If I remained silent for a time in the last meeting of Council, it was not due to lack of interest or thoughts, but because the problem was rather complex. I still do not have a complete proposal to present. I have broad principles that might be applied. Unfortunately, most of the broad principles are in conflict with one another.
I shall address one point at length. This is an obscure and subtle point. It is likely not even the most important point. However, it may be the central point, the theme from which other questions might be addressed.
Ambassador Stuart proposed that if we do provide assistance, it should be provided by some organization other than Starfleet. I shall let Tasha make her own arguments for why this should be so. I do not question that she is sincere and well meaning in her arguments. However, I disagree.
One of her points was that Starfleet's role is to defend the Federation. It should not be deflected or dispersed away from this mission. Other organizations should take up other roles.
Once upon a time, when this unit served on USS Aurora, there was a myth that Starfleet was not a military organization. We were explorers. We were diplomats. We were scientists. We were humanitarians. We were anything and everything we had to be, with one exception. We were not warriors. We were not soldiers. Starfleet was not a military organization.
True or not, this fiction, myth or doctrine had a basis in establishing the Starfleet tradition and mind set. When confronted with a problem, the problem was to be solved if at all possible using the tools, methods and approach of diplomats, scientists, explorers and humanitarians. Officers could not and must not think of themselves as soldiers first. If officers think of themselves as soldiers, they will think in terms of military doctrines and solutions. This leads to violence. When this unit went through Starfleet Academy, in every class, in every way, violence was the last resort, the approach to be avoided, the wrong way to solve any problem. Awards and honors would not be given for performing violent actions well. If one had to resort to violence, one had failed, failed, in one's training, doctrine, and the basic mission of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets.
We have lost this habit, this subtle distinction, this pattern of approaching any given problem from any perspective but violence and force. The Dominion and Borg have done this to us. They have brought us full circle. Once it was proposed, no matter that Starfleet was our sword and our shield, that this knight in shining armor was not a warrior. Now it is proposed that Starfleet is a warrior only. That the role of warrior is so dominant, so strong, so necessary, that our warriors can not be spared to perform any other function.
Warriors cannot be diplomats, cannot be explorers, cannot be scientists, cannot be humanitarians. It is too important that they be ready at an instant's notice to smite our foes and lay them low. Violence, rather than being Starfleet's last resort and confession of failure, has become the primary function, the reason Starfleet exists.
And we should expect, if we allow this pattern to continue, that our captains, when confronted with any given problem, will be familiar with and ready to use the correct tactics, weapons, formations and strategies to defeat our enemies. In any given situation, they will know automatically, immediately and instinctively how best to use force to achieve victory.
And it is not just Starfleet, nor primarily Starfleet. The purpose of the Federation is not to win interstellar wars, but to prevent interstellar wars. We are not the Federation's General Staff or Admiralty, deciding strategy, seeking victory. We are, or ought to be, the Federation Council, seeking peace.
Neither the Klingon Empire, the Grigari, nor the Romulans are our enemy. The objective should not be to manipulate the war to our advantage, but to prevent the war, or to reduce the damage. This is the second biological war of genocide in but a few years. I would as soon not see a third. I would like to identify whoever decided biological war of genocide was the correct way to solve their problems. I would prefer to resolve the current situation in a way to discourage future warriors and soldiers from deciding that bio warfare is the obvious and correct strategy, tactic, weapon and tool to resolve interstellar difficulties.
The Grigari should have every reason to agree. I believe the Klingon Empire might concur as well. This is a cowardly attack, an attack with hidden face. The group initiating violence did not identify clan and empire, did not take open responsibility for the attack. Whoever did this denied responsibility, and thus denied the possibility of vengeance. By Klingon standards, whoever did this denied also any shred of honor. While the Federation, Klingon and Grigari cultures have real differences, it is possible that all three cultures might and ought to repudiate biological wars of genocide.
If so, the Federation might have a role to play. The role would not be the role of a warrior. Our role would be as diplomats, scientists, explorers and humanitarians. Our function would not be to win a war, would not be to turn this use of force to our advantage, but to end this use of force, and to take what steps we might to prevent such from occurring again.