Originally Posted by Livingston
Another thing that always sort of tripped me up was that line of Bones' in TUD where he's trying to save Chancellor Gorkon and he says he doesn't even know his anatomy. The Federation and Klingons fought a war that lasted decades and they certainly met face to face and captives were taken on both sides. I find it hard to believe the Feds wouldn't be familiar with Klingon anatomy. But that's scifi, there are plenty of inconsistencies all over Trek as many other franchises.
Actually it probably isn't surprising, although in the movie McCoy makes two statements on the matter, both of which have potentially two different meetings. On the battlecruiser, I believe McCoy states, "Jim, I don't even know his anatomy." At the trial, I believe McCoy states, "I didn't have the medical knowledge I needed for Klingon anatomy." We can probably discount the first statement to an extent as being something he just said given the urgency of the situation. McCoy's knowledge of Klingon anatomy is probably sufficient enough that he can recognize one with his tricorder, just as he did on K-7. However, a knowledge of anatomy alone doesn't qualify anyone to treat a patient. I certainly know where a human heart is and the various parts of the heart and how they work together, but if someone were to have a heart attack, I wouldn't have a clue how to treat that. I'm more qualified to kill someone with a shot to the heart than save them.
Take Vulcans for example. McCoy is familiar with the anatomy and the general physiology, but he wasn't necessarily the most qualified doctor on the Enterprise or in the fleet to treat a Vulcan. Dr. M'Benga would actually be much more qualified having interned on Vulcan before. He would have more experience with the physiology and more direct knowledge over ways to treat Vulcans. This doesn't mean McCoy couldn't treat a Vulcan, but that McCoy is not the most appealing choice next to M'Benga.
For those of you who don't know M'Benga, he was like the assistance CMO on the Enterprise. In the TOS episode a Private Little War, Spock gets a gunshot wound. McCoy remains on the planet with Kirk. M'Benga is the doctor that treated Spock. He brings Spock out of his healing trance by violently slapping Spock repeatedly.
Originally Posted by kevin
Agreed - a single incident or encounter could have done it. In fact, given the general Romulan ideology (which has sometimes favoured self-sacrifice if no victory is possible - BoT and Unification) then even one major defeat could have been enough to humiliate the Romulans so badly they never forgot it.
Indeed. When you look at Midway in 1942, Japan had the largest fleet and still did even after that battle. However, they lacked the industrial capability to replace the carriers they lost in the battle. They also lost a lot of their veteran crews there. Both losses they were unable to recover from. The Japanese lost 4 of its 6 fleet carriers. The US lost just 1. This brought both sides pretty much even in terms of fleet carriers with Japan still having the Shokaku and Zuikaku, although Japan still had Ryujo, Junyo, and Hiyo but these were much smaller carriers with limited effectiveness. The United States was left with just the Enterprise and Hornet, a few months later even the Hornet would be lost and the Enterprise would be the only US carrier in the Pacific. Despite this, the US had the industrial capacity to replace the carriers and in a matter of a year or so, the US would gain carrier superiority. Neither side could afford additional carrier losses, but in the long run, Japan could afford it least of all.