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Randal Shayne

Cloaked Intentions

Cloaked Intentions  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. What are your feelings in regards to te Federation and cloaking technology?

    • Yes, Starfleet should pursue and use cloaking technology to the fullest!
      4
    • Yes, Starfleet should pursue cloaking technology, but only in certain areas of the subject.
      2
    • No, Starfleet should analyze and study cloaking technology, but not use it.
      2
    • No, Starfleet should not experiment or study cloaking technology.
      1
    • No, Starfleet should not pursue research into cloaking technology, but perhaps the civilian science branch of the United Federation of Planets would be more suited to such a task.
      1


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The Borg probe proceeds onwards, unaware that you have laid a trap for it. As it crosses your weapon's crosshairs, you give the order. Your ship decloaks, unleashes a fusillade of fire, and renders the cybernetic horrors inert. 

Now imagine the tables are turned. Your vessel is in desperate straights. The pirates are closing fast, and you’ve already suffered damage. Even with your superior weapons, the fight would be theirs in a matter of moments. Instead, you activate your handy-dandy cloak, and try not to smile as you imagine the confused looks on the faces of your pursuers. 

Or perhaps a more subtle application is required. Sneaking behind enemy lines is made far easier when the enemy has no idea you are there. With the proper care and patience, war-ending intelligence could be gathered, simply by staring through a viewscreen.
 
We’ve all seen instances where cloaking devices have been used to great effect. However, countless dangerous situations encountered by Starfleet crews throughout the ages might have been mitigated, or completely avoided, if the Federation had continued to pursue cloaking technology. Instead, the Federation signed the Treaty of Algeron in 2311, effectively promising the Romulans that cloaking technology would not be implemented on any Starfleet vessel. 

Cloaking technology certainly has it’s advantages, and their use would solve a great many problems faced by Starfleet. However, would it have been in the Federation’s best interest to employ cloaking devices on ships? In the wrong hands, it could wreak devastating havoc. Additionally, the moral implications of its use are less than clear. This week’s poll asks you for your input on this difficult subject. Would you approve of the Federation using cloaking technology (of its own), or would you eschew it, preferring more traditional methods? Submit your vote here, and explain it in the comments section, if you have the inclination. 

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I think cloaking technology is one of the coolest things in science fiction; it has the potential to make space combat significantly more interesting and potentially multi-dimensional. That being said, I think the fact that it is an almost entirely offensive device would preclude its use by Starfleet (though apparently, judging by the poll results, I am not in the majority).

I'm Canadian and so I think about Starfleet using cloaking devices as Canada views having a Nuclear Arsenal. The idea is that one of Canada's strongest assets in international diplomacy is the idea that Canada is a non-aggressive, peacekeeping nation and maintaining a Nuclear Arsenal would undermine that basic principle and thus damage Canada's strongest negotiating tool.

As regards Starfleet, I think that, whatever interstellar governments think of the Federation, the Federation certainly sees itself in a similar light. I think that the Federation equipping its ships, even a small number of them, with a device that is purely offensive would fundamentally undermine one of the Federations greatest strengths in negotiation. Especially since the Federation prefers to handle as many situations as possible using diplomacy rather than force.

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I agree with Tu'Peq. The Federation is all about peaceful exploration and diplomacy. Transparency is the best way to signal that their intentions are peaceful and that they have nothing to hide. Cloaking technology would undermine the way that they want to be perceived. The Federation should study cloaking technologies in order to better detect and defend against potential aggressors, but cloaking devices shouldn't be standard equipment. 

Edited by Sasak
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