When I was supposed to answer the question about what would I do if I had the final say over what we should do about the buggers, I did go for a slight cop-out, saying I would ask everyone else. But there is a good deal of truth to this. As evidenced by the fact that whoever was told the full information we had on the buggers, was never permitted to leave Eros, I doubt that many people who where not in the executive council at the time where asked about what options they could see. Therefore, the "viable" options presented could have been very limited. I agree with Tim, that we could have probably fleshed out other options possible in class (whether we would have supported them or not).
It seemed almost everyone agreed that more attempts to communicate would have been pertinent. Graff did say that "as soon as we had a working ansible, we tucked them into our best starships and launched them to attack the buggers home systems" (250), which implies that they did not attempt to use it in serious attempts to use it to communicate with the buggers. While I will be the first to admit that the communication methods probably would not interface well with each other, the attempts should have been made, as well as serious research to try and make an ansible that used a form that could communicate. (I mean now PCs and Macs are compatible.)
Other options included a military operations that did not require the extermination of all the bugger worlds. How could we even suppose that the one invading bugger army was not a renegade army or one particular "nation" of the buggers, a hypothesis I did not think of while still in class. To guard against this, it would have been prudent to build just as strong of an army over the years, sending them out on regular scouting trips and trying to keep a section of space for ourselves. After taking several years to develop the ansible and sensing no return of the buggers, why not set up a more defensive position instead of one of such a strong attack.
So what would I do? I would set up a more defensive fleet, especially with the ansible, if the fleet was based outside the asteroid belt, or whichever direction towards the source of the buggers invasions. This is because there are many reasons for the buggers attacking with that group still being hostile but that doesn't necessarily reflect the entire race. If it could be shown that all the buggers had supported the invasion, I would be much more likely to support actions like the IF took, but I would hope I'd still believe in innocent until proven guilty, and an entire race should not be condemned base on the actions of the few.