In the DS9 episode "Sacrifice of Angels," during the Dominion War, there is a massive Dominion/UFP Alliance battle. In one scene, as the two sides clash, a pair of Miranda class ships are seen gliding through, then very quickly getting destroyed. One is lanced by a Dominion ship's energy weapon, and another is literally sent flipping with a single torpedo. Of course, out-of-universe, this was done to wow the audience and maybe add a sense of drama and loss. In-universe, it was a demonstration of the Dominion's firepower. It clearly showed how weak the Miranda class was compared to all the other more advanced ships from both sides. It also made me wonder if there was truly a point in sending those two ships out to their certain demise. Objectively, those ships held little sway over the outcome of the battle--as illustrated in the scene mentioned above. The crews of those ships could have been spared if Starfleet had not sent them out. And Starfleet should have been well aware that Mirandas were not sufficient to counter Dominion firepower.
There are a lot of Mirandas seen in the Dominion War. I understand that Starfleet/the UFP Alliance has to use every resource it had, but is Starfleet this desperate? Can't Starfleet put them at the back to provide the critical last line of defense? Instead, they are usually on the front line, where they draw fire and get blown to bits in an instant...
Starfleet performs important militaristic functions when there are threats against the Federation, but unlike a military, its purpose is not militaristic. A military will do anything to achieve victory, and that (somehow even today) includes using cannon fodder. Many other races--for example, the Klingons (who are overly eager to die)--the Romulans (who will do anything for their own benefit and preservation)--and others--are willing to sacrifice their own kind, but Starfleet is supposed to have a moral obligation to everyone, including those who work for it.
Is Starfleet willing to sacrifice its own ships and crew "for the benefit of the many" as possibly indicated by the title?