Violations of the Prime Directive with negative effects
The Next Generation “To Short A Season”
On the planet of Mordan IV, Captain Mark Jameson supplied weapons to one faction in exchange for the release of federation hostages, however, he also supplied those same weapons to the opposing faction, the result of which was the society was plunged into decades of civil war. Jameson’s justification was not only the release of federation prisoners but also providing an even fighting ground and balance of power for the two opposing factions.
Deep Space Nine “In The Pale Moonlight”
During the federations war with the Dominion, with the help of Elim Garak, Captain Benjamin Sisko convinced the Romulan empire to ally with them under false pretenses, for the Romulans had been neutral up to that point. False evidence was created, stating that the Dominion was going to back out of their original treaty with the Romulans. The Romulan empire backed the Federation in the war against the Dominion, resulting in massive casualties for the Romulans. The federation was triumphant, but at the expense of the lives of a race that never should have been involved in the first place.
Captain Rudolph Ransom killed many nucleogenic lifeforms so that their bodies could be used for fuel for the ship’s warp drive. Ransom felt he was justified under Starfleet regulation 3, which states “in the event of imminent destruction, a captain is authorized to preserve the lives of his crew by any justifiable means.” However, Captain Janeway did not feel the same way, saying that there is no such justification for the systematic murder of members of an alien society.
So you see, the Prime Directive is not quite as black and white as Starfleet would like its officers to believe. For me personally, rather than have a captain that has such an affinity for the rules and regulations that they mindlessly follow orders, I would rather have a captain who is able to display an amount of judgment and discretion with dealing with alien planets and their inhabitants on a case by case bases and not with a blanket directive, but that is just one Trekkie’s opinion, what do you think?