No defense pact? What would you call Starfleet's presence on DS9?
Never mind me - Starfleet
would never dare call it that. And explicitly shied away from doing so in "The Circle"...
moral latitude to ignore any agreement if convenient.
Latitude (moral or otherwise) is something you buy with big guns. For some reason, people still sign deals with the UFP even when the signatories arrive onboard a Galaxy