Would you support the Federation's expansionist policies?

Citiprime

Fleet Captain
Fleet Captain
One of the idea's arguably touched on by Deep Space Nine, TNG, and Picard season 1 is the idea of the Federation having the position that Starfleet's policies of explorations should allow mostly free movement throughout the Milky Way Galaxy, in order to facilitate creating relationships with new cultures that become potential new members for expansion of Federation membership and territory. However, the flip side of this seems to be that, arguably, these policies also have the potential to stir the hornet's nest, creating conflicts because of misunderstanding about possession and control of territory.

That leads me to wonder whether the Federation has a more benign, but potentially dangerous philosophy akin to "Manifest Destiny."
  1. From everything we've seen onscreen, Starfleet's exploration and defensive duties are coupled by settlers and colonists who move in to uninhabited worlds to create new communities. However, a problem with this seems to be that, whether reasonably or unreasonably, just because someone doesn't live there doesn't mean that it isn't claimed by some other culture.
  2. Both the conflicts with the Cardassians and the Dominion are preceded by colonization efforts by which settlers claim worlds which become disputed regions claimed by those powers, setting up either conflicts over borders or wholescale massacres by which atrocities against civilian populations become flash points for new large-scale conflicts. This also seems to be implied to have been a sticking point also with the Klingons and the Gorn, with areas like the Archanis sector and Cestus III being disputed.
  3. During first contact with the Dominion, after being informed that colonies in the Gamma Quadrant have been attacked and destroyed, the Jem'Hadar warn Starfleet to stay within the Alpha Quadrant and not to cross into "their side" of the wormhole. This is met by Jadzia Dax defiantly asserting that Starfleet has every right to explore and move through the Gamma Quadrant, notwithstanding the Dominion's objection.
I thought one of the most interesting ideas asserted by Picard season 1 is the problem that sets off Picard's disillusionment with Starfleet is a policy shift. That the Federation and Starfleet pull inward, and when they cut the Romulans loose it's because the idea of expansion, taking on the responsibility of moving outward and involving itself in the cultures and problems of others, has become too much. So the Federation pulls back. That's the reason groups like the Fenris Rangers have to pick up the slack, because similar to modern debates about "America First," the Federation decides that their resources and time can no longer be used to move outward and welcome "others" to the Federation. Or even at the very least attempt to help people on the edges of their borders.
 
Oh, brother.

Let’s start this right away: I don’t want to see this devolve into real-world politics. I’ve been on staff long enough to know how this goes, so I’m putting it out there right away. When you include “America First” in the opening post, that doesn’t bode well.

This will have a short leash.
 
Oh, brother.

Let’s start this right away: I don’t want to see this devolve into real-world politics. I’ve been on staff long enough to know how this goes, so I’m putting it out there right away. When you include “America First” in the opening post, that doesn’t bode well.

This will have a short leash.

It’s 100% bait for a “real world politics” shitshow.
 
My take on Federation expansion is that there are actually wide gulfs of space--perhaps spanning multiple sectors--that are actually not really part of the Federation at all despite being within its "borders." These regions contain independent worlds that owe no allegiance to the Federation whatsoever, but are nevertheless under its protection due to their geographical proximity. This almost forces the Federation to be larger than it truly is. The Federation may have technically spanned 8000 light-years at one point, but only because it had to go around these non-aligned regions perhaps.

The Federation is undeniably expansionist, but it may not have devoured every planet or star system in sight. In the late 24th-Century, it was said that the Federation was comprised of around 150 worlds. The actual number could be many times higher than that if it included non-member worlds within its confines, IMO.
 
From what we saw on the last season of Picard,the Fed does’nt seem to be doing a great job on the worlds it does occupy.
Giant shiny recruitment facilities in the centre of a shanty town,crime cartels and nightmare places like New Berlin?Nuh-uh.
 
I don't realistically know how we can have an in-depth discussion about this topic without bringing in real-world politics. But broadly-speaking, I would say that Federation expansionism is acceptable if it's happening in the context of respect for the sovereignty of other cultures. But you also gotta expect that the cost of that kind of expansionism is that foreign powers are going to be suspicious of you, that some foreign cultures will fear you and resent you, that some people will see cultures that join the Federation as losing their distinct culture to be replaced by Federation culture, and that there will almost certainly be wars fought with foreign policies that fear your expansionism.
 
From what we saw on the last season of Picard,the Fed does’nt seem to be doing a great job on the worlds it does occupy.
Giant shiny recruitment facilities in the centre of a shanty town,crime cartels and nightmare places like New Berlin?Nuh-uh.

M'Talas is not a Federation world.
 
Oh, brother.

Let’s start this right away: I don’t want to see this devolve into real-world politics. I’ve been on staff long enough to know how this goes, so I’m putting it out there right away. When you include “America First” in the opening post, that doesn’t bode well.

This will have a short leash.
Hold on a sec.

Picard
season 1uses those issues allegorically. The admiral we see in episode 1 season 1 tells Picard explicitly that the Federation and Starfleet had to think about the interests of the Federation first, when they left the Romulans to fend for themselves, since she believes they get to decide which species live and die. That’s the specific language used in the episode.

It is not crazy or coming out of left field to relate those subjects to what we have seen on-screen over the past 5 decades, since the show has touched on immigration, asylum seekers, and does it literally with present-day policy with season 2 showing Rios in a ICE lockup.

Therefore, given that Picard says “it was no longer Starfleet,” how do we not talk about why it was no longer Starfleet? Or the fact that the Federation went from a polity that welcomed everyone and was interested in expansion to a government that turned inward.

And all this post tries to do is talk about the positive and negatives about that, and whether the “classic” idea of Starfleet exploring and expanding outward is actually a “good” thing?
 
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M'Talas is not a Federation world.
I found that odd.

Why would there be a giant statue to Captain Rachel Garret and an enormous recruitment center on a non-Federation world? The United States doesn’t put recruitment facilities in El Salvador.
 
I found that odd.

Why would there be a giant statue to Captain Rachel Garret and an enormous recruitment center on a non-Federation world? The United States doesn’t put recruitment facilities in El Salvador.

It would make a bit more sense if it was the whole Fed embassy but, *snorts*, that's PIC for you.
 
I found that odd.

Why would there be a giant statue to Captain Rachel Garret and an enormous recruitment center on a non-Federation world? The United States doesn’t put recruitment facilities in El Salvador.
The Federation takes nonmember planetary citizens as cadets so why not, especially after serious losses?
 
The Federation takes nonmember planetary citizens as cadets so why not, especially after serious losses?
Per what we see with Nog in DS9, it’s not exactly a normal thing.

Sisko tells Nog that as a non-Federation citizen he needs the recommendation of a command-level officer to attend Starfleet Academy.

And that’s during the run up to the Dominion War when arguably they might be trying to get more recruits.
 
Per what we see with Nog in DS9, it’s not exactly a normal thing.

Sisko tells Nog that as a non-Federation citizen he needs the recommendation of a command-level officer to attend Starfleet Academy.

And that’s during the run up to the Dominion War when arguably they might be trying to get more recruits.
So...policy can't change?

They suffered massive losses with the Dominion War and the Mars attack. Why not adjust recruitment policy?
 
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I found that odd.

Why would there be a giant statue to Captain Rachel Garret and an enormous recruitment center on a non-Federation world? The United States doesn’t put recruitment facilities in El Salvador.

I mean, the statue could have any number of explanations. Maybe the Enterprise-C under Captain Garrett undertook a mission in the 2340s that saved M'Talas from destruction.

I agree that it's weird there's such a large Starfleet recruitment center in the middle of what looks like an impoverished foreign urban district, but it's not totally implausible. I could imagine the Federation might work out a deal with the M'Talasian government that would allow Starfleet to provide "humanitarian" aid (using the word "humanitarian" in lieu of an analogous word for a multi-species galaxy) to the residents of that impoverished district if it's operating out of a recruitment center or something?

I dunno, it's not really a big deal, but it would have made more sense if such a large facility had been called the Federation Embassy to M'Talas rather than just a Starfleet recruitment center.
 
Per what we see with Nog in DS9, it’s not exactly a normal thing.

Sisko tells Nog that as a non-Federation citizen he needs the recommendation of a command-level officer to attend Starfleet Academy.

And that’s during the run up to the Dominion War when arguably they might be trying to get more recruits.

Maybe that's why the Starfleet Recruitment Center was so large -- maybe Starfleet is being really pro-active about trying to recruit highly-qualified applicants from non-Federation worlds, but they need a lot of staff to vet applicants and decide whether or not to sponsor them.
 
Both expansion and isolationism are viewed as backwards—so you can’t win either way.

There are arguments for both.
 
I found that odd.

Why would there be a giant statue to Captain Rachel Garret and an enormous recruitment center on a non-Federation world? The United States doesn’t put recruitment facilities in El Salvador.

It would make a bit more sense if it was the whole Fed embassy but, *snorts*, that's PIC for you.
UK army takes Nepalese recruites.

The federation might have some sort of deal or treaty with M'talas.
 
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