10 Starfleet decisions with the most devastating consequences

This article owes its thanks and inspiration to @SimonPoulterRM. Sometimes it’s quite easy to see that a decision can have certain consequences. Other times, there are unforeseen afterimages down the line, rippling through the story with threads of I told you so and ooh, I should have seen this coming. Either way, it’s not always possible to get it right all the time, regardless of the experience of the decision-making team.

Starfleet has a shaky reputation for being a force for good in the Alpha Quadrant. While it’s safe to say that they generally aim for the best, there’s no doubt that some of their actions have led to some truly horrific results. The Dominion War, for example, caused several million deaths. Sure, Starfleet may not have been the instigator, but they certainly lit the fuse. Likewise, other great conflicts have arisen from Starfleet’s decision-making process – whether it’s the decision to act or the decision to do nothing.

Here are ten of the most important decisions in Starfleet history. A quick note – the launch of Friendship One is not included here, as it predates the creation of Starfleet itself. So in this case, it is simply the people of Earth who are responsible for millions of deaths.

The Dominion War was a brutal and drawn-out campaign that saw hundreds of millions of lives lost in the name of saving or annexing the Alpha Quadrant. Although there were many individual battles during the conflict, the Second Battle of Chin’toka was one of the costliest days in Starfleet history.

While the Federation-Klingon-Romulan Alliance had won several victories against the Dominion forces, they were ill-prepared to face the new adversaries – the Breen. While these secret aliens had long been known to the forces of the Alpha Quadrant, the true extent of their technology had remained a mystery. That is until Captain Sisko led the task force that attempted to retake the Chin’toka system – Starfleet’s sole anchorage in Dominion territory.

Expecting a powerful fleet to fight, the Allies were blindsided by the Breen’s energy-damping weapon. This directly led to the near total destruction of their fleet, including the USS Defiant. Only one Klingon Bird of Prey survived the encounter, which was left behind to accompany the hundreds of Federation escape pods, filled with demoralized troops, on the long journey back to their own territories.