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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 869
# 112
02-28-2013, 05:37 PM
Originally Posted by tacofangs View Post

It is important to note that there are two independent, but related bodies here. The United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet.

The Federation is like the UN. Each subsidiary nation (or world in this case) can, and likely does, still have it's own means of production, and it's own ships. (Vulcan, Andorian, Caitian, etc.).
However, Starfleet is like NATO, it's an intergovernmental military force. Unlike NATO, Starfleet is the military wing of the UFP. Starfleet ships are what we are used to seeing (all the enterprises, etc.), but they are not the only ships within the Federation.
I think that the UFP is more like the Federal Government of the United States than the UN.

The UN is a treaty that nations sign. The UN can pass resolutions, but it cannot create laws. It has no military forces.

On the other hand, the Federation Charter seems more like the US Constitution. The US Constitution explicitly lays down which authorities are the domain of the States (or by analogy Planets) and which authorities belong to the Federal Government (or UFP by analogy). Unlike the UN, the Federal Government can pass laws and has military forces. The States have their own local military forces too (National Guard), but they can be called into active federal service and use the same ranks, uniforms, equipment, et cetera (for the most part).

In the show, it is shown that some Starfleet vessels are manned by a specific race (such as Vulcans) but it is never shown that other Federation societies have their own military warships.

My suspicion is that Andorians would not have their own military vessels but rather Starfleet officers on Starfleet vessels permanently attached to the UFP equivalent of the Andorian National Guard.