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Old 08-21-2009, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
But did those planets agree to be encircled by Federation space or did the Federation decide it for them? Perhaps because at the time they were not space-faring? Or First Contact had yet to be made?
Probably yes to all of those.

The Federation probably has a standing policy of declaring the entire star system of a pre-warp civilization as being off-limits and likely establishes territorial treaties with warp-capable civilizations who choose not to join the Federation.
If such a planet pops up - and it doesn't decide to join, then who decides upon the borders of it's space?
That's probably where Federation ambassadors come in to work with that planet's government to hammer out where it's borders end and the Federation's begin.
In that case there should be agreed 'neutral' trade routes that do not come under any one powers' auspices and allows planets to conduct their business without the automatic nosiness of another looking into every ship that comes and goes.
The only problem with that idea is that the Federation is rather big and steadily expanding. Those neutral trade routes wouldn't remain neutral for very long, IMO, and I don't really know too many nations that would allow routes within their territory that wasn't theirs.

But the Federation does seem to have an "open door" policy in regards to trade, except with those nations that it recognizes as being an enemy (such as the Romulans, for example). In that case, the Federation would have the right to prohibit its enemies from passing through their space.
If a non-member world is trading with the Romulans it's essentially none of the Federation's business without justifiable grounds it's anything of danger to them and it's simply intereference in the affairs of a sovereign planet if they do inspect all shipping.
I think that would work as long as the Romulans weren't traveling though Federation space (or were using intermediaries like the Ferengi or the Orions), but I think the Federation would indeed have the right to stop a ship coming from a recognized enemy passing through their territory. It would simply be a case of national security on the Federation's behalf. In such a case, the non-member world wanting to do business with the Romulans would simply be out of luck, since any goods coming from the Romulans would be considered contraband if it was transported through Federation space.
Unless the Federation does it to make life as difficult as possible for the non-member in the hope they take the easier option and join up.
I think there are many non-member worlds within Federation space and that the number of nations they can't trade with may only be limited to a very small number (probably only the Romulans and maybe the Breen, really)...
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