The Pervasiveness of Starfleet in Federation SocietyImagine you are a Federation citizen and ask yourself if any of these facts would seem a bit disconcerting to you:
Now, if it were me, that kind of power in the hands of a single military organization would scare the living Hell out of me. The military should protect and serve the people through the freely elected government, it should not dictate policy or morality nor be given so much power that it could effectively conquer every aspect of society with barely a shot fired.
- The Federation Council in ST:IV seems to have about a third of it's membership consisting of active duty Starfleet personnel. Picture Congress, Parliament, the UN, etc. consisting of that many active duty military personnel if any at all. It's almost a bit like a more subdued version of 'Starship Troopers.'
- In the few times we've seen one in action, the Federation President's only advisors, apart from a Changeling and the Romulan Ambassador of all people, have been Starfleet personnel exclusively on matters ranging from Earth security to rescue operations that might lead to interstellar war. Not one civilian advisor in sight to argue a non-Starfleet perspective.
- In addition, the President has no security personnel to speak of and is entirely reliant on the goodwill of Starfleet to protect him from harm, which on at least two occasions, has come from... you guessed it, Starfleet.
- Who was solely put in charge of the initiative to sue for peace with the Klingons? Starfleet. Who'd they send? A Captain who openly acknowledged his desire to let the Klingon Empire die by it's own hand. Who tried to sabotage that peace initiative? Starfleet. No civilian ambassadorial ships or at the very least civilian ambassadors could have been present at the opening talks with the Klingons? Sarek pushed for it, where was he? Spock's obviously trustworthy but as a member of Starfleet he is not entirely without conflict of interest.
- Who patrolled the streets of Earth in support of their own proposed Draconian security measures? Starfleet.
- Who got the weak President to institute such security measures without legislative approval by scaring the crap out of him? Starfleet.
- Who is solely responsible for the defense of Earth to the point that if they should become the problem themselves no one would stand in their way? Starfleet. Leyton didn't seem to think he would have much of a problem at all with his coup considering his support personnel seemed to consist of one Excelsior Class ship, some cadets, and assorted Starfleet personnel - though clearly not that many because all it took was capturing Leyton and disabling the Lakota to shut down the entire operation cold. Who did the "Conspiracy" aliens go after when they wanted to conquer the Federation? Starfleet command and captains. Who'd the Katarian Expansionists go after when they wanted to conquer the Federation with a glorified Tetris game? Starfleet. And why? Because they knew they were the entire key to the domination of the Federation.
- Who is in charge of building orbital habitats and housing a large portion of the population? Starfleet. This was Ben Sisko's job after Wolf 359. I mean, if they're your landlords it kind of makes you want to go along with the program so you don't lose your home doesn't it?
- Who's in charge of providing and protecting the key energy resources of Earth and the Federation? Starfleet. Cadets were able to take out the entire power grid of Earth without firing a shot or alerting a soul.
- Who investigates criminal acts of all varieties military and non-military related in or out of Federation territory? Starfleet.
- Who's the final arbiter on what does or does not constitute a lifeform in many cases? Starfleet.
- Who's the final word on the right of a pre-warp society to survive an extinction level event? Starfleet. Indeed individual captain's can make this decision without oversight.
- Who decides on a societies worthiness to join the Federation according to their value system? Starfleet. Again, individual captains can make this call.
- Who inducts new Federation members into the fold? Starfleet in many cases without civilian representatives.
- Who represented at least half of the peace delegation to the Khitomer Accords even though many of their number opposed it? Starfleet.
- Who routinely makes decisions that can and many times do plunge the Federation into war unilaterally without oversight? Starfleet. Picture our modern society but with generals and admirals or even colonels and captains making strategic decisions affecting the lives of billions on their own without civilian government involvement?
- Starfleet has sole authority for strategic weapons release, posessing weapons that can destroy entire planets and even solar systems at their disposal under the sole command of individual captains many times.
(Theory by Bond, James Bond)