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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 716
# 92
02-28-2013, 09:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by futurepastnow View Post
The Federation is an odd government. It asserts territorial control without asserting sovereignty over that territory.
Space, like open ocean, is not a territory that can be "held". You can only hold land, by occupying it with people, you can't hold ocean (or space) with ships. Planets (and starbases/outposts) are like islands in the ocean of space. You hold the planets, but the space in between is like open ocean.

I bet if you were to ask anyone actually in charge of canon, they would probably say that the ships in Star Trek work in this same way as current ocean-going naval vessels: A ship belonging to a sovereign state acts as an extended territory of that state when in the open ocean. All laws of the state the ship belongs to still apply while onboard that ship.

From HowStuffWorks.com:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Harris
Under international Freedom of Navigation laws, aircraft carriers and other warships are recognized as sovereign territories in almost all of the ocean. As long as a ship doesn't get too close to any nation's coast, the crew can carry on just like they're back home. So, while the U.S. military would have to make special arrangements with a foreign nation to set up a land military base, it can freely move a carrier battle group (an assembly of an aircraft carrier and six to eight other warships) all over the globe, just as if it were a little piece of the United States.

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