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In "A Call to Arms" (DS9, episode 5x26), it is made clear that the Dominion has a non-aggression pact with Bajor, which would prevent the Cardassians from retaking Bajor.

However, since DS9 is under the control of Bajor (ever since the occupation ended) and only administered by the Federation, why did the Bajorans allow the Cardassians to take control of the station?

Shouldn't it be protected by the non-aggression pact as well?

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Sisko causes a very complicated chain of events. The most reasonable explanation is that the Bajoran government replaced Starfleet with the Dominion as administrators of the station. When Starfleet refused to surrender the station, the Dominion were authorized to remove them.

Mining the Wormhole constituted an act of aggression against the Dominion. This seriously pisses off Weyoun, and he demands that the mines be removed. However, Bajor hasn't signed a non-aggression pact yet; the paper wasn't signed until about halfway through the episode.

Weyoun's threat to Sisko is that the Dominion will take control of DS9 if the mines are not removed. At the time, he has no way of enforcing this without compromising the negotiations with Bajor, although Sisko clearly believes this won't stop him.

However, Bajor signs the treaty shortly afterwards, and it had one very particular condition:

Sisko: Captain's log, supplemental. Bajor has signed the non-aggression treaty with the Dominion. All Bajoran personnel have been ordered to evacuate the station

And as Rom tells Leeta after their wedding:

Rom: First Minister Shakaar was very clear: all Bajroans must leave the station for their own safety.

And shortly after this, General Martok reveals that the Dominion/Cardassian fleet is headed to DS9, obviously intent on attacking. However, at this point Sisko believes as you do:

Worf: The Dominion fleet should be within weapons range in 20 minutes.
Sisko: Let's hope the Dominion honours the non-aggression pact.

It's not clear at this point exactly what is happening, but a later line from Major Kira helps explain:

Kira: Captain, as a major in the Bajoran Militia I must officially protest Starfleet's refusal to turn this station over to my government.

What seems likely is that a condition of the non-aggression pact was that Starfleet relinquish administrative control over DS9. Considering Sisko's act of aggression against the Dominion, this would be a pretty reasonable thing to ask.

Sisko, however, has refused under Starfleet orders: he needs to finish setting up the minefield, at any cost. At this point Starfleet is technically an occupying force, which Bajor needs to remove. I have no doubt that Weyoun and Dukat helpfully volunteered their fleet to help in this task.

It's also important to note that Major Kira, Odo, and the other Bajoran personnel continue working on DS9 after Starfleet leaves. A secondary clause of the treaty was probably that the Dominion take over administrative control from Starfleet - also not unreasonable, since Bajor clearly doesn't have the resources to manage it themselves. EDIT: As Tritium21 points out in comments, this is explicitly stated at least once, in A Time to Stand:

Kira: We'd [the Bajorans] would like the station's Bajoran security force reinstated.
Damar: I suppose you want us to give them back their weapons as well.
Kira: [Nods] That's right.
Dukat: The station no longer requires a Bajoran security force. Our troops can handle any problems that might arise.
Kira: The Federation and Bajor always shared equal responsibility for station security. I thought you [Weyoun] said that we would have the same arrangement with the Dominion. After all, we are all friends here, aren't we?
Weyoun: [To Dukat] Perhaps you should reconsider your decision.
Dukat: The order stands.

Clearly Weyoun did promise the Bajoran people that Terok Nor would be a joint venture between the two governments. It's equally clear that Dukat has other ideas, but that's a different issue.

However, later in the episode Weyoun says something else interesting to Jake Sisko:

Weyoun: This is not an "occupation", this is a Cardassian station.

So it's not actually entirely clear what DS9's status is under this non-aggression treaty. As I see it, there are two explanations:

  1. Bajor surrendered control of DS9 to the Dominion, and the Dominion gave it to Cardassia to govern. This would be a bad thing for Bajor to have agreed to, but in fairness Weyoun is a master manipulator, and Bajor's government is still in its infancy; it's possible he just out-manoeuvred them
  2. DS9 is a joint operation between Bajor and the Dominion, and Weyoun's remark was a slip of the tongue. This seems the likeliest situation, and is certainly in Bajor's best interests. But Weyoun's comment is hard to reconcile; I don't believe it was a slip of the tongue, because Weyoun is far too crafty. However, I don't have any better explanation
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    Good answer. It's fairly obvious that while Bajor is officially siding with the Dominion, but unofficially still sides with the Federation in all of this. This sort of "we officially request you leave," "no," "okay, we tried," situation isn't all that uncommon in international relations. Several Japanese requests for the US to leave Japanese territory during the Cold War - which the Japanese government did not want to happen, but had to pretend they wanted due to the unpopularity of the US among the general public - immediately spring to mind. – James Sheridan Nov 1 '14 at 22:46
  • Note that the phrase "[The Bajorans] have the same agreement with [the dominion] as [The Bajorans] had with the Federation" is used constantly throughout the six episode arc. – Tritium21 Nov 5 '14 at 1:17
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    "A Time to Stand", i don't have access at the moment to get the exact quote, but Odo is asking Weyoun to reinstate his deputies under the same terms as under the federation, which was promised. tor.com/blogs/2014/08/… will have to suffice till i have access to netflix. The Gist of the conversation was odo being upset that the dominion is not treating bajor and ds9 like the federation did. – Tritium21 Nov 5 '14 at 1:45
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    @Tritium21 I'll watch the episode tonight and add a quote; thanks for the tip! – Jason Baker Nov 5 '14 at 1:46
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    In theory, "Cardassian station" could refer to the construction of DS9 rather than its ownership (i.e. "Cardassian station" = "station built by the Cardassians") but a) that's a stretch and b) it's unclear that this would be relevant in context. OTOH perhaps the Dominion does not recognize a difference between "station built by the Cardassians" and "station (rightfully) owned by the Cardassians." – Kevin Nov 17 '16 at 7:13
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Sisko said to.

The logic Sisko used to convince the Bajorans to accept the NAP was that the Federation could not guarantee the safety of the system if the Dominion decided to attack. Sisko was a person with a great deal of sway over the hearts and minds of the Bajorans - both as a secular strong figure with a head on his shoulders, and as a religious icon. The Bajorans signed the pact both trusting that Sisko knew what he was doing and as a leap of faith.

For Protection (in the La Cosa Nostra sense of the word)

Following Sisko's guidance, the Bajorans turned to the Dominion (of which the Cardasians were a slave state) for protection. Now, if it was a protection racket or an actual legitimate offer of military support is questionable, and most likely a racket. That said, appearances matter. The logical place to protect the Bajoran system from attack would be Terok Nor, as the station itself would also be a key target. All other considerations aside, the NAP would not have worked if they did not let the Dominion control the station.

  • I don't buy your second point. Bajor's agreement with the Dominion had nothing to do with protection, except to ensure they wouldn't be targeted during the war. I agree that Cardassia may be using "protection" as an excuse to continue occupying Terok Nor as a Dominion military installation, but I find it unlikely that protection was a term of the agreement – Jason Baker Nov 5 '14 at 4:20
  • edited for clarity – Tritium21 Nov 5 '14 at 11:47
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An odd way of looking at it:

The wormhole entrance was a minefield. It was inaccessible for all practical functions. So the station can't be used as a port "its retrofitted function". It can't be used as a refinery "because Bajor isn't being strip-mined anymore, so any material would have to be imported. It's just not worth the effort.".

For all practical uses, the station was useless to the Bajorans at that time. Why put up with the operating costs? At the same time, the Dominion needed an administration point for the area, so they had a use for it. I suspect the Bajorans leased the station to the Dominion as a peace offering, and to eliminate the cost of running an effectively useless station.

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