^The analogy was not to the Soviets, but to more recent history, the post-superpower era. Back when the US and the USSR were treating the world as their personal chessboard, the other nations of the world often resented being used as pawns and being at the mercy of the two 800-pound gorillas. Once the USSR went away, those nations still weren't too happy about America being the exclusive superpower and throwing its weight around unilaterally. But these days there are more challenges to America's political, technological, and economic dominance, coming from places like China, India, and the European Union. Not necessarily enemies, just nations asserting their right to control their own fates rather than being at the mercy of a superpower. Star Trek
has always tried to reflect developments in the real world, and the Federation has usually been a surrogate for the United States. So it, like the US, is now finding itself having to adjust to the fact that it isn't the sole superpower in its world, that it won't necessarily have the power to shape the course of history all by itself but will have to share the stage with other powers that have different ideologies and priorities.