Aug 1 2014 3:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Call to Arms”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms“Call to Arms”
Written by Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 5, Episode 26
Production episode 40510-524
Original air date: June 16, 1997
Stardate: 50975.2

Station log: Rom and Leeta are having trouble picking out a wedding dress, as they can’t agree on any of the 150 that Garak shows them—and the wedding’s in two weeks. Ziyal suggests that Garak design a dress for her instead. They interrupt this argument to approach Sisko about marrying them, to which the Emissary agrees.

The Dominion has been sending regular convoys through the wormhole. War seems imminent, to the point that Keiko, Molly, and Kirayoshi are visiting family on Earth (O’Brien misses them horribly, but it’s for the best), and Sisko wishes he could convince Jake to do likewise.

Jake has gotten a job as a correspondent for the Federation News Service, which Sisko doesn’t find out until he reads an article by Jake for FNS on Bajor’s negotiations with the Dominion to sign a nonaggression pact.

They aren’t the only ones—the Dominion has signed nonaggression pacts with the Romulans, the Miradorn, and the Tholians—and Sisko has been ordered to mine the wormhole so the Dominion can’t send anymore reinforcements, troops, or materiel through from the Gamma Quadrant. Dax, O’Brien, and Rom spitball on how to accomplish that, and they come up with small, cloaked, self-replicating mines that will replenish the field as they’re destroyed. Dax takes the Defiant to deploy the mines, which results in a visit to the station from Weyoun, who delivers an ultimatum: remove the mines, or the Dominion will take the station and remove the mines themselves.

Weyoun—who says that the convoys are mostly there to support Cardassia, which was in bad shape following the war with the Klingons—offers a compromise. Starfleet removes the mines, and the Dominion will limit their convoys to cargo ships bringing medical supplies and such.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

It is, of course, bullshit. Sisko expects an attack as soon as tomorrow. He tells Dax to move faster in deploying the mines, Martok takes his ship to the border to be a lookout for the Dominion fleet, Bashir gets the infirmary ready, Worf gets the station’s tactical arrays ready and gives out combat assignments, and Kira tells the council of ministers to expect a statement from Sisko—both as captain of the station and the Emissary. The Federation can’t protect Bajor if a war starts, so Bajor needs to sign the nonaggression pact.

All Bajorans are asked to leave the station. Ziyal is one of those, staying with friends of Kira’s; she tries to convince Garak to join her, but he thinks he’ll be incredibly unwelcome on Bajor. Sisko then performs Rom and Leeta’s wedding ceremony two weeks ahead of schedule, then Rom puts her on a shuttle so she’ll be safe on Bajor. Rom and Nog, though, are staying behind to help Starfleet—Nog because it’s his duty as a cadet, Rom because he needs to protect Quark (when Rom explains the latter to Quark, Quark calls him an idiot, but then kisses him on the head in gratitude).

Martok reports that a large force of Dominion ships is en route, but his communication is overridden by Dukat, who asks if Sisko would like to surrender, which Sisko politely declines. Dax and O’Brien try to work faster to deploy the mines, while the station gets ready for an attack.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

Martok moves his ship to defend the Defiant while it deploys the mines, and Worf activates all the station’s weapons systems.

The battle begins. Weyoun is shocked to see that the station’s shields are holding against the Jem’Hadar’s attack. Martok’s defense helps the Defiant lay down all the mines, which are then activated and cloaked. The station does considerable damage to the fleet, to the point where they have to regroup—and call in reinforcements.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

At that point, Sisko announces that they’re evacuating the station—and that their holding action here allowed a Starfleet/Klingon task force to destroy a major Dominion shipyard.

Martok’s ship and the Defiant depart the station under cloak, after Sisko gives a rousing speech to everyone left on the station, assuring everyone that he will come back to the place he calls home.

Kira sends a message to the Dominion welcoming them to the station. Then she activates a program Sisko created that wipes out all station systems, leaving it a powerless husk. Weyoun is less than impressed by how costly the victory was, but Dukat’s giddy as a schoolboy to have his station back, damaged as it is. Kira, Odo, and Quark officially welcome the Dominion to Deep Space 9—or, rather, Terok Nor.

Rom pretends to go back to work for Quark’s, whispering to Quark that he’s actually a spy for Starfleet. (“The Federation must be more desperate than I thought” is Quark’s response.) Jake also stays behind, figuring this is a great story, and he’s a reporter—what’s more, a reporter who’s the son of the Emissary, so the Dominion probably won’t hurt him and risk pissing the Bajorans off.

In the prefect’s office, Dukat finds the one useful thing Sisko left intact: the baseball on his desk. Weyoun is confused, but Dukat recognizes it as a message from Sisko that he’ll be back.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

Can’t we just reverse the polarity? Rom is the one who comes up with self-replicating mines—after O’Brien suggests cloaked mines and Dax points out that they’ll have to be very small to be effectively cloaked—and the Ferengi does so while ping-ponging back and forth between anxiety over his upcoming nuptials and brilliant insight. I’ve known several engineers, and that was one of the truest representations of one I’ve seen on screen....

The Sisko is of Bajor: Sisko gives an impassioned speech about how when he first came to DS9 he wanted to be anywhere else, but now he considers the station to be his home and the place he belongs.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Before the battle starts, Kira officially protests on behalf of the Bajoran government that Sisko hasn’t turned the station over to Bajor. Sisko notes the protest. Once that formality is over with, she says, “Kira Nerys, reporting for duty.”

There is no honor in being pummeled: Sisko gives only one order to Worf at the top of the battle: “Fire at will.” Given total control of tactical, Worf gets to kick some serious ass, taking out the first three ships that go after the Defiant, and eventually destroying 50 of the ships in the task force—a figure far higher than Weyoun anticipated.

The slug in your belly: Dax is in charge of the Defiant while it deploys the mines. She barely succeeds in time, and only because of Martok’s help. (“Who says there’s not a Klingon around when you need one?”)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

Preservation of mass and energy is for wimps: Odo remains on the station even though his entire staff has evacuated to Bajor. He feels unusually useless.

Rules of Acquisition: We get Rule #190: “Hear all, trust nothing.” Quark is also disappointed in Rom and Leeta’s wedding, as it lacks a bridal auction, a latinum dance, and a naked bride.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

For Cardassia! As if there was any doubt, this episode makes it abundantly clear that Cardassia is not autonomous and has been subsumed by the Dominion, as Weyoun overrides Dukat when he and Damar discuss taking Bajor after taking the station. Then again, the notion of Cardassian autonomy never really existed outside Dukat’s head...

Plain, simple: Garak muses to Odo that he had the chance to shoot Dukat in the back when they were defending the Detapa Council in “The Way of the Warrior,” but declined, as he couldn’t fight all those Klingons himself. He morbidly states that they’ll all regret that decision before the day is out.

When the Dominion takes the station, he boards the Defiant, telling Sisko that he has nowhere else to go.

Victory is life: The Dominion is working hard to gain a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant, signing four nonaggression pacts and retaking Deep Space 9/Terok Nor. However, it’s not an unqualified success—the task force loses a lot more ships than anticipated, a shipyard is destroyed, and the wormhole has been mined.

Tough little ship: The Defiant is tasked with deploying the mines, leaving it unable to defend the station. No indication as to what happened to the runabouts...

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Odo and Kira are super awkward around each other because Kira’s not comfortable with the revelation that Odo’s in love with her. Eventually, Odo says that he was thinking about asking her out—but has decided against it, as neither of them needs the distraction during the current crisis. This relieves both of them, and they’re back to being friends again.

Meanwhile, Rom and Leeta get married and Dax agrees to marry Worf.

Keep your ears open: “We’ve just barely said our vows, and we’re already having our first fight! We’re really married!”

Rom’s response to Leeta’s unwillingness to leave the station without him.

Welcome aboard: It’s recurring character theatre! In fact, all of the guests are recurring regulars: Marc Alaimo as Dukat, Casey Biggs as Damar, Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun, Aron Eisenberg as Nog (for the fourth week in a row!), Max Grodénchik as Rom, J.G. Hertzler as Martok, Chase Masterson as Leeta, Andrew J. Robinson as Garak, and Melanie Smith as Ziyal.

Trivial matters: The Dominion War officially begins with this episode. It will not end until the series finale “What You Leave Behind.”

Sisko’s baseball, which has been a fixture on his desk since the alien disguised as Buck Bokai gave it to him in “If Wishes were Horses,” is left behind as a symbol of his command and his desire to return. Dukat gets the message, and he’ll be the one to hand the ball back to Sisko when the Federation retakes the station in “Sacrifice of Angels.” This symbolism will be turned on its ear in “Tears of the Prophets” at the end of season six when Sisko takes the baseball with him when he takes a leave of absence. The baseball is again used to symbolize Sisko’s presence in the post-finale fiction, in Avatar and Unity by S.D. Perry, as well as your humble rewatcher’s novella “Horn and Ivory.”

This is Robert Hewitt Wolfe’s last writing credit as a member of the staff. He left the show to develop the syndicated Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda for Tribune Entertainment. He will also write the seventh-season episode “Field of Fire” as a freelancer. Wolfe made a cameo in this episode as an injured crewmember.

Sisko quotes Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet The American Crisis in his log entry: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Meanwhile, Rom paraphrases Rick’s farewell speech to Ilsa from Casablanca when he convinces Leeta to leave the station (not the first time DS9 has referenced that film...).

Walk with the Prophets: “I will not rest until I stand with you again.” What an intense season finale. This episode is a remarkable table setter, as there’s no actual plot, exactly, but things finally happen that have been building for ages. It’s less an episode than a collection of set pieces, but they are brilliant set pieces.

Every character gets a good moment, even if it’s just Bashir reminding Jake that his name is spelled with an I for future reference in his reportage. Kira and Odo finally address the elephant in the room of the events of “Children of Time.” Nog gets to be the reliable cadet, helping out in a crisis and doing everything he’s told, from fetching Sisko’s coffee to helping run Ops while everyone else is busy getting stuff ready. Jake gets himself a new job, which puts him in a difficult place at the end of the episode. Dax gets to console Kira and set the minefield and finally accept Worf’s never-actually-asked proposal. Worf himself gets to seriously kick ass at the tactical station, while Martok rides to Dax’s rescue. O’Brien makes a simple yet heartfelt statement to Sisko about how much he misses Keiko and the kids. Garak gets to be snarky (I especially love his response to Odo’s astonished question as to whether or not he’d shoot someone in the back), and has the benefit of both Ziyal and Odo as his straight man at various times. Dukat and Damar get to play bully, with Weyoun as the stern parent reminding them that they have to put their toys away when they’re done.

Several of the best bits are with Quark and Rom, actually. Quark’s disapproval of Rom’s marriage, not to mention his getting his bar ready for a Dominion takeover of the station (smuggling in yamok sauce, dumping all the root beer), is to be expected, but one of the finest moments of the episode is when he quietly kisses Rom on the top of the head, his way of thanking his brother for staying on the station and looking out for him. Plus, Rom is the best part of the Manhattan-Project-esque scene where Dax, O’Brien, and Rom try to figure out how to mine the wormhole.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms

But the center of it all is Sisko, trying to fulfill his mandate to protect Bajor and still act as the vanguard of the Alpha Quadrant’s defense against the Dominion. The scene where he and Weyoun pretend to be diplomatic is a masterpiece of insincere sincerity from both Avery Brooks and Jeffrey Combs.

The battle sequence is also impressive, a tense exchange, as Sisko gives up the station, but not without doing considerable damage to the enemy on the way out. And then there’s that magnificent last scene in the prefect’s office where Dukat finds the baseball, and then cutting to Sisko in the Defiant’s center seat as it joins a huge Starfleet/Klingon fleet.

It’s going to be quite a ride...

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Call to Arms


Warp factor rating: 10

Keith R.A. DeCandido is at Shore Leave 36 this weekend at the Hunt Valley Inn just north of Baltimore. Other guests include Trek actors Leonard Nimoy (via Skype) and Robert Picardo, Stargate actors Richard Dean Anderson, Teryl Rothery, and Michael Welch, Torchwood actor Eve Myles, and Grimm actor Silas Weir Mitchell; fellow Trek novelists Christopher L. Bennett, Kirsten Beyer, Greg Cox, Peter David, Kevin Dilmore, Michael Jan Friedman, Dave Galanter, Robert Greenberger, Jeffrey Lang, William Leisner, David Mack, Melissa Scott, Dayton Ward, Howard Weinstein, and David Niall Wilson, plus a ton more author guests, science guests, artist guests, and performers (among the latter, your humble rewatcher’s band Boogie Knights). Click here for Keith’s schedule.

Mike Kelmachter
1. MikeKelm
Duplicate post.
Mike Kelmachter
2. MikeKelm
Amazing episode- this was a high point of Trek in my opinion, as several seasons of effort culminate at this point, starting with the J'em Hadar at the end of season 2. Great acting, great tension- the episode really does a good job demonstrating everyones reluctance to leave their home of 5 years as well as the gravity of the situation.

A few random thoughts... there should probably be more than one tactical officer- the idea that it is essentially Worf engaging all of the Dominion/Cardassian fleet by himself is a little strange. Worf should have a team of gunners operating the weapons systems. With only one officer engaging everything that would make him or her prone to tunnel vision, whereas if there are several officers involved each could be responsible for only one sector. It might make sense for one officer to be in charge of tactical on a starship, but on a starbase that is kilometers wide with weapons firing in two seperate 360 degree arcs and expected to engage multiple targets, it would make more sense to have a large number of gunners.

Second, the final scene where Defiant joins the fleet gives a great sense of the scope of this conflict. The previous largest conflict we had seen on screen were the DS9 v. Klingons and Wolf 359, which had dozens of ships involved. The Federation/Klingon fleet pictured has hundreds. It's a great visual that makes it clear how big this is. It is also a bit of a change in scope of the fleet (the result of the post-Rodenberry era where it was clear that Starfleet was a HUGE organization). Wolf 359 had 40 ships involved and it was made to seem like that was a sizable portion of Starfleet. Using a very unscientic eye, the single picture above has more ships in it that Wolf 359. It's a nice touch.

Also, as I understand it, that final scene was one of if not the last one done with studio models- after that the visuals were done with CGI. Just another random point.
3. Roy Batty
What I remember most about this episode (other than the great set pieces and character moments) is the music, particularly the Dominion theme used during the battle. One of the few times in post Ron Jones TV Trek the music was noticeable, and better for it.
Mr. Magic
4. Mr. Magic
It's interesting how both DS9 and VOY ended their respective seasons (3 and 5) in the summer of 1997 with invasions.

In the Alpha Quadrant, you've got Team Sisko having to deal with the long-gestating Dominion threat. Meanwhile, 70,000 light years away, Team Janeway's got caught in the middle of Borg v. Species 8472.

As it is, I do love the irony that the UFP's fighting for its survival and has no way of knowing that there's a much bigger threat coming their way from the Delta Quadrant.
Mr. Magic
5. Mr. Magic
Knowing what's coming the second time around, I also love the three-way conversation between Dukat, Damar, and Weyoun before the shooting starts.


Oh Weyoun, you REALLY should have just let Dukat reconquer his backwater world like he wanted...

It's such a simple conversation...and yet it plants the seeds for the
eventual collapse of the Dominion-Cardassian alliance two years later.
Mr. Magic
6. Captain Sheridan
@2 - I always thought that too and just figured there were gunners located somewhere besides Ops and Worf, as tactial officer, could control some weapons, but fed critical info to them about enemy ship movements (like if he saw some sneaking around he'd order the gunners to target them). Didn't Balance of Terror show that there are gunners arming the Enterprise's phaser banks way back when?
Love the ending of this episode and that Federation Fleet at the end sure sets it up nice for what happens next season!
Mr. Magic
7. elijahzg
Now THIS is DS9 as DS9 was meant to be. Every beat worked perfectly, and I imagine that when it first aired, this must have been an incredible cliffhanger. The last shot is perfect, and sets the stage for the war to come; Sisko's baseball is quite simply awesome, and DS9's inspired casting shines through.
Mr. Magic
8. Eduardo Jencarelli
Call to Arms was Trek's finest season finale ever done in the 24th Century TNG era. This was better than Best of Both Worlds.

The way I see it, losing Robert Hewitt Wolfe was a bigger loss to DS9 than losing Terry Farrell a year later (at least she got a good replacement). Unlike Moore and Echevarria, he was there from the very first episode as part of the staff, and became Ira Behr's trusted partner (and first officer, in a way). Much of DS9's plot development, serialization and character work have to be attributed to him (he also created the Defiant). Unsurprisingly, he was trusted with developing Andromeda. So valuable, he ended up working with Ira again on Alphas. On the plus side, he remains a prolific writer/producer to this day (working on Elementary), and his friend Hans Beimler ended up having to fill his shoes as Ira's number two.

This was also the point where Trek put models aside and embraced computer animation, following on Babylon 5's footsteps. The Dominion War sealed that deal. A battle of this scale could no longer be done using models, and staying either on budget or on schedule. Fortunately, I feel the CG improved enough to make these shots work. The Cardassian cruisers looked particularly impressive, performing moves you couldn't hope to achieve through model work.

Though light on story, the character moments are all this episode needs. Like In the Cards, this feels like a culmination of the previous five seasons, particularly the scene where Quark kisses Rom in the forehead. When I first saw TNG's The Last Outpost, never would I imagine the Ferengi would become this three-dimensional. 10 years later, you can recognize that Behr and Wolfe really made them work, redeeming that poor first impression from 1987.

It also felt like a culmination of five years for Sisko. The man who once wanted nothing to do with being the Emissary made Bajor his home. This is where Trek truly felt serialized. Picard could forget an episode's issue by the following week (barring special exceptions). DS9 could no longer stick to the episodic. This is why season 5 felt so damn satisfying in a way even season 4 couldn't hope to be.

Also, brilliant score and a superb battle.

Definitely a 10.
Mr. Magic
9. Eduardo Jencarelli
Also, this was the day Allan Kroeker cemented himself as Star Trek's most valuable director, bringing the necessary level of intensity to each scene in a way that hadn't been done previously. Not only would he direct DS9's remaining finales, but also Voyager's and Enterprise's.
Mr. Magic
10. TBGH
The only flaw I could find was the self-replicating mines are conceived, constructed (apparently without any bugs), and deployed in a matter of days. Typical TV timescale however, so it can be forgiven.

While Jake has had some great moments in the series prior to this, his reporter gig was really his best arc in the series.

Love Nog, Rom, and Quark in this episode.
Mr. Magic
11. Mr. Magic
There's also another nice touch in the Sisko/Weyoun scene that I love.

Weyoun was taken aback that the UFP had grown a pair and wasn't going to back down from the minefield.

It's like the Dominion didn't anticpate the possibility that theirintimidation MO would backfire and only harden the UFP's resolve.

It makes sense. They've been at this for so long in the GQ that they expect everyone to play ball or that conquest would be easy.
Mr. Magic
12. Ashcom
There's one moment in this episode which you didn't mention but which summed up for me just how much care went into it. One of the problems of all the ST franchises was that being a family show, even when they went into wars and battle scenes, they couldn't really show the true horror and reality of the situation. The scene between Bashir and Jake, after they had handed out the med-kits, Jake asks "now what?" and Julian replies "Now we wait for the casualties to start coming in", was a reminder of that without having to graphically show it. I just found it perfect and poignant, but of course really just one more fantastic moment in an episode full of fantastic moments.
Mr. Magic
13. Crusader75
@11 - Part of this is perhaps because the Federation's gambit is a bit dirty. Mining an open spaceway in another sovereign nation's territory (Bajor) is an act of war (before the state of war officially existed). Furthermore the mining would have to take place without the Bajorans official approval (to maintain the appearance of Bajoran neutrality). Weyoun probably thought the Feds would not make an overt move until the Dominion acted first.
Mr. Magic
14. Bobby Nash
One of DS9's finest hours. A tense finale that made me hate the wait between seasons.

Mr. Magic
15. McKay B
This is not the best episode of DS9. But it IS DS9, encapsulated in a single episode, like no other.

If someone is trying to decide whether to watch the whole series, and they are only willing to try one episode as a sample before they make their decision (and spoilers aren't an issue for some reason), THIS is the episode.

I'm not sure I like it as much as most of the other 10's, like Way of the Warrior or Duet, but I have a hard time finding any criticisms either ... it's just so pure in essence. And it takes Trek into a more epic scope than anything else does.

Well, ok, one criticism: the mine development subplot should have started immediately after In Purgatory's Shadow. That would have been more believable and done better for Sisko's strategic prowess. But it wouldn't have been as conducive to dramatic timing, I'll give them that.
David Levinson
16. DemetriosX
This is, unquestionably, the Platonic DS9 episode. The tension, the action, the character moments for every member of the main cast and for the regulars, it's all there.

The baseball is the defining moment. When we see it, we know what it means, but we then get the opportunity to see both Weyoun's naive arrogance (which we have seen before, but this is really the first time it impacts his understanding of the enemy) and Dukat's true understanding of Sisko. Weyoun has the weight of numbers behind him, but it's Dukat who is the real threat.

It should be noted that Sisko's speech as he leaves the station also reflects the speech by Douglas MacArthur when US forces had to withdraw from the Philippines in 1942 ("I shall return"). I don't remember if Sisko also reflects MacArthur's "I have returned".
Mr. Magic
17. Chris LS
So what does everyone think about Starfleet failing to send ships to the battle? This is the one plot element that almost makes me think the rating should be a 9. I can understand how strategic planners would decide that the station is ultimately indefensible, but surely the "fifty ships" suggested by Bashir (or even a good many fewer) would have prevented the completion of the minefield from being such a close-run thing. After all, it will become blazingly obvious later in the war that failing to close the wormhole would have meant checkmate then and there.
Christopher Bennett
18. ChristopherLBennett
I agree with the complaints that have been raised about the mines, but nobody's mentioned the one thing that really annoyed me about the idea of self-replicating mines: Where does the matter come from? Replicators aren't magic wands summoning substance out of nothing. They take existing matter and reshape it, like a transporter-based 3D printer. So a "self-replicating" minefield could only work if it had a supply of raw matter to make new mines out of. And this wasn't addressed at all in the episode.

The Federation battle fleet here, and the others throughout the rest of the series, also bugged me because of all the Galaxy-class ships in them, complete with saucers. They should've been just the stardrive sections, which were designed to go into battle while the saucers stayed behind. Not to mention that the class wasn't designed for combat in the first place; they were created to be deep-space explorers with combat as a secondary, necessary-evil function. They're a bizarre choice to make the anchor of a warfleet. I would've been much happier if they'd used Sovereign-class ships instead. It was bizarre that they refused to use them out of some fear that the audience would confuse them with the Enterprise-E or something. If the Galaxy ships didn't confuse them, why would Sovereigns?
Mr. Magic
19. Random22
Maybe the mines were expected to reuse the debris from whatever ships the Dominion ordered to suicide ram the minefield in an attempt to blow up all the mines? It would only take a few mines to destroy one ship and a Jemhadar battlecruiser has got to have a few hundred worth of mines of metal in it after all. Lets face it, the Dominion probably tried it since they have no qualms about ordering the Jemhadar on suicide runs and it would be a nice irony if the Dominion's own tactics created the raw material to thwart it.

I dunno. The nerd in me wants an explanation, the storyteller in me says that we just need to make the rest of the plot interesting enough that the audience just accept we did it. I think the storywriters did enough of a good job on the latter that I'm fine with the lack of the former.

Same with the lack of ships, I'm prepared to believe (since they threw us the bone about simultaneously conducting a raid on the Dominion's AQ shipyards) that the ships Starfleet had in range of DS9/Cardassian space were needed as much for that raid as they were for DS9. DS( did have a massive firepower upgrade, and both the Rotarran and Defiant to defend it. Plus a few runabouts, whic are easily good for absorbing one torpedo each.
Mr. Magic
20. Crusader75
@18 - Well, the real world explanation being that they had plenty of Galaxy-class models hanging around. The in-universe explanation would be the same. Perhaps there are not many Sovereign-class ships in commission at this point. You go to war with the fleet you have, not the fleet you want. Heck, they have Excelsior and Reliant type ships despite their being 70 year old designs. Besides, TNG basically forgot about the saucer sepraration thing as way to get the civilians out of the way after the 2nd season. And despite of the mission description they almost always treated the Enterprise-D as a prime ship-of-the-line despite the unlikeliness of the competing design prerogatives resulting in such a thing.
Brian MacDonald
21. bmacdonald
I LOVE the baseball. As wordless messages go, it's tough to beat. Out of all the captains we know, only Sisko could promise a beat-down like that without saying a word.

And Mr. Bennett: Thanks ever so much for making me think about the non-separated saucer sections. Now I won't be able to un-see it. Let's's wartime, so all families and civilians were removed from any ships participating in combat operations. But they left the saucer sections attached, with all the empty rooms and such, because...all the Galaxy-class captains said the main bridge was much more comfy than the battle bridge, and refused to go without it.
22. Roy Batty
I'm guessing once the war started the families on starships thing was quickly banned (if Starfleet decided to grow a brain).

As for the Galaxy class ships, I thought seperation occured only during an emergency when civilians needed to escape while the star drive section provided cover. Just another assumption here, but I would think those huge phaser arrays on the saucers could make a bit of difference in combat. If I'm going to war, I want every weapon at my disposal.
Mr. Magic
23. McKay B
@17: I thought it was pretty clear from the episode that Starfleet refused to send reinforcements, not because they had abandoned the post as undefendable, but because they were making EXTRA SURE that every ship they had available would be helping win the battle at the Dominion shipyards. Also that DS9 would be a tempting bait-target to make sure the Dominion's movements would be predictible.

Strategically sound? Possibly not, but at least they weren't just telling Sisko "Screw you, we're not even going to try to defend the lives you command. Good luck."

@18 CLB: Meh, the self-replicating mines is the kind of technobabble that I don't let bother me because then I'll be on the slippery slope to losing enjoyment of the whole show. It's not like it's sound hard sci-fi very often.

If self-replicating mines were easy, everyone would be using them all the time. The fact that Dax and O'Brien weren't trying to use it implies that Rom had some brilliant way of overcoming the limitations of replication that was the real genius of his "eureka" moment. (Hopefully a breakthrough that is specific to the wormhole's metaphysics, or at least specific to blocking a very distinct choke point, lest all Alpha Quadrant warfare from henceforth be dominated by self-replicating mines.)

You'd know better than me, but didn't they offer some in-universe excuse at some point about why the Ent-D didn't use saucer separation much? (After it became clear that the fan reaction wasn't worth the production difficulties and they stopped writing it into the plots.) If I'm not making this up (which is possible), that could explain the un-separated Galaxy ships in the fleet. And like @20 said, the fleet they had available had mostly been producing Galaxy ships (compared to other capital ships) for the past decade.

That said, I did think the diversity of the fleet was a smidge bland. Why so many Condor-class little ships? Were those really ever effective? And yeah, although Sovereigns weren't supposed to be common, it would have been nice to see evidence that 1 or 2 had been manufactured besides the Ent-E. Although really, wasn't the Intrepid class supposed to be a smashing success? Being a mid-sized and modern design, shouldn't those be pretty much all over the fleet?
Mr. Magic
24. Random22
@20 Oh god, I forgot about those Reliant/Miranda class ships. Those are basically just cannon fodder to be one-shotted by this point. The crews of those must be terrified.
Christopher Bennett
25. ChristopherLBennett
@22: Separating during an emergency was the way it was shown onscreen, but I think the original intent was that they'd leave the saucer behind first when they knew they needed to go into a combat situation. Which makes a lot more sense than sending away the civilians at impulse drive during a battle in progress.

And the phasers on the saucer section were meant to defend all those civilians. Basically, to make a Western analogy, the stardrive section was the cavalry that went out to do battle and the saucer section was the fort where the civilians sheltered: well-armed because it wasn't very mobile.

Still, I guess I can see why they'd want those extra phasers for wartime. But it just disappoints me that they made so little use of the abilities the ships were designed to have. I had the same problem with "Yesterday's Enterprise." A Galaxy-class ship designed during wartime would realistically look very different. Of course they couldn't afford to build a new miniature for that one episode, but it was a place where the budget limitations showed.

@23: I think that if a ship or a mine is vaporized, not all the residual matter is going to be in range of the other mines' transporters. There's going to be some loss each time, and over time the minefield would be worn away by attrition.

But they could've solved it easily by mentioning that they'd tow a small asteroid into place as a matter source.

I don't recall an in-universe explanation for not using saucer sep. But I agree, there should've been Intrepids in the war fleets.
Mike Kelmachter
26. MikeKelm
@ CLB... I figure in verse that the Galaxies had multiple versions. If the TNG tech manual were to be believed, there were 6 Galaxy classes built and 6 more partially built (Roddenberry figured that there couldn't be that many ships that big). I figure after Wolf 359 the second 6 were built- probably pretty close to spec) and those after were a more combat ready version- maybe even losing capabilities that the original 12 had along the process. In the real world, this happens frequently such as Los Angeles class submarine, of which the first 30 were "flight I" the next 10 were flight II and included vertical launch systems for Tomahawk missiles, and the final 22 688- Improved versions which had not only the VLS but numerous other changes to electronics and ship systems,. The 62nd Los Angeles class was much more capable, much more stealthy than the original USS Los Angeles.

Besides, you could do a lot with that huge saucer, especially once you remove family quarters, science labs, greenhouses, etc. Carry a battalion of ground troops, use the massive main shuttlebay to carry one man fighters, put I industrial replicators so that it could fix other ships. There is something to be said for a large space. Plus the redundant impulse drives and computer cores probably would come in handy. Heck, maybe the wartime version of the galaxy couldn't separate- they were built fast and simpler because Starfleet needed any ship and crew they could get. Same reason those Miranda classes are there- they carry phasers and photons and that was all that mattered, even if they were deathtraps.
27. Roy Batty

Yes, that was the point I was trying to make. You did a better job saying and clarifying it, CLB. Thanks.

I think if they knew for sure they were going into battle during a declared war, they would off-load the civilians and keep the saucers in place. Given Starfleet's reputation for being understaffed ship-wise, they probably needed every phaser bank they had to fight the Dominion.

Was it ever addressed that their exploration missions were, I'm assuming, shut down during the war? Seems that would be some fertile ground for storytelling (ground which was only frustratingly touched upon in STID).
Mr. Magic
28. farmer
@26 nails it with regard to the Galaxies. Much of the US Air Force right now is 30 or more years old in terms of original design, but so updated that you'd never recognize them internally. But the F-15 and the A-10 still superficially look like the models I built 20+ years ago, even though their electronics and weapons systems are far more advanced now.

In a war in which Starfleet is going to need every ounce of ship it can get, why have the saucers sitting around somewhere in a shipyard doing nothing? They're not even warp-capable, so otherwise make very expensive housing units or very inefficient planetary transports. Might as well get the best use you can out of them, which is leaving them attached to the stardrive section.

And for another example of civilian hardware with excellent military adaptions, just look at the DC-3.
Mr. Magic
29. tortillarat
"The battle sequence is also impressive"

Eh, Way of the Warrior was more so. In that one you have DS9 firing at multiple ships simultaneously. Here you get DS9 firing one shot, wait a second or two, fire another shot, wait another second or two, fire one's kind of disappointing. They weren't using their full arsenal.
Mr. Magic
30. RobinM
This is one of the best Star Trek universe finales ever. The cast gets to shine and the battles look cool. The thing I remember the most about it is the baseball. I hate war but I couldn't wait for the new season to begin.
Mr. Magic
31. Random22
I suppose if they've decided to up the production of Galaxy Class ships, and need them quickly, then they could simply leave out all the complicated seperation/reconnection mechanisms. I wonder if the late production Galaxies could even do a seperation? Seems a quick way to save time in production to me.
Mr. Magic
32. Eduardo Jencarelli
Technically, this is something I could postpone mentioning until the season 6 rewatch, but it's worth bringing up anyway, given this episode's final scene, and the high amount of Excelsior and Galaxy-class ships present.

Were there any Sovereign-class starships involved in the Dominion War showing up on DS9 episodes at all? I know the Enteprise E was involved thanks to the Carey/Vornholt tie-in novels. But we never see them on screen. It would be dumb to have the Enterprise E model available and not use it.
Mr. Magic
33. JGBW
First time posting (Stumbled upon this rewatch when you hit Broken Link, went back and read them all and then have lurked silently up until now) so thanks KRAD for such an insightful analysis week after week and to all the regular posters who always leave such fascinating commentary, of which this thread is a great example, especially the speculation on how the self replicating mines might actually work.

This episode perfectly encapsulates all the best things about Deep Space Nine. It has the space battles and the action sequences but above all else it has the characters and that has always been the heart of the show. Every character shines in this episode and every scene rings true and is full of little moments that make you fall in love with the characters all over again. The Quark and Rom scenes have already been highlighted, I'd like to nominate the scenes between Ziyal and Garak, especially when he, in his own roundabout way is trying to reassure her that she'll be ok on Bajor and the scene when Sisko quotes Rules of Aquisition to Nog

Regarding Starfleets strategy here, I've always thought, as others have also speculated here, that a fleet en route to DS9 would have to pass the sector with the shipyards anyway so it made sense to do them some serious damage ahead of the actual war. That said it was still a gamble that the mines would go up in time, if the hadn't, the ship yards would have been a moot point as there would be a ready supply coming through the wormhole!
Mr. Magic
34. Chris LS
@23 &33: As has been noted elsewhere in the comments, the Dominion War tremendously upsizes Starfleet from previous expectations. Wolf 359 appears as little more than a skirmish now that we see multiple fleets consisting of hundreds of ships each. Gone are the days of the "only ship in the quadrant" mentality. Bashir could easily have gotten his 50 ships and the spacedocks would have still been destroyed.

/nerding. It's still an awesome episode.
Mike Kelmachter
35. MikeKelm
I actually figured Starfleet wrote off DS9 as untenable and figured they'd use it as bait. They knew that the combined Dominion/Cardassian fleet would leave the shipyards unguarded, so they'd take advantage of it to score an easy victory. The fact that Sisko and company mined the wormhole and escaped was just a bonus...
Mr. Magic
36. Mr. Magic
@34, You reminded me of an intperetation I've heard over the years.

The UFP's fleet buildup is indirectly thanks to Q. If he hadn't thrown Picard into the Borg's path, Wolf 359 wouldn't have happened.

If Wolf 359 hadn't happened, Starfleet would never have gotten a kick in the pants and would've been screwed with the Dominion came calling.
Brendan Guy
37. bguy
@18: Didn't Riker say something in Best of Both Worlds part 1 about how they shouldn't seperate the Enterprise because they might need the extra power from the saucer section? If so then maybe Starfleet determined that Galaxy class vessels perform better in battle when they aren't separated.
Mr. Magic
38. Random22
@ChrisLS Actually, we don't know when those ships came online. Look at the timeline. Starfleet gets hammered by the Borg at Wolf 359, it is a relatively small fleet at the time and sufferes a massive loss. They start building new classes from scratch (even the Galaxy Class is only an upscaling of the old Ambassador class really) including the Intrepid Class, Defiant Class, Nova Class, Norway Class etc and and experimenting with all those new designs. They have to throw a lot of what they have at the Klingons during the Klingon offensive though, and that is still no easy task. Given how many Miranda Class and Excelsior Class we still see right up until the end of the series, I'm thinking that a lot of those new ships are still either on the drawing boards, in the yards, or at best in shakedown. Then the 2nd Borg Battle happens and although there are more ships and while it isn't the total extermination Wolf 359 is, it is still a massive disaster that they yet again have to rebuild from.

That is three major disasters that Starfleet has to rebuild from, with barely enough time to recuperate before the next. And that is before you factor in the usual smaller stuff, like the Maquis (remember how Chakotay says that they were fighting a Starfleet that was using Runabouts a lot of the time, that speaks volumes about a fleet pushed to its ragged end) or the usual anomaly of the week or space pirates. You know, the usual stuff that claims ships. In particular the 2nd Borg Battle was just months before the Dominion offensive. That is probably why Starfleet drags its feet over the Dominion to start with. It is still frantically trying to churn out ships and train crews because all it has in service is stuff that is either ancient or fresh out the yards. They put provoking the Dominion off for so long because, while the Dominion was AQ-weak, Starfleet was even weaker.

All this is a long winded saying, that right now they probably didn't have those fifty ships right at this point because they were still in the process of churning them out. A few months later, they might have.

This is supported by the trashed state of the fleet in next season's opener. Looks like they took a fleet of untried ships and untried crews, and a lot of it failed the combat test.
Christopher Bennett
39. ChristopherLBennett
@32: Nope, never saw a Sovereign in DS9. They didn't want it mistaken for the Enterprise, or something.

On the question of fleet size, here's my interpretation: DS9 established that Starfleet was broken up into several numbered fleets. Presumably, before the war, most of those fleets were way off in deep space exploring strange new boldly goings and whatnot, so they weren't available to get to Wolf 359 in time when the Borg came. So when it was said that those 39 destroyed ships were most of "the fleet," that didn't mean the entire Starfleet, just the core fleet that was charged with defending Federation territory. But when the Dominion came, Starfleet had time to draw in all of its deep-space exploration fleets and consolidate them in the Federation's defense, so that's why they had a much larger supply of ships (well, in addition to the heavy shipbuilding that was surely going on as well).
Mr. Magic
40. Eduardo Jencarelli
It's too bad the Enterprise didn't even show up for at least a cameo. The Sovereign class had good weaponry. Those quantum torpedoes made the difference. And even if they couldn't afford a Patrick Stewart cameo, they could still have had Riker, Troi or Geordi show up for an episode or two, especially with Worf and O'Brien there.

Back in those days, amidst the rumors of how DS9 would end, I always figured Voyager would somehow return to the Alpha Quadrant behind the lines during the fifth season, helping Starfleet overcome the Dominion, creating potential for the most interesting crossovers, especially if the Borg somehow got involved (transwarp hubs, anyone?).

It's also bad the Romulans and Remans didn't have the Scimitar available during the Dominion War. It would have turned the tide on a few battles.
Christopher Bennett
41. ChristopherLBennett
@40: I would imagine that the Scimitar was a result of the Romulans' push to develop more powerful ships and technologies as a result of the Dominion War. But the war ended before it was completed.
Mr. Magic
42. Mr. Magic
Yeah, I think we saw that in David Mack's Shinzon story from the Dominion War anthology.
Mr. Magic
43. Eoin8472
I'm a broken record I know, but even after the Dominion attempted the Bajorian genocide in "In Inferno's Light", the Federation still let multiple convoys through the wormhole? What...The.....F***

Must have been tense in the room when Bajor accepted the non-agression pact. "Yes, I know we tried to blow up your sun and kill all of you pesky Bajorians. But lets be friends now."
Mr. Magic
44. Random22
@43. That is the pitfall of not being a Federation member, Bajor didn't press for war and no Federation assets were at risk from that attempt so the Federation had no standing to press for war itself.

Once again. The Star Trek-verse is not 21stC America

Not to mention that with the Starfleet having been annihilated by the Borg (again) the Federation had no hope of winning in a fight at that point. Plus the Federation knows that they already have Dominion operatives in the Quadrant. Plus the Federation knows that the Dominion expect them to do something to the wormhole (the whole point of those VR machines in The Search was to see what the Federation would do) and probably have a countermeasure (frankly it is more of a face-palmer that the Dominion haven't and are able to let the minefield go up). Plus until Rom had his magic eureka moment, they had no feeasible way to mine it that wouldn't be taken down in a few days. Plus Bajor wouldn't have let the Federation cut them off from their own Gods, the wormhole aliens, and the Federation wouldn't find riding roughshod over them politically acceptable (at this point). Plus Starfleet don't set foreign policy, and the Federation diplomacy teams still have hope at negotiating settlement at this point (not like there hasn't been plenty of precedent for disatrous first contacts being negotiated into allegiances in the Trek-verse).

Mining the wormhole at first opportunity works great as a videogame strategy where you can ignore everything else because there are no consequences programmed in by the dev team, but not in any other drama form. Apart from anything else you have to throw out characterization, continuity, and general background of the setting.

Mining or destroying the Wormhole at that point would be the farcical action.

Now I'll agree that must have made an interesting discussion for the Bajorans, but Bajor is used to swallowing its pride. The description of a diplomats job is "brushing inconvenient facts and war crimes under the carpet for the greater good".
Mr. Magic
45. Eoin8472
Not mining the wormhole directly after "In Inferno's Light"
Why not? The Federation was at war in all but name. (I would say that even by 24th century standards attempting to kill billions of Bajorans plus the Federation/Klingon fleet is an act of war.) I don't think it was the "first opportunity" at that stage. First opportunity was back in "The Search"

The Klingons were willing to mine the entire Bajorian system way back in Season 4.So we know mines do work. Even without Rom's magic mines, the swarming of the wormhole with the existing "normal" mines would have stopped the additional convoys for a time. I think I screamed at the TV in disbelief when I was a kid, to hear that they were stupid enough to let additional convoys through. If those were at the same level of numbers as "In Inferno's Light", thats staggering. And of course this will have a bearing on the fact that Sisko will have to take part in a future murder to acquire, what is essentially a Romulan bailout to combat this threat. It would have been much easier to just hold off the first convoy then the combined 4 I think that got to the AQ.

Your entire middle paragraph of reasons, including the part's about Bajor seem superflous seeing that Bajor let them mine the wormhole in this epsiode anyway. Along with the refrain "Ya, we know its a temple...but these are the guys who tried to murder you when they wanted to blow up your sun. Which would have also maybe hurt the wormhole" The Dominion is not omniscient. It doesn't have to be with the Federations level of inaction.

No, I know the Star Trek Ds9 Verse is not 21st C America. But it is too much to ask for them to act like Season 5 TNG? Remember when Picard actually prevented reinforcements from going to the Duras sisters across the Klingon/Romulan border. He did it due to the Romulans not understanding that space is 3-D, but he did it. It was an entirely non-Federation matter, but they got involved. I see no reason/difference for the wait in deploying mines since "In Inferno's Light" Also, The Klingons seemed to be at at some sort of war with the Dominion from "Soldiers of the Empire" Given the re-signed alliance treaty, I would imagine the least the Federation could do would be to stop additional Dominion ships arriving.
Mr. Magic
46. CaptainSheridan
I can easily see the Federation not taking a stand against the Dominion adn offically starting the war previous to this episode for two reasons: 1- they are the peace-loving Federation and will go to all lengths to avoid a major war (there has never been one as far as we know, or at least in a long time)- its been avoided and avoided- even the the last Cardassian War took place during the first 4 seasons of the TNG and we never heard about it - must have been border skirmishes or something). 2) they are already weakened by the Klingon War and the Borg invasion. Yes, letting loads of "enemy" ships transerse through "your / Bajoran" space is somewhat stupid and could have been easilt stopped witha few ships planted at the edge of the wormhole, but I can easily see the Fed Council deciding that its morally better to let them in than to start fighting and killing.
My guess is they were hoping to avoid a war in the long run- heck, where was Captain Picard? He could talk his way out of this entire sitution and been sharing a pot of earl-grey with Weyoun and Dukat at the end of "The Jem'Hadar" :)
Mr. Magic
47. Random22
@45 You put your finger right on it. "War in all BUT name" (emphasis mine). The Federation, as a culture are very concerned about that name part, for all sorts of reasons (not the least of which is that they have to deal with other powers of greater or lesser capabilities in their own Quadrant and being seen as the sort of trigger happy, boundary ignoring, power is not going to help co-operative relationships). Also, please remember, just because something may technically be an act of war, doesn't mean that it will be accepted as such. Especially when facing a military foe a thousand times more powerful than you (Pakistan has yet to declare war on America, despite repeated military violations of Pakistan's borders by the US just as one example). The Federation is the weaker side in all of this.

Okay. Now lets get in-universe. The Search established that The Dominion knows what Starfleet will do if war happens, namely attempt to disable the wormhole. Starfleet must take this into account, their great fear has to be that if they mine the wormhole or otherwise attempt to disable it, then Weyoun lazily reaches across his desk; says "sorry, no" with that dreary sigh of his, presses a button and bit of Dominion technobabble takes down the minefield in under three seconds, Jemhadar ships pour through and slam into a Starfleet still reeling from Klingon and Borg offensives. Game over. Dominion wins. Betcha the remenants of Starfleet wished they'd waited a bit. Now we know, because we are the viewer with a privileged position in terms of knowledge and hindsight, that doesn't happen. However characters within the work do not know this.

With regards the Romulan interference in the Klingon Civil War, totally different situation. The Romulans were providing covert support to a faction attempting a coup. And Picard, it was established, sticking his neck way out and diving through loopholes just to do what he did. The Dominion are there by explicit request of the current, recognized, Cardassian government. That is a very different thing. If Lursa and Betor had publically called for Romulan support then Picard would very likely have been completely stymied.
Mr. Magic
48. Eoin8472
You do have good points. But the current Cardassian leadership is not recognised by the Federation, Sisko said it as much to Dukat in In Inferno's Light. Dukat DID perform a military coup (with the aid of the Dominion). Though its more complicated as Cardassia has usually been under military rule. The season 4 era was the exception.

I think the parallels between the Klingon Civil War and this situation are enough to justify some comparison. Especially since the Dominion has attempted to murder everyone on a planet that the Federation sorta protects. I am also thinking of the time when Picard knowingly violated the Neutral Zone with Klingon backup in "The Defector". The Federation stood on the point of war in that occassion too. And they were the ones to push it to that point. Based on Jaroks word.

The Federation is the weaker side, but it was probably not a thousand times weaker. And the tech difference was never shown to be drastic enough to overturn the incredible advantage of the choke point that the wormhole reprersented.
Christopher Bennett
49. ChristopherLBennett
@47: "If Lursa and Betor had publically called for Romulan support then Picard would very likely have been completely stymied."

Just the opposite, in fact. Lursa and B'Etor were not the formal government, they were insurrectionists attempting to overthrow it. Remember the way the political situation in "Redemption" was defined. As long as there was no proof that their coup attempt had Romulan backing, Starfleet was powerless to intervene, because it appeared to be an internal conflict within an allied government and the Prime Directive forbade taking sides. The purpose for Picard's tachyon grid was to try to prove that the insurrectionists had Romulan backing. Once that was proven, it would change the situation from an internal Klingon matter to the invasion of an ally by a hostile power, and then Starfleet would be allowed to intervene militarily on the Klingons' side. That's why the Romulans withdrew once the tachyon grid proved their presence -- because they weren't ready for a war with the Federation.

Now, if it had been Gowron who'd called for Romulan support, then Picard would've been stymied, because then it would be the legitimate government making an alliance, and the Prime Directive doesn't allow Starfleet to overthrow or subvert another state's legitimate government. Although such an alliance would surely have meant the end of the Khitomer Accords.
Mr. Magic
50. Ben74
The only thing that put me off about this episode was the use of stock footage from The Way of the Warrior during the battle sequence. Might have been done for budget, but it was a bit of a turn-off for me.
Mr. Magic
51. Mr. Magic
Heh, I'm more irked by the clip from "Caretaker" they snuck into the battle.

Keep VOY away from my favorite Trek, thank you very much. :)
Mr. Magic
52. CaptianSheridan
@51 - What clip was that? I missed it-- guess I'll need to rewatch again!
Mr. Magic
53. Eoin8472
When the torpodes streak towards the front of the Galor cruiser. Thats taken from the pilot of Voyager. Also the Galor getting hit on the side. Its a reuse of the Galor entering the Badlands in Caretaker as well.
Basically both scenes where Galors are damage by weapons from the station.

Personally I find the blatant reuse of footage in "What You Leave Behind" to be much worse.
Mr. Magic
54. CaptainSheridan
ahh...good catches! Agreed on "What you Leave Behind".
Christopher Bennett
55. ChristopherLBennett
Hey, TOS reused FX footage all the time, and so did TNG. And TWOK recycled a bunch of Enterprise footage from ST:TMP. Even modern CGI shows reuse FX footage sometimes.
Nick Minecci
56. Gettysburg7

A little triva for you, the baseball is still on the desk in STO. I have had all my characters take a photo behind the desk with it. :)
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
57. Lisamarie
Definitely a great season finale. Maybe one of the best so far.

I haven't had much to contribute regarding the debate as to whether mining the wormhole (either now or earlier) was the right thing to do - I know what seems right based on the narrative we are presented, but when one thinks about real life consequences and situations, they usually aren't that cut and dry.

Was it even totally legal for the Federation to mine the wormhole at this junction - the episodes have started to blur together for me a bit, but I can't recall of the Dominion has been hostile towards the Federation in the AQ (aside from the spies on Earth). Technically, does the Federation have the right to stop the Dominion from sending troops/materiel to their allies in Cardassia? From a narrative standpoint, we know it's the right thing to do and that they aren't up to anything good and it's a big upset of the power balance in the quadrant, and that generally the Federation are the 'good guys'...I just wonder in 'real life' what kind of flak that type of decision would get (in fact, there probably are real world analogues to this, but this kind of thing isn't my strong point).
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
58. Lisamarie
Oh, and Rom has sure come a long way since trying to toss Quark out of an airlock!
Mr. Magic
59. megancyber
Hmm waffling by commenters about the so call intl legal ethics of not letting a clear volent destablizing aggressor flow across bourds and set up mining the wormhole. THE FEDERATION WAS BAJOR'S PROTECTOR and ran the station. They started (plan)mining BEFORE Winn signed the non-aggression treaty, unless I remember wrong. The Federation was protecting it's duty to Bajor and it's management of the station. This BS handwringing mindset is type of crap why Hitler got so far in WW2.
Christopher Bennett
60. ChristopherLBennett
@59: As we've explained elsewhere, the folly is in assuming that laying mines constitutes protection. Mines are an extremely reckless, crude, dangerous form of "protection" that are likely to do more harm than good. That's why most nations today have outlawed their use as a war crime. Yes, protecting the quadrant and Bajor is a good idea, but using a field full of thousands of bombs is a terribly reckless and foolhardy way of going about it.

And as we saw a few episodes later, it ultimately didn't work! It held the Dominion back for a few months, but then Damar figured out a way to beat it. Sisko ultimately found a better way to control traffic through the wormhole, by winning the cooperation of its inhabitants. An act of diplomacy, essentially, proved more effective in the long term than a bunch of weapons. Which is pretty much always the case.

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