Just another thought bubble for y'all.
"Yesterday's Enterprise" obviously underlines the fragility of the Klingon/UFP alliance. One incident is enough to make the difference between all out war or a kind of quasi-peace. And DS9 later did even more to show that, yes, it only takes a series of incidents for conflict to errupt between the two powers again.
I was flicking through the Chronology the other night and was surprised to be reminded that "Aquiel" established that Klingon forces were still conducting raids on UFP outposts as late as 2362 (which, if Data's establishment of the year in "The Neutral Zone" is any indication, was only a couple of years before the beginning of TNG in 2364). Bear in mind this was well
within the time period when both sides were supposed to have put their differences aside. To be fair, of course, we might extrapolate that, like the Klingons in "Heart Of Glory", the raids were conducted by renegades who do not believe in the sancity of the alliance.
Speaking of "Heart Of Glory"... if we take as read that there were still 'isolated incidents' between the Klingon Empire and the UFP as recently as only two years before the adventures chronicled in TNG started, then it's interesting to note the reaction of the Enterprise crew to the Klingons in that episode. Oh sure, Riker's over-dramatic exclaimation on seeing the Klingons might
be rationalized as being because Will wasn't expecting to see Klingons on board a Talarian freighter, but even when the Klingons are brought aboard the Enterprise and are undergoing their examination by Doctor Crusher, Will and the others act very suspicious of them. Like the very idea of Klingons being there still holds some
sort of animosity to the Starfleet characters, as if they aren't quite sure if the Klingons are friendly or not. Likewise, the Klingons, renegades or not renegades, react with a similar sense of distrust towards the Starfleet officers. Again, all of these reactions seem to indicate a far more fragile 'peace' in the 24th century between the UFP and the Empire than we might at first be led to assume.
Does anybody else think there's merit in this line of thought? Perhaps the UFP and Klingons have
had years of stable 'peace' (or, rather, simply haven't had many
incidents of conflict), but have simply had a degree of isolation from each other to the point where neither side is entirely sure where the other stands even as late as 2364? Depite the production gaff of having a Klingon representative with a UFP symbol on the viewscreen, it might be easier to assume that following the Khitomer accords and the incident at Narendra III, each side formally declared peace but have otherwise kept themselves to themselves? The Klingons are a proud people, I can imagine them perhaps deciding that their affairs are no matter for outsiders, alliance or no alliance...