In his latest column, Lixa Dansha examines whether the Federation is ready for conflict in light of new tensions from the Tholians and other threats.
The recent drumbeats of war emanating from the Shoals along with the resurgent Klingon Empire and chaos of the Romulan Empire has convinced this journalist to return from sabbatical so that I might ask the question, as many of you must be, “Is the Federation able to withstand this tempest?”
The cornerstone of the Federation is the idealism at the core of its charter: through peaceful coexistence, the whole will become greater than the sum of its parts. High minded and inspiring as these concepts are, they have regularly lead to the wholesale slaughter of our fellow citizens as logic, compassion, and benevolent rhetoric were met with hostility and arms which our fleet and officers were simply unprepared to match.
And as a Bajoran, I can say that my people have experienced 50 years of the consequences of compassion without preparation. It was thought by many that the Dominion War was a wake-up call for the Federation, a conflict so vast that even a core world like Betazed fell to the Jem’Hadar, and Earth itself was scarred by a suicidal but determined enemy. That said, 21 years out from the end of the Dominion War, the fleet has been downsized, politicians running for the highest levels of Federation government are calling for less military preparedness, and calls for refits and updates to existing ships are being summarily dismissed. We must ask, what has this gotten us, and where will it lead?
The Tholians Assembly is aggressively expanding in the Shoals, challenging long-held Federation claims and threatening numerous colony worlds. The Klingon Great Houses are shouting ominous calls for a renewed military campaign to bolster their flagging society. Lastly, piracy, once though virtually eliminated within our borders, has become a resurgent menace in many outlying sectors of the Federation. Efforts to rearm and upgrade ships, as well as creating new ship designs, have been laughed down and characterized as warmongering. Even the efforts of individual member worlds to fortify their self-defense forces have received alarmist coverage, but when you think about it, why shouldn’t they be allowed to protect themselves if the Federation as a whole is not in a position to properly defend its members?
I can tell you from experience that not being prepared can lead to pain. I do not want it suggested that I am ungrateful to the Federation or that I resent our proud moral center. That idealism has lead to prosperity among hundreds of worlds, and the principle of the rule of law prevails. But even peace needs its guardians, and I call upon my readers to contact your representatives and let them know how important it is to make our forces strong enough to protect our prosperity and to protect our peace before we once again suffer the consequences of our shortsightedness.
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