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The Federation and Starfleet during the Dominion War


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Report this Dec. 19 2012, 7:40 pm

Hello everyone. I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts are concerning the Federation and Starfleet during the Dominion War. I love the Dominion War story arc, and I think for the most part the writers got it right as it was very fun to watch unfold. However there were a few things I take issue with, particularly with the Federation. They are as follows:

1) Manpower/ship shortage. You know in every major space battle (and some on the ground as well) in DS9, the Federation seems to have less to field then the opposition? I don't buy this for one instant. I know that the Federation is huge and has a lot of space and territory to cover, but I just don't see how they can consitantly be needing to scramble to find enough troops and ships at every turn. Manpower should be no issue at all for the Federation given the number of planets in it. Let's take the number of planets that make up the Federation: We can go by Captain Sisko's number of planets (I believe he says at one point in the show that there are 100), or Captain Picard's number he states in First Contact (150). Either way, that is a LOT of freaking planets. Given the populations of all those worlds combined, the Federation basically has an unlimited manpower supply with which to draw from. I understand that not all planets are going to have the same population, but the number is still massive. I don't see how it could have got so bad that Captain Sisko needed to drag the Romulans into the fight just to balance the scale. Even with Starfleet Recruitment problems, the number of volunteers would still be a massive one. This arguement can also be applied to the problem of not having enough ships. The Federation armada would be massive (notice a trend here) given the amount of resources 100+ planets can produce for ship building and other military hardware. So even going up against a powerful Dominion opponent that can produce Jem Hadar soliders in just a few days, the Federation would have more then adequate manpower to go against them alone. I just think this is a major error on the writers part.

2) The Breen just waltzing in to Earth for an attack. Starfleet simply dropping the ball? What the heck was this about? How in the world could the Breen penetrate all the way into Sector 001 untouched? I would think given that both Federation and Starfleet headquarters are on Earth, it would be of great strategic importance, and Starfleet would have the common sense to heavily fortify the space surrounding it. Kind of similar to how we see Cardassia Prime in the last episode, with all the unmanned/floating torpedo launchers and lots and lots of ships. I get that the Breen were formidable opponents, but they're not the Borg. I just don't buy this attack on Earth.

3) Is it me or did it seem like Earth was bearing the brunt of the fighting? This kind of ties in to my first topic about the manpower issue. What the heck were all the other Federation planets doing?

4) I'm kind of surprised that the Federation in some way, shape or form, didn't launch some kind of expedition into the Gamma quadrant and put some heat on a few Dominion worlds, just to kind of take the war closer to home for the Dominion and force them to commit troops and resources to protect them, thus easing the threat on the Alpha quadrant. I know it's not the Federation way, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and it just would have made military sense. We know that Section 31 was doing their thing with the virus on the Founders, but it would have been interesting to see some kind of seperate expedition in the Gamma quadrant (maybe a joint task force commanded by Worf) similar to how they did it against the Jem Hadar facilities in the Alpha quadrant.

5) Where was the Enterprise during all this? Okay, I understand it's DS9 and not NG, but given the importance of some of the missions they were doing, you would figure Starfleet would want it's Flagship and best Captain in the lead. I'm a big fan of Sisko, don't get me wrong. He and the Defiant were awesome during all this. I just think it would have been cool to see Picard and the Enterprise make a couple cameos and have to work together with Sisko. It would have further helped Sisko get over his hatred of Picard I think.

6) The Dominion war would have been a really really good time to put that Federation phase cloak into use. I know, the Romulan treaty forbids it, but come on, this is the largest conflict in the history of the galaxy with the fate of the Alpha quadrant in the balance. Plus, the Romulans already gave the Defiant a cloaking device, so why not install the dang things on all Federation ships!

7) Where was the President of the Federation during the signing of the peace treaty? You would think that given the importance of such an event, he, being the leader of the Federation would be there.

These were just a few things that came to mind as I was watching the show. What are your thoughts on these topics, or any others you may have thought about while watching the Federation during the Dominion War?

Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 19 2012, 9:31 pm

There were a number of problems with the Dominion War. It's been a while since I've watched DS9, so I'll have to dig up some specific gripes. For now I'll address the points indicated. 

1. Manpower would be an issue if one assumes that the UFP is not Constitutionally afforded the power to draft individuals into military service. A military draft is a violation of civil liberties and is a form of involuntary servitude or slavery. TNG's "Measure of A Man" establishes slavery to be a violation of Federation principles. Data is explicitly shown to have the rights of Federation Citizens with the ability to deny the State (Starfleet) his services. Furthermore, Federation citizens are shown exercising their autonomy in "Journey's End" when they secede from the Federation.

I think the missed opportunity in the war was failing to show the weaknesses of the Dominion and authoritarian States in general. For example, the Russians weren't as big a threat during the Cold War as the propaganda professed. The Soviet Union was largely acquiring failed States with bad economies, which amounted to a greater drain on already limited resources.

Of course, the Federation seemed to replicate entire ships, particularly Galaxy Class ships that were limited in number during TNG, with ease. 

2. TNG's "Hero Worship" alluded to the possibility of the Breen having cloaking devices, which could've been used to penetrate Earth's defenses. But why would the Breen wait to use their energy dampening devices in the Chin'Toka Sytem, which occurred soon after their attack on Earth? The only logical explanations seem to be the Dominion ordered the Breen to hold off or the weapon was still in an experimental phase and being tested in the Chin'Toka System. 

3. This one is difficult to answer given the lack of emphasis to other planets. But capital planets seemed to be targeted by the Dominion... Earth, the Klingon Homeworld, etc... Founders infiltrated these worlds to destabilize the governments. It's quite possible the Breen Confederacy was undermined and coerced into fighting for the Dominion since "By Inferno's Light" showed a Breen in a Dominion Internment Camp.

4. The start of the war itself was a bit murky, as the Federation technically trespassed upon Dominion Territory. But to the credit of the Federation, Starfleet never elevated it to the full out invasion of the combined Cardassian and Romulan Fleets. That was aggressive and likely showed the Federation that such a manuever wouldn't work. Fighting a defensive war permitted the Federation to retain its ideals of non-aggression, which is embedded in the Prime Directive. 

5. Insurrection established the Enterprise crew were engaged in diplomatic missions. Picard wasn't included, because he's too awesome a diplomat and would've ended the war before it began. That's TNG's style. It's more likely that we'd see Riker, as opposed to Picard or Data, if cameo's were on the table. I'd like there to have been a mention of Picard and crew at Worf's wedding. Why wasn't Riker Worf's best man to throw him a Klingon Pain Stick Party?

6. I'm of mixed feelings on the cloaking device. Gene Roddenberry was adament about not having cloaking devices on Starfleet ships and I hated the Defiant for it. On the flip side, I believe in liberty and am opposed to government bans on services or products that the free market otherwise affords.

7. Why would the Federation President be there? The treaty seemed spare of the moment, and why would they take the President into a battle that wasn't a guaranteed win? 



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Report this Dec. 22 2012, 3:32 am

Weak as usual the entire "federation" is one big mistake simple as that..


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Report this Dec. 23 2012, 11:47 pm

The Breen's ability to attack Earth was never really explained. While it made sense dramatically to establish them as a serious threat, the attack wasn't logical as it contradicted the Federations ability to stave off attacks by the Borg, the Klingons and the Romulans. Although Martok does say the Klingons never tried to attack Earth.

All the best,Wayne

Lone Palm

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POSTS: 207

Report this Dec. 24 2012, 2:58 pm

Weak as usual the entire "federation" is one big mistake simple as that..

Care to elaborate?


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Report this Dec. 25 2012, 4:26 am

Quote: Lone Palm @ Dec. 24 2012, 2:58 pm


>Weak as usual the entire "federation" is one big mistake simple as that..

>Care to elaborate?


No not realy but anyway

it's all peacefull idiotic crap the characters,the ships, the human degradation(the shows refer to this as evolution into peacefull  idiotic weakling)...


the fact that there is no swearing,fights,drinking(human alcohol),no music other than some 20-21 century opera i mean seriously there's rap no heavy metal no hiphop,no real paper evrything's on fucking tablet, oh and i never really understood the need of giant 24 century TV on the brigde, no cellphones of any kind,no one smokes,everyone wear a pajama(not just starfleeters) look at jake sisko,nog or someone from tng everyone's in a fucking pajama...


Everyone is intelligent(they all watch theater,listen beethoven,read shakespeare)...


Oh and they all seemed a little too soft to me...

i'm not saying that a federation per say is a bad thing but that federation of cowardly gays they have is bad



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Report this Dec. 26 2012, 12:27 pm

Quote: CloakedTerror @ Dec. 19 2012, 7:40 pm

>1) Manpower/ship shortage.

you bring up some interesting points, but I think your theroy only holds if you expect the heads of Starfleet to think they need a massive army at all times.

2) The Breen just waltzing in to Earth for an attack. Starfleet simply dropping the ball?

I think your making the assumption that the Breen just walked up to earth and started firing.

A, they may have showed up with a very large cloaked force

B, they may have arrived undder the pretence of herlpinh earth.

3) Is it me or did it seem like Earth was bearing the brunt of the fighting?

We heard mention of different fedaration worlds being occupied, attacked,retaken.I guess it just wasnt in the budget to see any of it happening

4) I'm kind of surprised that the Federation in some way, shape or form, didn't launch some kind of expedition into the Gamma quadrant and put some heat on a few Dominion worlds,

I guess you forgot.............the Profits closed off passege to the G Q.

5) Where was the Enterprise during all this?

I believe it was mentioned in 1 tng film thast they had seen some fighting but also were sent on a few diplomatic missions.

6) The Dominion war would have been a really really good time to put that Federation phase cloak into use.


7) Where was the President of the Federation during the signing of the peace treaty?

somewhere safe I bet



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Report this Dec. 26 2012, 2:51 pm

Was it ever established just how big the Dominion was compared to the Federation?  I got the impression it was bigger than the known major powers on this side of the wormhole combined.  The number of ships they did use seemed to contradict much of previous ST.  How many times was the Enterprise (any of them) the only ship in the area to deal with some threat?  The battle at Wolf 359 made it seem like the loss of approximately 40 ships left StarFleet crippled, but in DS9, there were multiple armadas of quite a few ships each just several years later.


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Report this Dec. 27 2012, 9:07 pm

I too have wondered where the Enterprise was during the Dominion War. Youwould think that they would need the flagship of the Federation on the front lines. Maybe they were still off in the Briar Patch (or somewhere on the outer rim) and too far away to be of any help. That's the only thing I can come up with as a plausible of excuse.

Lone Palm

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Report this Dec. 28 2012, 8:29 am

Given the interviews with Patrick Stewart at the time, I assumed Picard was back at headquarters fighting imperialistic forces that had woeven themselves into the Federation. Then "Nemesis" went in a completely different direction.


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Report this Dec. 28 2012, 8:40 am

The Dominion could manufacture Jem'Hadar warriors, so they would rarely have a shortage--although they tended to waste them, extravagently.

The Vulcans were active, as were the other allied species of the Federation.

And, although the Federation was populous, its forces took quite a few casualties.

Var Miklama--Zakdorn, engineer. "A sound mind in a FULL body!" "Time, like latinum, is a limited quantity in the galaxy."


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Report this Dec. 29 2012, 7:54 pm

1.  The Dominion can manufacture ships and crews much more quickly than the Federation.  They also had better intelligence than the Federation, between the sensor outpost they had until the Defiant destroyed it midway through the war and the ability of changlings to collect key intelligence.  I would actually have thought if anything it would be even worse for the Federation than it was, and get gradually worse during the war as Dominion production continued to outstrip Federation.  Also, when they were on the offensive, the Dominion could attack unexpectedly and keep the Federation off balance.

2.  Most of the Federation ships were on the front lines fighting the Dominion, leaving Earth relatively lightly defended against a surprise attack from the Breen.  See 1.  Cardasia in the last episode knew they would be the last stand of the Dominion in the Alpha Quadrant and it was defended by all the Dominion ships that had retreated there from everywhere else the Dominion had formerly held.

3.  The cast often mentioned ships that were destroyed or named casualties without saying whether they were human or other races.

4.  The wormhole was closed off by the Prophets, and a good thing too, because the Dominion has thousands of ships waiting to win the war for them.

5.  It's a big war.  I assume the Enterprise was on some other front.  Also, by then, Patrick Stewart and the other TNG cast were no longer working for Star Trek.

6.  Agreed.  If the Romulans tolerated Federation use of the cloak on the Defiant within the Alpha Quadrant, they'd be equally okay with other Federation ships using them.

7.  Usually at the end of the war, the losing side signs the treaty with the field commander on the scene, not with the winning side's head of state.  That scene was modelled on the Japanese signing the surrender on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945, they even quoted MacArthur's speech.  Truman, Stalin, and Churchill did not attend.  One, travelling a long distance would have delayed the signing of the treaty.  Second, security was still poor, there may have still been isolated Cardasian or Jem Hadar ships that hadn't got the word to cease fire yet, just like there were pockets of Japanese who didn't get word of the surrender right away.  Transporting the president under those conditions would have been a serious risk.  Third, the leaders hate to spend lots of time away from their capitals. They're on to the new political fights, not wanting to spend weeks to ceremonially end the old fight.

What I wonder about is the long view.  We know the Dominion play a long game.  So they didn't win this war.  I bet before the war was even over they were organizing a task force to take on the Federation by going the long way through the Galaxy.  So it'd take 100 years to get there; that's no problem for a race that has lasted 10,000 years.  If the small detachment of the Dominion that got to the Alpha Quadrant before the wormhole was closed could almost defeat the combined Federation, Klingons, and Romulans, what could they do with a big task force?  Maybe with Odo in the Great Link, they'll realize that they don't have to fight the solids.  But, on the other hand, they might persuade Odo that no solids are to be trusted -- Cardassians and Romulans attempted a surprise attack to destroy the Great Link; the Federation attempted genocide against it.


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Report this Jan. 02 2013, 12:56 pm

1. I never believed that either. Plus Starfleet was always portrayed as soft, take Yesterday's Enterprise for example. In the TOS Starfleet NEVER had a problem handling the Klingons but in that timeline they were on the verge of losing, so with the Dominion they put up a good fight but was beaten every time.

2.The Breen was a throw away species and the writers had no real idea what to do with them so why not cast them as sneaky and mysterious. Adding them to the Federation/Dominion War only added to their mystique.

3. Sisko had it right: "Earth is not the key to the war." It has not nor will it ever be a key to anything outside of the movies. Starfleet life lies in the Academy, nowhere else. You want something to happen on Earth? Make it happen in the series but do it right or you'll end up being another ST: Enterprise episode with a story arc and it'll suck.

4. The Prophets needed Sisko, which would have made a damn good arc, but they also didn't want any interference from corporeals. They didn't close the wormhole, they cleaned it. No interference.

5. The Enterprise had their battles int he comics.i never read them but they set-up Nemesis.

6. If the Romulans had such a fit about the cloak they never made any mention of when Senator whatshisname came to the station to speak with Sisko in the epsiode In The Pale Moonlight and Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges.

There were great Federation moments but they were tainted by the writers trying to balance the tension. 


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Report this Jan. 13 2013, 8:55 pm

First statement was shipyards rebuild while the Dominion ship yard maxium production level. It sound like issues enough shipyards avaialbe build starship rather lack starships.

As for man power shorages no idea means Romulus senator vage on the term. What area UFP having man power shorages. It likley came down to ground forces maybe security personal.

Breen did bearly any real damage fact able blast UFP headquators heardly sound likley attack more spread fear into UFP heart.

USS Enterpise E likley put brush fire elsewere want must adavance starship still expermental stage carry must danger misson likley more few bugs in her.

Phase cloaking device likley toal of Section 31 which easily explain USS Defaint did us it. UFP like deneid even have it.Also Riker statment said starfleet vesslil seem means only against rule starfleet vessile basic not include space stations and perhaps means man spacecafts.



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Report this Jan. 22 2013, 1:47 pm

One of the TNG films was right in the middle of the war and there was no mention of it. the movie would have made for a good way to show what the "E" was doing at the time.


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