So it's OK for any military power to invade another state only on the grounds of a suspicion
against its legal government?
I’m not talking about international law, I’m talking about survival. The Dominion presents an existential threat to both the Federation and the Klingon Empire. During the Civil War and World War II, the US government did a lot of things that would not necessarily be considered “OK” because the very survival of the nation was at stake.
Admittedly, the precedents set by such actions are not without their problems. After 9/11, George W. Bush frequently pointed to Civil War precedents and claimed that the War on Terror and the war in Iraq (which he started without good cause) gave him the right to do anything that Lincoln had done, as if there were no difference between the threat posed by the Civil War and Bush’s flimsy excuses. So you have to be careful about setting your standards, and be clear that just because something can be justified in extreme circumstances doesn’t mean it’s automatically justified in all circumstances.
Besides, I’m not advocating that the Federation actively participate in the invasion of Cardassia, merely that they stand aside. Just because the invasion may not be “OK” according to Federation standards of conduct doesn’t mean the Federation is compelled to intervene in a war between two other powers, especially when nonintervention would result in a victory for the Federation’s ally.
Come on, what obligation did the Federation have to defend Cardassia? There was no treaty between them. Does the Federation morally evaluate every war in the quadrant and intervene on behalf of the Good Guys against the Bad Guys? No. In most cases they don’t get involved. Why make an exception in this case?
And it was due to that same Dominion-influenced invasion that the Cardassians ended up joining the Dominion anyways. So the Klingons ended up causing what they hoped to avert.
No they didn’t. The Federation did.
Like I said, Sisko’s handling of the situation left the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and Cardassian space in the hands of three powers that hated each other. That fear of the other two would ultimately drive the weakest of the three into the hands of the Dominion is not surprising.
Had Sisko obeyed orders and stayed out of it, that space would have been controlled by two allied powers instead of three antagonistic powers, and there would have been no Cardassian government in a position to hand all that strategic space over to the Dominion.
Sisko was right for warning the cardassians...
Against orders? Why do the Admiralty and the CinC even exist if captains are free to ignore any orders they disagree with? (Of course, I’m OK with Sisko disobeying orders in the simulation in The Search. Like I said above, existential threats can justify actions that would ordinarily be unacceptable.)