I think of the Cardassians during the war as being not unlike Italy to the Axis during World War Two.
While the Italians made a pretense of being tough guys, when the war really got going the Germans had to bail them out.
by the way, it reminds me of Winston Churchills comment about Italy when he learned they were fighting on the German side in WWII.
"It's only fair. We had them last time." (World War One).