take a few minutes to install though, for emergency purposes.
     
  12. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Has anybody mentioned the Defiant yet? In the face of a common threat these supposedly uber-evil Romulans are able to actually cooperate with us and allows us to freely use THEIR technology.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And? That doesn't mean they gave up NOTHING.

    And the Feds then did "The Enterprise Incident", capturing a cloaking device and a ranking Commander.

    The Romulans already had Warp, just not warships as powerful as Klingon ones. The Klingons got the better end of THAT deal.

    ...No it didn't. They still worked on multiple ways of detecting cloaks (many of which work fine).

    And?

    It wasn't unilateral.

    We can't say they gave up nothing either.
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It apparently doesn't include cloaking suits like in Insurrection. Though I guess those could've belonged to the Sona.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Whether you like it or not, the Federation simply is not as militaristic as modern Western societies.
     
  16. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah they probably sent her home after the Enterprise reached the nearest Starbase, as the Romulans might forgive theft of their technology, but kidnapping would probably be something they would be considerably pissed about.
     
  17. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    I like to fanon that Starfleet didn't get cloaking technology in return for the Romulans not getting matter/antimatter warp technology. That's why they use the artificial singularities.

    But that's me.

    The Defiant was specifically stated to be a major departure from normal Federation tactics/ship design, created in response to the Borg threat. The cloaking device would just be another thing they were doing differently.

    Maybe they figured they were saving more lives by not having whatever war the treaty was signed to prevent.
     
  18. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They don't have to be as militaristic as modern Western societies, they just need the level of militarism that the TOS Federation's Starfleet had.
     
  19. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    TOS took the lazy easy way out and just had their Federation be 60s America in space.

    I for one am happy that they didn't just make the Federation your typical Space Military Dictatorship seen so often in Sci-Fi.
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same here.
     

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