Toward the end of The Undiscovered Country, it is revealed that

the Humans Admiral Cartwright and Colonel West, Klingon General Chang, Romulan Ambassador Nanclus, and Vulcan Lieutenant Valeris, possibly among others

were cooperating to prevent the signing of the Khitomer accords. The latter claims she's working to protect Starfleet, but it doesn't completely make sense why she'd be closely cooperating with enemies of Starfleet to do so. All of those participants have the same goal, but the reasons behind that goal is some pretty basic distrust of each other.

So how did this conspiracy happen? Was she lying about their motives?

  • 1
    An enemy of my enemy is my best friend, springs to mind...
    – Jared
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 0:16
  • "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." Distrust was part of the conspirators' motivation but the larger issue was fear of change. There is ample historical precedent for the kind of conspiracy that unfolded in the film. The assassination of Anwar Sadat illustrates what can happen when profound change is initiated, even when your goals are benign.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 6:00

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of any reason to suspect that Valeris is lying. Her explanation is consistent with remarks made by several characters in the film. The motives of the conspirators are explained in the same remarks.

  • The Romulans want to keep two competing powers hostile toward each other.

AMBASSADOR NANCLUS "Mr. President, they ARE vulnerable. There'll never be a better time..."

  • The Klingons are concerned that their society will be subsumed by the Federation.

UNNAMED KLINGON GENERAL: "Attack or be slaves in their world!"


KERLA: "Better to die on our feet than live on our knees..."

  • The Starfleet officers are worried that the federation will invest fewer resources in defence if hostilities toward the Klingons are ceased.

SPOCK: "If the Klingons sue for peace, we could accumulate savings in defense expenditures, leaving the Federation economy free to grapple with urgent social problems..."

A MILITARY MAN: "Bill, are we talking about mothballing the Starfleet?"

CinC: "I'm sure our exploration and science programs would not be affected, but the facts speak for themselves, Captain."

Quotes from here.

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