No you are, and I don't directly disagree with the points you've made and make, I do disagree with your view on just what the Federation does during wartime and the way the game handles it and that isn't a personal view, that's directly what is shown in DS9 which was a very violent time for the Star Trek universe.
Yes, maybe more effort to shift towards more traditional efforts of science and exploration (I mean a good first contact mission would be great, remember Riker getting stuck on a planet during a first contact that went bad?) should and could be made.
I agree here with what Nagorak posted -
Originally Posted by Nagorak
We need to be realistic that there aren't really any good guys in a war.
I agree, and Trek doesn't hide from this. In TNG we see O'Brian hates Cardassians, not because of who they are but because of what they made him do. And for those that think Starfleet officers won'd do bad things to win wars, we see Sisko, set up a conspiracy to bring the Romulans into the war by lying to them, faking information and killing one of their high up politicians. At the end of the episode he says, when he thinks about what's at stake, he can live with the guilt.
Originally Posted by BigBadB
(As a complete aside, I'm not sure I'd agree that TNG was a particularly peaceful time, at least once the Borg turned up. )
Yes I agree, but it was still a very peaceful time for the Federation as a whole, but showed how things slowly moved towards a more violent age. At least the Borg seemed scary in TNG, VOY utterly ruined them, by the end of VOY it was more like "oh look the Borg" rather than "holly crap, it's the Borg". I mean you never ever see an episode of Doctor Who, both old and new, where the Daleks are not a very real and terrifying threat.
I think personally the point to TNG was almost that the Federation had grown a little lax, and it's even said out loud. Picard says that Q did them a back handed favour by showing them the Borg, it made sure that they were in fact ready to face the Borg when they came in numbers, rather than caught totally and completely off guard for them as they would have been if the Borg had found them though their own expansion.
Also early in TNG we see the Romulans come out of hiding and even say "we're back", with references made to things just getting a little bit more complicated.
But then towards the end of the TNG and the move into DS9 we see the Federation creating warships, the Enterprise stops being a cruise liner and becomes onw of the most powerful battleship in the quadrant, in order to deal with this greater level of threat, we also see things like the Defiant and Akira.
No offense, but I think your view of war and history is pretty naive.
None taken, mainly because I'm not sure what views on war and history I've actually expressed, let alone which ones are naive.
Could you elaborate?
If the Federation was fighting for its survival, then regardless of their ideals, they would resort to any measures to win. Frankly, I also feel that they would attack civilian populations, massacre enemies and so on.
No, they wouldn't. That's kind of the whole point of the Federation - it's an example of the kind of society that humanity could one day be part of, if we actually learn the lessons of history and try to find a better way.
It's happened in every war on Earth, and I'm skeptical we'd outgrow it until the point we outgrow war altogether.
Maybe so, but that's kind of the whole point of Star Trek - it's an expression of the humanist ideal, the belief that we can do exactly that and so much more.
Trek isn't 'predictive' scifi - it's not trying to say 'this is what we will become'. It's aspirational scifi - it's saying 'this is what we could become'.
A Star Trek where the Federation never does anything bad in war would just be unrealistic.
True, and mistakes are made in the shows - but generally in the interests of allowing the story to underline Trek's central concepts. Again, Star Trek has never been about 'realism', it's about showing us that there is a 'better way'.
As Roddenberry himself said:
"[By creating] a new world with new rules, I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network."