I said that Federation Member States are never referred to as sovereign. I did not say there is no evidence for the view of the Federation as an alliance; the latter implies the former but does not state it explicitly. No, she did not. She cited evidence for a different (albeit related) claim. This has been done in this thread, and it's been done countless times before on the BBS. But the most basic traits of statehood are possessing your own territory, possessing your own military, conducting foreign policy with other sovereign states, possessing your own constitution that enumerates and protects certain rights for all persons within your territory, and having a government capable of making binding statutory law. The Federation has been shown to possess all these traits. Actually, while the idea of democratic referenda allowing worlds to freely leave the Federation has appeared in several different novels, I'm not aware of any canonical reference to member worlds having the legal right to secede from the UFP. Please correct me if I'm forgetting such a reference. This really doesn't help either side of the debate, since federal sovereign states can also have a system where member polities have distinct laws and judicial systems. For instance, use and possession of marijuana is now perfectly legal in the State of Colorado, but remains illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and those caught using it will be put on trial under the laws and jurisdiction of Virginia. Again, possessing your own military is one of the defining traits of a sovereign state. Alliances don't get to have their own militaries; they may coordinate their members' military actions with the permission of their members' governments, but those militaries always remain separate and answerable first and foremost to their own government. What Starfleet does goes way beyond the kind of coordination we see in something like NATO. Starfleet is a single service -- period. Alliances don't get that. Says basic political science. No sovereign state would allow an alliance to usurp their authority like that. That's just reality. The Secretary-General of NATO wouldn't be allowed to declare a State of Emergency in New York City and land NATO-flagged German troops on the streets of Manhattan, for instance; it would be a direct attack on the authority of the United States government. I am not aware of and can find no reference to the United Nations ever declaring a State of Emergency, nor, having read the U.N. Charter some years back, do I recall any indication that the U.N. has the right to do so. A declaration of a State of Emergency is a specific legal declaration from a government that allows it to alter the normal functioning of the executive or other branches of government. Perhaps you're confusing a rhetorical device -- declaring that a specific situation is an emergency -- with the legal declaration of a State of Emergency. I take it you are referring to the Korean War, and specifically to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 83, 84, and 85. It is important to understand something about those resolutions: The U.N. itself did not intervene militarily in the Korean conflict. Rather, its Security Council adopted resolutions recommending that its member states intervene militarily and that they place their forces in Korea a unified command structure using the Flag of the United Nations with the U.S. in control of the United Nations Command. The Security Council was only capable of passing these resolutions because the Soviet Union, which of course had veto power over UNSC resolutions, was boycotting the UNSC at the time. It may seem like legalese, but it is actually a very important distinction. Recommending that its members intervene militarily in Korea under the direction of the United States forces in Korea, is a very different thing from, say, the Secretary-General directly raising a U.N. Army and ordering them in himself. A Star Trek equivalent would be if, for instance, the Federation Council requested all Federation Members to intervene militarily in the war against the Dominion and to place their forces in the Bajor Sector under the command of the Andorian Imperial Guard. Alliances cannot claim territory. It is that simple, and it is basic political science; territories are claimed by states, not alliances. If Picard is defending territorial boundaries, he would need to cite the name of the actual claimer of the territory. Picard and other Star Trek captains have never given any indication that they are holding a territory in the interest of an alliance; they have always directly named the Federation itself as claiming the territory. The one time we have seen a Starfleet captain holding a territory that was not claimed by the Federation.... it was Sisko and company on DS9, directly claiming the Wormhole in the name of Bajor rather than of the Bajoran-Federation alliance! (Meaning, again, they cited the claimer of the territory, the sovereign state that is Bajor.) To say, "They mean this territory is held by a sovereign state in an alliance with other sovereign states called the Federation" is to literally just be making stuff up to justify a pre-existing conclusion that violates the preponderance of evidence. Further note: We hear often of the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. This also goes against the Federation-as-alliance hypothesis because alliances cannot conduct alliances! NATO cannot sign a peace treaty with Russia and then become an ally of Russia -- only the NATO members can do that. A alliance called the Federation could not conduct a peace treat with Qo'noS and then enter into an alliance with it -- only a sovereign Federation could do that. No, they cannot. To do so would be to usurp the legitimate powers and authorities of their member states, which would be viewed by those members as a threat to their sovereignty and national security. An alliance has no more authority to claim its members' territory as their own than does your Rotary Club have the authority to claim your house as its own. Alliances cannot confer citizenship. And while, say, NATO recognizes certain rights of individuals as a general principle (what with it being made up of liberal democracies), it can't confer those rights to me. And if I'm captured by North Korean troops and sentenced to death in a show trial in Pyongyang, it would be ludicrous for me to say, "I am a NATO citizen!" NATO does not have a constitution that enumerates and confers upon me specific individual rights -- only the sovereign state of which I am a citizen can do that. Nor do I. "Canon" means "the works of art other works of art are based on." Obviously the novels are not canonical, as they are based on the TV shows and films. But most of the books for the past 15 years have been better than the ST canon anyway, so who cares?