The politics of the Prime Directive

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Daybreaker, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009

    : ... request your assistance in fighting these enemies of the Empire.
    RIKER: These enemies are Klingons.
    : ... by definition, an internal Klingon affair.


    : The Klingon civil war is, by definition, an internal matter of the Empire.
    PICARD: Agreed.

    I don't think that the prime directive was in play in Redemption. The noninterference referred to in Redemption had to do with the separate issue of interfering with another sovereign power. Not all "noninterference" matters pertain to the prime directive.

    And in the case of Redemption, once it became established (and not just supposed) that the Romulans were involved, the Klingon government was able to invoke a existing mutual defense treaty with the Federation.

  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Then again, "The Circle" explicitly equated noninterference in internal affairs with the Prime Directive:

    The situation appears identical to that of the Klingon civil war: Starfleet knows outside agents have an interest in the outcome and may be meddling already, but as long as the declared combatants are from one and the same culture, PD says hands off.

    But since there was no defense pact between Bajor and the UFP comparable to the Federation-Klingon alliance, Sisko had to go rogue despite the knowledge of Cardassian involvement.

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    No defense pact? What would you call Starfleet's presence on DS9? Though if I was a foreign power I'd be very skeptical about signing -any- agreement with the Federation when they have a vague Prime Directive that gives them moral latitude to ignore any agreement if convenient.
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Never mind me - Starfleet would never dare call it that. And explicitly shied away from doing so in "The Circle"...

    Latitude (moral or otherwise) is something you buy with big guns. For some reason, people still sign deals with the UFP even when the signatories arrive onboard a Galaxy class starship.

    Timo Saloniemi
  5. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
    I think the situation was vastly different in The Circle. What was the legitimate government? Was there a legitimate government? Once the Cardassians withdrew they started calling it the "provisional" government. The fighting in The Circle may have been seen by Starfleet as Bajor's way of sorting out the mess and establishing a full-fledged government instead of something provisional.

    Which side should they have supported (keep in mind we tv viewers had more information than Starfleet)?

    At least in the Klingon civil war there was an established relationship between the Federation and the legitimate Klingon government that went back several years.
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    A provisional government is a strong sign of stability and progress, actually. If a government that took power right after the previous landlords left did not have the courage to call itself provisional (i.e. pending elections, we uphold the law, but then we're out), that'd be quite worrying...

    Sorting it out by fighting would be a massive step back from having a government that considers itself provisional.

    Since the threat was to stability, and the UFP was reasonably happy with the state of affairs from the first season, the obvious protege of the UFP would have been the standing government. Starfleet is known to have defended status quo in general (even if Kirk personally preferred radical revolution), so such a stance would come quite naturally for them. And the Circle had already made it clear it wanted Starfleet out, so it's not as if the UFP would have had a choice...

    ...But the UFP might have been better off siding with the Duras sisters, who were known for their willingness to let outside superpowers have a say in the affairs of the Klingon Empire!

    Timo Saloniemi