Why was Sisko assigned to DS9?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Tomalak, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester
    Aside from divine intervention on the part of the Prophets, what made Starfleet decide Ben Sisko was the best choice for the difficult mission to Bajor?

    He doesn't appear to have any experience in diplomacy. As far as I know, he was a starship bridge officer, and then went into designing weapons and ships after Wolf 359.

    The Bajor posting required someone who could balance the vying factions and rebuild a world shattered by decades of occupation, oppression, malnutrition and barbarism, and prepare them for Federation membership. It also needed someone capable of handling the Cardassians.

    Now obviously in retrospect they made the right choice. But if the wormhole had been known prior to his appointment, would a more senior, more experienced officer have been assigned instead? Was Sisko given a helping hand by a friend at Starfleet Command?
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Yes, I think it was implied that Admiral Leyton recommended (or perhaps ordered) Sisko to take command of DS9. He was close to resigning and needed a kick in the pants to keep his career moving forward.

    And he had command experience, having been an executive officer on at least two starships. Having worked with Ambassador Curzon Dax might have suggested Sisko had some diplomatic experience, too, at least in his early career.
     
  3. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    Yeah, I agree. The magnitude of what the position entailed even before the discovery of the wormhole seemed to warrant more than a CDR who seemed halfway interested in his career to say the least. I would think a seasoned Captain, hell maybe even an Admiral would be required for something like that. I'm sure Bajor was thrilled.
     
  4. dodge

    dodge Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    He did hang out with Curzon a lot... :techman:
     
  5. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Where It's At.
    I agree with this, and they also needed someone who could be tough because he wasn't dealing with the friendliest and easiest of race relations there. There's also the fact that it was a post that nobody wanted, so it seemed like it was dumped on him. I don't think the Federation expected much success seeing as the station was almost dead when he arrived anyway. I think the only thing the Federation really cared about at that point was the wormhole. I'm sure they had their sympathies for the Bajorans, but I don't think it was a main concern since they weren't a part of the Federation. I always saw it as Sisko and crew taking a situation that could have easily failed (maybe it was supposed to?) and instead they made it the place to be. Weren't Odo and Kira initially not convinced that Sisko was really there to help and that the Fed would be there for the long haul?
     
  6. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    All good points except that they didn't know of the wormhole when they assigned him the job. They discovered it about halfway through the episode.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    What was the original mission for Sisko and what was the original purpose of retaining Terok Nor? We know that the Cardassians used the station for ore processing, but Starfleet wasn't going to use it for that. So, before moving it to the wormhole, what was the plan for the station? Why keep Starfleet personnel up there?

    Bajor did look to be a backwater location; it probably didn't rate anyone higher than a commander. Or maybe the commander was meant to get the station operational before an admiral showed up to take over (though that never happened, maybe for political reasons).
     
  8. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Location:
    In your Mind!
    Picard, on paper, was a perfect person for that job, but of course he already had job as captain of the Enterprise
     
  9. dodge

    dodge Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    A nice little station near the Cardassian border had its strategic merits for sure even before the discovery of the wormhole.
     
  10. hayesc0

    hayesc0 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    would have been intresting to see riker being offered the job and turning it down
     
  11. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I always had the idea that until the wormhole was discovered that the Bajoran posting was considered a backwater because

    1) Bajor was not a Federation member world.

    2) Bajor was poor and damaged from the long Cardassian occupation.

    3) The Cardassians had withdrawn and redeployed most of their military forces elsewhere.
     
  12. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    As I understand they were simply to provide a presence or deterrent to the Cardassians while the Bajorans rebuilt their world. Also maintaining diplomatic ties to the Bajorans in hopes of eventual Federation membership. Someone else also mentioned that it was a great way to maintain a facility close to Cardassian territory.
     
  13. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Where It's At.
    Thanks. It's been a while since I saw the opener for the series so I forgot about that. It makes sense though. I doubt the Cardassians would have left if the wormhole were open.
     
  14. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Location:
    Shangri-La
    As previously mentioned, Leyton claimed that he had moved things behind the scenes in those two episodes he was in. Really, Sisko seemed to be on the proverbial backburner. He had already served as an Xo on at least two different ships, then after Wolf 359 seemed to be wasting away with the Defiant project.

    While not ready for a ship of his own, seemingly disgruntled in Starfleet, what else are you going to do with him? Telling him to be XO on a 3rd ship would just be a blantant "you're not ready to command" and probably run him out of Starfleet for good. Leaving him in R&D would probably be a waste of all the command, tactical and leadership training they had to have given him. So sending him to a small, obscure outpost to command, which was what Bajor was given there were maybe a 100 Starfleet personel there and the rest were Bajorians, was pretty much all they could do with him.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    We don't really know Starfleet made such a decision. It might be that there was no particular incentive to choose the best; rather, somebody who wasn't useful in any other task (as Sisko's therapist after Wolf 359 would unprofessionally but practically squeal to the Commander's superiors) could be dumped there.

    The assignment to manage the station for Bajor may have been intended to be relatively short. Get in, wait for Bajor to regain its industrial base and self-confidence, have them kick Starfleet out and shout curses after the departing runabouts, and begone. No hope of Bajoran membership, ever, considering how hostile the locals were - and good riddance to the worthless planet anyway.

    Without the appearance of the wormhole and the involvement of the Prophets, Sisko's assignment would probably have ended in something like the Circle Trilogy anyway, barely a year into the mission. Cardassians would probably have been secretly or openly manipulating things even without the added incentive of the wormhole, and Bajor would soon have fallen into their sphere of influence again. And Starfleet could have calculated that sending good and competent people there would be a waste of material.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Va. Beach, VA
    Good point, and we can further rationalize that Sisko was able to remain in command after the discovery of the wormhole because Starfleet hadn't factored in that Sisko would be able to endear himself to Kai Opaka and become their Emissary. They wouldn't be able to move him for political reasons.
     
  17. Admiral_Sisko

    Admiral_Sisko Lieutenant Commander

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    It's always seemed to me that Sisko was on the fast-track to getting a ship of his own (much as Riker had been) prior to Jennifer's death, as he had already served as first officer twice. Her death was such a profound blow, however, that it sent his life into a tailspin, and caused his career to stagnate. By the time Starfleet was ready to assume control of Terok Nor, Sisko had been promoted to full commander- one step from a captaincy- but he was so frustrated and unhappy with his life in Starfleet that he was considering leaving it behind.

    Having served with Sisko aboard the Okinawa, Thomas Leyton understood the younger man's potenetial. As an admiral, he was almost certainly aware of Sisko's unhappiness with Starfleet, and recognized that offering a ship to someone wasn't invested in such an assignment would not be prudent.

    Enter Deep Space 9, a space station built by Cardassia, located near a backwater, low-priority planet. Leyton likely recognized that recommending Sisko for this assingment was a low-risk move. Bajor was unlikely to join the Federation, so Sisko's leaving wouldn't impact the Federation as significantly as if he were commanding the Enterprise, or handling another assignment of great importance. However, if Sisko were able establish a rapport with Bajor- something no other Starfleet officer had accomplished- it would ensure him of a captaincy and restore his career to its original track.
     
  18. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Location:
    Where It's At.
    I agree with this except for the bolded. I think they sent good and competent people when they sent Sisko and crew; they just didn't expect them to succeed like you mentioned.



    Exactly. This might be where the whole destiny aspect of the Prophets comes in. It was as if the stars were in alignment, if you believe in that sort of thing. ;)

    The wormhole probably opened up ONLY because their Emmisary had come, and without the wormhole, DS9 was significantly less important. Without the Emmisary, the people of Bajor would have been far more difficult to work with. And without Starfleet, the Cardassians would have likely taken over again, and so on and so on... :)

    As it turned out, Sisko ended up being the only one that could effectively do the job.

    Agreed. And the low-risk wasn't just for Leyton, but for Sisko as well. If it all fell through, it wouldn't have counted against Sisko because Starfleet didn't seem to expect much anyway. So in that sense, Leyton was really looking out for him while hoping the assignment would be just the kick in the pants Sisko needed to be prepared for his own starship some day.
     
  19. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Picard told him that his orders were, short of violating the Prime Directive was to get Bajor into the Federation. Sisko was also meant to be an admin. on the station, the wormhole and his position as Emmisary changed things.
     
  20. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Location:
    Trump Tower
    Well, since they ended up with Jesus...I'm sure they were thrilled.