Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by NeoGoomba » 2017-10-12 07:36pm

Considering how the Enterprise basically laughed at two (I think) Cardassian Galor-class, top of the line ships hitting it unshielded but for SIFs shows just how behind, techwise, the Cardassian navy was to the Federation (From The Chase).

I always pictured the "war" with Cardassia being more of a border skirmish to Starfleet, with probably just a scant handful of ships and captains like Maxwell holding off the reckless, upstart Cardassian Union while the bulk of the fleets maintained strength along the Romulan and Klingon borders.

I think fortune just swung in Cardassia's favor. Yeah, they gassed themselves out fighting what minor elements Starfleet deployed. But they did so just as the Borg swooped in and caught the pre-war Starfleet flatfooted, and thus was able to negotiate on far better terms than if the Borg never showed up.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-13 01:42am

NeoGoomba wrote:
2017-10-12 07:36pm
Considering how the Enterprise basically laughed at two (I think) Cardassian Galor-class, top of the line ships hitting it unshielded but for SIFs shows just how behind, techwise, the Cardassian navy was to the Federation (From The Chase).

I always pictured the "war" with Cardassia being more of a border skirmish to Starfleet, with probably just a scant handful of ships and captains like Maxwell holding off the reckless, upstart Cardassian Union while the bulk of the fleets maintained strength along the Romulan and Klingon borders.

I think fortune just swung in Cardassia's favor. Yeah, they gassed themselves out fighting what minor elements Starfleet deployed. But they did so just as the Borg swooped in and caught the pre-war Starfleet flatfooted, and thus was able to negotiate on far better terms than if the Borg never showed up.
That's essentially what I meant when I said that UFP-Cardassian war was something the Federation couldn't afford, not because it the war was too much a of strain on its resources in and of itself but rather that the Federation was in desperate need of resources elsewhere, so the Cardassians got a better deal then they would have if they had been the sole focus of Starfleet's military operations.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2017-10-13 05:46am

Gandalf wrote:
2017-10-12 07:32pm
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2017-10-12 01:37pm
No, god no.

Ok, think of it like this. The UFP was fighting this war throughout the entire run of TNG. Their flagship never got involved in hostilities. They Dealt with a Klingon Civil War, a resurgent Romulan Star Empire, all that shit; and they never put their economy on a war footing. The war was literally never mentioned until the tail end of the series, and O'Brien fought in it prior to the series.
Uh, the war end a year before The Wounded, a season four episode. A treaty was signed, which created the Federation-Cardassian Alliance.

There were incidents afterwards, but it was clearly peacetime.
Ah. I am operating on memory, been a while since I actually watched TNG. That having been said, the point still stands. They fought that war for a loooooong time without every going to a war footing and while dealing with lots of other shit. The Cardassian economy imploded.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-13 10:28am

NeoGoomba wrote:
2017-10-12 07:36pm
Considering how the Enterprise basically laughed at two (I think) Cardassian Galor-class, top of the line ships hitting it unshielded but for SIFs shows just how behind, techwise, the Cardassian navy was to the Federation (From The Chase).

I always pictured the "war" with Cardassia being more of a border skirmish to Starfleet, with probably just a scant handful of ships and captains like Maxwell holding off the reckless, upstart Cardassian Union while the bulk of the fleets maintained strength along the Romulan and Klingon borders.

I think fortune just swung in Cardassia's favor. Yeah, they gassed themselves out fighting what minor elements Starfleet deployed. But they did so just as the Borg swooped in and caught the pre-war Starfleet flatfooted, and thus was able to negotiate on far better terms than if the Borg never showed up.
The Cardassians definitely had to rely on wolf pack tactics when facing heavier ships. The Phoenix also chewed up border ships no problem. Even when the Phoenix had it's shields dropped. So yea, it probably was a handful of ships.

And... while the Borg hurt, I'm not sure how much they really forced the issue. Granted, those 39 ships could punish Cardassian severely. Still, I could see, "Ah ha, the Federation is weak, we can sue for peace on good terms!" "Oh, they're finally suing for peace? Good, it's about time. Dust off that treaty plan we had pre-prepared."


Gandalf wrote:
2017-10-12 07:32pm
The impression I got was that it was akin to a space-Vietnam war. The Federation was more conventionally powerful, but still couldn't outright "win" without either a massive and costly deployment. Then nobody liked the peace.
I view it as a matter that the Federation neither wanted captured territory nor a collapse of the region and the chaos that caused. Like, going in and pushing over the Cardassians would obligate them to stay in Cardassian territory and etc., and it'd be all kinds of long term costly commitment.

So rather than being space-Vietnam, it was a move to avoid a space-Vietnam.



Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-12 02:37pm
Cardassian War veterans like Picard and O'Brien don't talk about it like that, though. I suspect that there were exchanges of territory on both sides to "regularize" the borders. It may well be that the zones of Cardassian and Federation settlement had actually interpenetrated, so that there was no way to draw a coherent border in space without relocating some of the colonists.
/quote]
Prometheus Unbound wrote:
2017-10-12 01:22pm
Highly irregular borders are often a source of conflict between nation-states. It creates situations where people can't reach an outpost of their own country's territory without passing through another country. Where only historical accident and not a negotiated agreement determines who controls which chunks of the ground.

If the UFP and Cardassian Union had been fighting a skirmishing war for 10-20 years, it's likely that each side would hold many planets just by virtue of having successfully seized those planets by force, or through historical accident like "we needed to occupy this specific dilithium mine to keep it out of enemy hands."

When you agree to stop fighting and just accept the borders right where they are, that can cause postwar tension. The obvious counter-strategy is to have a summit conference and shuffle things around. Take some of the dangerously overexposed planets you captured from the enemy deep in their territory, and swap them for the planets the enemy holds as a bridgehead in your territory.
Even aside from any change of territory during the conflict, what started things to begin with was it turns out there were overlapping colony territories, with Cardassia having claimed more than they'd started colonies with, and things being fairly intermixed.

So yea, the borders were a mess to begin with and leaving them at the starting position or such would be bad.


All this stuff about "The Federation just couldn't get over the colonists leaving?" Nah, that was self-serving of Eddington. It was a matter that the colonists wanted the Federation as protectors (they didn't have much end-game otherwise), and the Federation cared more about the long-term stability of the border and such than they did keeping worlds because they had more worlds. The Marquis were essentially trying to re-start a war in order to force the Federation to properly claim these worlds which is just *not* the Federation, we've seen on other situations them moving colonies around to avoid problems (remember the time when Picard pulled legal-fu to force aliens to give a Fed colony time to evacuate properly?).

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-13 12:55pm

Oh god that part of that episode was awesome.

The big bug-aliens were constantly pulling all this inflexible legalistic bullshit and finally Picard succeeded in bullshitting them right back using the text of their own treaty, and Riker was like "I think you enjoyed that sir," and Picard was like "You're damn right I did."

:D
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-13 02:54pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-10-13 12:55pm
Oh god that part of that episode was awesome.

The big bug-aliens were constantly pulling all this inflexible legalistic bullshit and finally Picard succeeded in bullshitting them right back using the text of their own treaty, and Riker was like "I think you enjoyed that sir," and Picard was like "You're damn right I did."

:D
for me the best part was how the alien who acted smug and arrogant clearly knowing that the time he had given to the Enterprise crew was nowhere close to enough to remove the colonist in any other way then orbital bombardment, sounded utterly and totally defeated and humiliated when Picard won not thru brute force or consessions but thru using the very treaty the aliens tried to use as a weapon there.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-13 03:12pm

Or in 'Up the Long Ladder' (shudder), they evacuated the Bringloidi/Space Irish from their world (due to solar flares rather than neighbors), or in DS9's progress where Kira moves the last farmer off the inhabited moon of Jeraddo before it's core gets tapped for power generation for Bajor. Or when Worf's human brother evacuated the colony of proto-vulcans on the holodeck.

And the Ensigns of Command example, where while Kirk was doing Legal-Fu, Data getting the colonist to pack up, fairly forcefully. ""Things can be replaced. Lives cannot."

In short, planetary relocations are a thing that happens reasonably often in Trek, do not stretch their resources, and are not a particularly horrible thing because unlike in real life a lot, they *can* guarantee you new land and good standard of living where you arrive. The circumstances that force them are often unfortunate and the desire to not move understandable, but trek has often take a fairly 'if you have to, get up and move,' stance.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lonestar » 2017-10-13 05:14pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2017-10-13 05:46am

Ah. I am operating on memory, been a while since I actually watched TNG. That having been said, the point still stands. They fought that war for a loooooong time without every going to a war footing and while dealing with lots of other shit. The Cardassian economy imploded.
I think it's worth mentioning that the Klingons were able to roll the Cardassian Union in a couple of weeks as well. The Klingons and Romulans are clearly considered peers/near-peers to the UFP, so it's a reasonable measuring stick of relative Cardassian power.

You might say that "doesn't count, the Cardassian Union was unstable because of the revolution on the planet" but the Klingons had came out of a civil war not too long previously and had fought the Borg in at least one fleet action as well. It wasn't like the Klingons would have been at the top of their game either.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-13 05:44pm

The Cardassian's instability may have *helped*, but even chaos shouldn't cause that level of falling apart if they weren't badly outmatched.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lonestar » 2017-10-13 06:20pm

Yeah, that's my point. A lotta people point at the revolution as the reason why they got rolled so easily; I disagree.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-14 12:28am

If you ask me the issue wasn't ever could UFP defeat the Cardassian Union if said conflict was their sole focus, but rather the cardassian war was "the straw that broke the camel's back", it was an expense they didn't want to or couldn't afford at that point, even if in and of itself it wouldn't been a major burden.

So UFP exchanged some minor colonies along the border for peace, we should also remember that cardassians lost systems in the exchange as well at least Bajor but presumebly others was well, so it wasn't a case of UFP buckling.

Also we should remember that accurate intel during war is very hard to come by and it's possible that UFP wasn't aware that Cardassian Union had ecomonically imploded and wouldn't have been able to keep on fighting regardless.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Gandalf » 2017-10-14 02:19am

I don't think the Cardassian Union was ever really stable, but that an alliance between the military and the secret police kept it all in about one piece. Bellies were full and dissenters were neutralised, but that was about it.

The military probably had a lot of great parades, and their projects (like Terok Nor) probably created a lot of jobs, but when it came time to actually accomplish something like fighting a war or occupying Bajor, they just couldn't make it work.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-14 04:21am

Gandalf wrote:
2017-10-14 02:19am
I don't think the Cardassian Union was ever really stable, but that an alliance between the military and the secret police kept it all in about one piece. Bellies were full and dissenters were neutralised, but that was about it.

The military probably had a lot of great parades, and their projects (like Terok Nor) probably created a lot of jobs, but when it came time to actually accomplish something like fighting a war or occupying Bajor, they just couldn't make it work.
I see the Cardassian Union of this era being kind of like the Soviet Union of the 1980s they've ran out resources to maintain themselves but due to propaganda and stubborness of the leaders they're able to project an image of a powerful and stable nation.

in essense a big part of the reason why Cardassian Union fell into third rate power was their obessesion of trying to project an image of a first rate power even when their resources couldn't sustain it. So when they tried a quick "smash and grab" operation against some UFP colonies in the border and UFP didn't just accept but sent starships to oppose the Cardassians the whole house of cards collapsed as Cardassian Union never had the resources to face a real major power and in fact was critically overtaxed in terms of resources just pretending to be a major power during peacetime.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-10-14 04:26am

And then they signed on with the Dominion and caught demoted to client state with a puppet government, instead of an equal ally.

And then they tried to rebel, and got nearly exterminated.

The recent history of Cardassia is a history of a government making very poor choices that often involved, as you noted, trying to punch outside their weight class. And they weren't all Gul Dukat's, either.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-15 10:04am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-10-14 04:26am
And then they signed on with the Dominion and caught demoted to client state with a puppet government, instead of an equal ally.

And then they tried to rebel, and got nearly exterminated.

The recent history of Cardassia is a history of a government making very poor choices that often involved, as you noted, trying to punch outside their weight class. And they weren't all Gul Dukat's, either.
much of the "recent" Cardassian history can be summed as "keeping punching above their weight class, because they're too proud to admit they're punching above their weight class and suffering because of it".

And Gul Dukat is really just the general cardassian attitude brought to its (il)logical extreme. Gul Madred expressed similar attitude but in less extreme way then Dukat.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-15 01:29pm

I'm reminded of the Spartans. As the epilogue of Three states, Agesilaus II was considered one of the greatest Spartan kings, often held up as an image of an ideal leader, and during his reign Sparta fell from being the greatest power in Greece to a mere shadow. Cleomenes II reigned for decades after that, waged little war, is largely forgotten by history, and the Spartans declined no more during that period.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-10-15 11:31pm

Lord Revan wrote:
2017-10-14 12:28am
If you ask me the issue wasn't ever could UFP defeat the Cardassian Union if said conflict was their sole focus, but rather the cardassian war was "the straw that broke the camel's back", it was an expense they didn't want to or couldn't afford at that point, even if in and of itself it wouldn't been a major burden.
That is one possibility for why the Federation wanted peace at that time. There are other possibilities:
- The Federation does not like being at war when they can be at peace.
- The war has hurt the Cardassian's enough that they were willing to accept a treaty that left them in a noticeably worse position than they were at the start of the war. Discouraging them from attempting another war.
- The treaty allowed the Federation to accomplish some humanitarian goal that they couldn't with pre-war borders.

It was probably a combination of options.

Bajor alone could satisfy the last two options. A treaty that puts Bajor on the Federation side of the border would hurt the Cardassians in a way that they will remember, while accomplishing the humanitarian goals of ending the occupation and allowing the Federation to help in reconstruction. If Bajor then chooses to join the Federation, that's just twisting the knife.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Gandalf » 2017-10-16 12:39am

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-10-15 11:31pm
That is one possibility for why the Federation wanted peace at that time. There are other possibilities:
- The Federation does not like being at war when they can be at peace.
- The war has hurt the Cardassian's enough that they were willing to accept a treaty that left them in a noticeably worse position than they were at the start of the war. Discouraging them from attempting another war.
- The treaty allowed the Federation to accomplish some humanitarian goal that they couldn't with pre-war borders.
Perhaps the war itself was also quite controversial, meaning that it couldn't be escalated beyond "colonial border fires" and couldn't be dropped entirely. If the Cardassian way of fighting said war made every victory costly for the Federation, those in the legislature could have been pretty divided. It certainly caused a rift between Spock and Sarek.

Again, that's sort of a space Vietnam thing.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-16 04:44am

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-10-15 11:31pm
Lord Revan wrote:
2017-10-14 12:28am
If you ask me the issue wasn't ever could UFP defeat the Cardassian Union if said conflict was their sole focus, but rather the cardassian war was "the straw that broke the camel's back", it was an expense they didn't want to or couldn't afford at that point, even if in and of itself it wouldn't been a major burden.
That is one possibility for why the Federation wanted peace at that time. There are other possibilities:
- The Federation does not like being at war when they can be at peace.
- The war has hurt the Cardassian's enough that they were willing to accept a treaty that left them in a noticeably worse position than they were at the start of the war. Discouraging them from attempting another war.
- The treaty allowed the Federation to accomplish some humanitarian goal that they couldn't with pre-war borders.

It was probably a combination of options.

Bajor alone could satisfy the last two options. A treaty that puts Bajor on the Federation side of the border would hurt the Cardassians in a way that they will remember, while accomplishing the humanitarian goals of ending the occupation and allowing the Federation to help in reconstruction. If Bajor then chooses to join the Federation, that's just twisting the knife.
It's highly likely that treaty was result of combination of several factors, however my point is that the Federation didn't just cowardly bend over to avoid war but rather that Cardassian War had become burden the federation could and should avoid as the resources put to it were needed elsewhere and the peace treaty seemed to provide the means to that while allowing UFP to hold on to its dignity afterwards.

honestly I'd say the final treaty was a result of all 4 possibilities repesented here.
  1. As a rule of thumb UFP doesn't like being in war, this is a known canon fact,
  2. The war had hurt the cardassians enough that they were willing to accept a treaty that didn't say "The Cardassian Union gets all the resources and systems we want for free"
  3. UFP was able to "get involved" in things it couldn't previously (like forcing the Cardassian Union to leave Bajor)
  4. and last but not final the recent astropolical events made it so that if UFP could stop cardassian war with reasonble terms it should as the resources sunk to that war were needed elsewhere.
I also suspect that the treaty was a result of years of negoations rather then something done overnight, in essenese there was a shaky truce in place before those events but it wasn't until later that a proper peace treaty was made.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-28 12:50am

Lord Revan wrote:
2017-10-16 04:44am
honestly I'd say the final treaty was a result of all 4 possibilities repesented here.
  1. As a rule of thumb UFP doesn't like being in war, this is a known canon fact,

It is fascinating to me how I've seen this discussion over the years, and how many people don't get this/don't factor it in.

The Federation isn't stupid about war, they'll respond to active threats, but they very much do not wish for war and don't consider 'but we could eliminate them as a rival/potential threat once and for all,' much of a temptation, since they know it also eliminates them as potential future friends.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-10-28 02:06am

Q99 wrote:
2017-10-28 12:50am
Lord Revan wrote:
2017-10-16 04:44am
honestly I'd say the final treaty was a result of all 4 possibilities repesented here.
  1. As a rule of thumb UFP doesn't like being in war, this is a known canon fact,

It is fascinating to me how I've seen this discussion over the years, and how many people don't get this/don't factor it in.

The Federation isn't stupid about war, they'll respond to active threats, but they very much do not wish for war and don't consider 'but we could eliminate them as a rival/potential threat once and for all,' much of a temptation, since they know it also eliminates them as potential future friends.
I think a factor of it is fans not really getting how countries behave when surrounded by rough equals rather then being the sole big dog around. Any major wars the Federation is gonna get involved in will spill over to Federation territory it's unavoidble really and thus cause death and destruction on UFP planets.

While there's certainly a degree of distaste for war, there's also prudent and pragmatic idea that "the cost of eliminating these people as rivals/potential threats thru violence and war would be way too high, so lets eliminate them as potential threats/rivals by making them our friends and allies, thus eliminating the potential threat but gaining a friend in the process", sure that doesn't always work but when it does the potential benefits outweight the negatives most of the times.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2017-10-29 09:26am

It's worth remembering that turning people who could fight with them into friends is how the Federation was made.

Even if they were the sole big dog, it wouldn't be their way- or to their benefit, in their view. Threat elimination ranks behind friend making.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-02-05 04:56pm

Yeah, the Federation doesn't shy from a fight when its back is to the wall- on DS9, it was projected that the Federation would sustain 900 billion casualties against the Dominion before caving, which even for a 150+ world civilization is an enormous death toll. Multiple respected Federation captains have shown a willingness to order their ships to ram enemy vessels in kamikaze attacks if they feel that the stakes are high enough.

They simply don't jump to military force as the first or best option for solving their problems.
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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Q99 » 2018-02-08 03:40pm

Thus their long term enemies have learned the old 'confusing non-aggressive for soft is a mistake lesson.'

Also on the Marquis.... thinking it over more, "You must defend our claim to disputed territory we only moved to 20 years ago," is pretty darn iffy stuff, even putting border wars and treaties aside. Most nations from *our* time would side-eye that, let alone the Federation.

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Re: Federation actively supporting Cardassians against the Maquis

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-02-09 04:21am

As I said before some "fans" seem to have problems understanding that the United Federation of Planets is among rough equals and thus they cannot understand the pragmatic aspect of the federation policy of non-aggressiveness.

This leads to the "federation are bunch of softies" or "federation are hypocrites" claims since people don't seem to get that "We won't start a fight with you but we'll finish it for sure and not in your favor" can be a valid policy when dealing with equals.
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