In The Wounded, Admiral Haden tells Picard that peace with the Cardassians must be maintained, because the Federation is in no position to enter a new sustained conflict (presumably due to the then-recent ship losses in the battle of Wolf 359).

In Picard’s earlier log, we learn that the Federation and Cardassia have been at peace for over a year, which probably means that the truce was made after the Enterprise’s first encounter with the Borg, and before Wolf 359. We also know from the later show Deep Space Nine that the Cardassian Empire still had a fairly brutal occupation of Bajor going on at the time, and the episode itself shows that

the Cardassians probably still had anti-Federation military preparations going on, despite the supposed truce.

Is there anything in the show — or failing that, other materials — that suggests the Federation was prompted to make peace with the Cardassians because of its knowledge that the Borg were likely to attack soon?

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    Well, they also made alliances with the Son'a for much the same reason, as well as admitting a whole bunch of new members who were borderline unsuitable.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 21:53
  • Being unfamiliar with_Star Trek_, I have to wonder if there is some connection between these Cardassians and our Kardashians. Or if we can just please send the Kardashians off to Cardassia, just to get rid of them here. (Sorry, Cardassia.) Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


No such connection between the end of The Federation-Cardassian War and the Borg threat is made.

While on a tactical level, The Borg represented an existential threat to The Federation which required as much military focus as possible, their motivations in seeking peace through diplomacy were unlikely to have been purely tactical.

The Federation holds diplomacy as a key value; we've seen again and again that The Federation is committed to seeking and abiding by diplomatic agreements to resolve conflict wherever possible. The simple fact that The Federation and The Cardassian Union were in a protracted state of war would have been motivation enough to seek an alternative.

While nothing specific is said about this in licensed works, it is possible that the Borg threat prompted The Federation to make concessions at the bargaining table which they wouldn't have made without the Borg threat, and which closed the deal with the Cardassians. Similarly, the Cardassians may have been sufficiently concerned themselves with the Borg to be better disposed toward a treaty to free up resources for their own preparations. This remains a matter of speculation.

  • Yeah once I’d finished writing the question I kind of realised it could be summed up as “Why did the Federation make peace with the Cardassians?”, and, well, they are the Federation. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 10:16

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