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Old June 25 2012, 11:36 AM   #16
Nightdiamond
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

I always thought the Cardassians had the potential to be a major 1st power threat even without the Dominion. It's just that the Fed had too much of a headstart.

The Cardassians had the infastructure, organized military, scientific development and industry.

If its size were larger and had more ship power and technology, (and resources) they could have easily had taken on the entire Federation, simply because of their organized structure.

But as power after the war, they're finished. Their entire society will probably be reformed- no more empire for them.
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Old June 25 2012, 03:19 PM   #17
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

^I respectfully disagree, Nightdiamond. I mean no offense by my statements. I don't think that Cardassia had anything approaching the industry of the Feds, Klingons or Romulans. They had to resort to slave labor, and apparently 12 industrial-sized replicators were enough to get them up and running, indicating a relatively small size (more on that), and a low manufacturing capacity.

I posit that they had relatively few worlds because Bajor is often described as next door to Cardassia and while the Cardassians were a space-faring civilization for centuries, they had not invaded Bajor until the last two generations. Granted, they were less militaristic until the last century ("Chain of Command"), but it seems that mineral-rich, defenseless Bajor would be any empire's first target.

Their military capabilities seemed lacking as well. Benjamin Maxwell's Nebula-class starship was cutting through the Union like a hot knife through butter. I'm not saying that those he could have taken on the Union on his own, but no single Cardassian ship was a match for him (I'd argue that Nebulas are stronger than Galaxy-class ships, BTW).

Combined with my previous arguments about low industry and what-not, I'd say that the only true assets that Cardassia possesses are fine generals and sneaky tactics. This is actually what we see onscreen, too. The best Cardassian villains, Lemec, Garak (yes, he's a villain) and Tain, were all threatening because of their underhanded ways. The worst/most ineffective, Damar, Madred (not a bad character, just ineffective villain) and Evek, never showed any true prowess militarily. Damar is a funny case in that once he became a hero he actually became competent.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:36 PM   #18
Nightdiamond
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

No offense at all! In fact I used to think the same thing about the Cardassians-that they were militarily much weaker than the Fed.

Then I saw some things on DS9 that made me see it another way. I'll explain in a few points;

The Cardassian military is very organized- it's large enough that they have it arranged in Orders or fleets. They also have the capacity to build a number of space stations and ship yards.

Gul Dukat seemed capable of directing and winning the war from the station during the war.

Their scientists are very intelligent. They figured out how to remove the minefield. They developed super weapons (on their own) that were effective.

They designed a drone that was nearly unstoppable, and the Orbital weapons platforms that nearly wiped out a combined Allied fleet.

I realized that they have a strong system of organization and discipline that could make them a serious threat.

I'll admit, the problem is, their ships are outclassed by the Federation, and Cardassia is smaller in size than the Federation. Their economy is weaker and dependent on strip mining of other planets. (They also have a brutal self defeating philosophy)

The Fed had a tech advantage. and a much better head start on them.

However-if the Cardassian Union were larger, had more ships, and updated tech, and they had the same system of organization that they had before the war, they would have been a much, much more dangerous match for the Federation.

Last edited by Nightdiamond; June 26 2012 at 12:47 PM.
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Old June 28 2012, 01:19 AM   #19
ILOVETREK1701
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

The Federation would definitely help them. As for the Romulans and Klingons well lets just say not a good time to be a cardi.
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Old June 30 2012, 09:12 PM   #20
R. Star
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
No offense at all! In fact I used to think the same thing about the Cardassians-that they were militarily much weaker than the Fed.

Then I saw some things on DS9 that made me see it another way. I'll explain in a few points;

The Cardassian military is very organized- it's large enough that they have it arranged in Orders or fleets. They also have the capacity to build a number of space stations and ship yards.

Gul Dukat seemed capable of directing and winning the war from the station during the war.

Their scientists are very intelligent. They figured out how to remove the minefield. They developed super weapons (on their own) that were effective.

They designed a drone that was nearly unstoppable, and the Orbital weapons platforms that nearly wiped out a combined Allied fleet.

I realized that they have a strong system of organization and discipline that could make them a serious threat.

I'll admit, the problem is, their ships are outclassed by the Federation, and Cardassia is smaller in size than the Federation. Their economy is weaker and dependent on strip mining of other planets. (They also have a brutal self defeating philosophy)

The Fed had a tech advantage. and a much better head start on them.

However-if the Cardassian Union were larger, had more ships, and updated tech, and they had the same system of organization that they had before the war, they would have been a much, much more dangerous match for the Federation.
That's like saying if Germany had more planes, tanks, oil and men, they would have won World War II. Sure it's true, but it doesn't exactly mean much.

Cardassia was advanced enough to compete with the great powers and be acknowledged by them, but not really enough to be truely threatening. Most of their greatest schemes involve tricking and outmanuvering their opponents.

Dukat wasn't a threatening villain because he had a huge fleet as his command, but because he was so unpredictable he kept the good guys guessing.

Their scientists were very capable. Damar personally brought down the minefield and those Orbital Defense Platforms would have been far more threatening if they didn't have such an exploitable flaw. Apparently it was corrected being we saw a series of those platforms deployed around Cardassia in What You Leave Behind.

But after all the Klingons brought the Cardassians to their knees fairly easily, they never were able to hunt down a terrorist group like the Maquis and you get the impression during that first war with the Federation, the Starfleet was fighting more a war of containment and checks than actually trying to beat them.

They are a capable power, but short of dramatic shifts of power like them joining the Dominion, they weren't going to be truely threatening.
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Old July 1 2012, 04:48 AM   #21
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

The Overlord wrote: View Post
What do you think likely happened to Cardassia Union after the Dominion War?
Cardassians would be stripped of the majority of their territory. Certainly any "colonies" with indigenous populations would be evacuated of the resident Cardassians, and should the natives be primitive, Cardassian technology and structures would be removed. Any star systems/planets in previously disputed areas would be transferred to non-Cardassian parties. Chakotay's people would finally get their planet back, others too. There would be legitimate need for the Cardassians to retain small patrol starships, but their medium and heavy warships would be confiscated. Colonies established on uninhabited world might remain the territory of the Cardassians.

JRoss wrote: View Post
They never really were threatening until the Dominion propped them up.
Picard (from Journey's End): "... the last war caused massive destruction and cost millions of lives. Don't send our two peoples back down that same path again."

While you could claim that was very one sided, that the vast majority of deaths were Cardassians, and Starfleet was just hosing down civilian populations with phaser fire from orbit, it sounds more like the Cardassians had a large military that could dish it up, as well as take it.

In The Wounded, nearly a year after the end of the war, Vice Admiral Haden said "... Federation is not prepared for a new sustained conflict."

Benjamin Maxwell's Nebula-class starship was cutting through the Union like a hot knife through butter.
Maxwell destroyed one supply depot, one supply ship and a single warship.

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Old July 1 2012, 06:21 AM   #22
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

^And the warship fell with just one or two shots, which is the point.
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Old July 1 2012, 05:16 PM   #23
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

Destroying a single Cardassian warship of unknown size, during combat, isn't "cutting through the Union like a hot knife through butter."

Which was the point.




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Old July 1 2012, 09:14 PM   #24
Nightdiamond
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

R. Star wrote: View Post

That's like saying if Germany had more planes, tanks, oil and men, they would have won World War II. Sure it's true, but it doesn't exactly mean much.

Cardassia was advanced enough to compete with the great powers and be acknowledged by them, but not really enough to be truely threatening. Most of their greatest schemes involve tricking and outmanuvering their opponents.
But Germany, for a small country, came pretty close to dominating Europe. If you can believe Spock, the world too.

:SPOCK: Quite true, Captain. That tiny country, beaten, bankrupt, defeated, rose in a few years to stand only one step away from global domination.
I don't know how accurate Spock's statement was, though.

Cardassia could be seen in a similar way, except they were way too far behind in their current state to be a serious match for the Federation.

They were smaller, ships technologically behind the Feds (or some of their ships), and


But they did have the scientific, military, industrial and logistical base to be become a major power if they were bigger and had more resources to feed it.

Dukat wasn't a threatening villain because he had a huge fleet as his command, but because he was so unpredictable he kept the good guys guessing.
I dunno, the fact that he was directing the war, and winning it, during the first stages suggests he was pretty tactically sound-he caught on to Sisko's plan even when Weyoun, who seemed to be the senior adviser or something, couldn't see it.

They are a capable power, but short of dramatic shifts of power like them joining the Dominion, they weren't going to be truely threatening.
I tend to agree, except if they were bigger in size, and had more resources, they could possibly achieve it on their own.

Their near evil philosophy on certain things is their biggest weakness though.
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Old July 1 2012, 09:22 PM   #25
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

The moment Nazi Germany invaded Russia, it had lost.
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Old July 2 2012, 03:38 AM   #26
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

MacLeod wrote: View Post
The moment Nazi Germany invaded Russia, it had lost.
Abe Lincoln said it best, "One war at a time." When faced with the possibility of war with the Confederacy and Britain simotaniously during the Trent affair.
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Old July 2 2012, 03:44 AM   #27
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post

That's like saying if Germany had more planes, tanks, oil and men, they would have won World War II. Sure it's true, but it doesn't exactly mean much.

Cardassia was advanced enough to compete with the great powers and be acknowledged by them, but not really enough to be truely threatening. Most of their greatest schemes involve tricking and outmanuvering their opponents.
But Germany, for a small country, came pretty close to dominating Europe. If you can believe Spock, the world too.

:SPOCK: Quite true, Captain. That tiny country, beaten, bankrupt, defeated, rose in a few years to stand only one step away from global domination.
I don't know how accurate Spock's statement was, though.

Cardassia could be seen in a similar way, except they were way too far behind in their current state to be a serious match for the Federation.

They were smaller, ships technologically behind the Feds (or some of their ships), and


But they did have the scientific, military, industrial and logistical base to be become a major power if they were bigger and had more resources to feed it.

Dukat wasn't a threatening villain because he had a huge fleet as his command, but because he was so unpredictable he kept the good guys guessing.
I dunno, the fact that he was directing the war, and winning it, during the first stages suggests he was pretty tactically sound-he caught on to Sisko's plan even when Weyoun, who seemed to be the senior adviser or something, couldn't see it.

They are a capable power, but short of dramatic shifts of power like them joining the Dominion, they weren't going to be truely threatening.
I tend to agree, except if they were bigger in size, and had more resources, they could possibly achieve it on their own.

Their near evil philosophy on certain things is their biggest weakness though.
Really the Cardassians were a tragic race more than an evil one. You can almost symathize with where they were and how they got there. A culturally enlightened people who were starving and dying from disease. The military takes over and starts several aggressive wars to aquire more resources. Now you have people chaffing under military rule, dying from constant wars, battles and occupations. They finally manage to overthrow their military oppressors to found a democratic government and what happens? The Klingons declare they have to be changelings and invade. This reduces them to a 3rd rate power and puts them worse off than they were before, to the point they're having to rely on their former enemies, the Federation for help. You can almost see why Dukat did what he did in alligning Cardassia with the Dominion.

But really your arguement that "if they had more technology and resources they would be powerful" doesn't exactly mean much. Of course they would... what does that have to do with anything? If you gave Italy atomic weapons at the beginning of world war 2, they would have conquered the world with or without Germany.. while true that doesn't say anything about Italy as it was itself.

They were what they were, the militaristic bad guys that were quite obviously behind in technology. Their doctorine seemed to operate on quantity more than quality as you almost never see Cardassian ships operating alone. This is why they also had a first rate Intelligence service... that's low maintence compared to a massive military and often can achieve the same results.
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Old July 2 2012, 05:58 AM   #28
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

I've always had a bit of a problem with the single civilization powers like the Klingons, Romulans or the Cardassians seriously challenging the Federation which consists of more then 200 civilizations. But that's really an argument for another time. Clearly the Cardassians were dangerous but not overwhelming power politically or militarily. After all the Klingons did completely overwhelm their defenses fairly quickly. There is also the Cardassian war, first mentioned in TNG in "The Wounded." Interestingly though out of all the regulars on TNG, DS9 or Voyager, only Picard and O'brien seemed to have any direct experience in that war, which makes you wonder how widespread that war actually was.

There are hints at some sort of economic/ecological disaster that happened on Cardassia in the last several hundred years. Picard mentions in "Chain of Command" that Cardassia was once a prosperous civilization known for it's art and architecture before having some sort of catastrophe that allowed the military to form a dictatorship. I'm curious at why Cardassia would continue to struggle even into the late 24th century before the Cardassian war since it seems that the main resource in the 24th century is Energy. After all if you can transform silicon into gold or anything else you might need, the question of resources becomes very broad. And yet it seems clear that the Cardassian motivation for invading Bajor was economic. After all, Empok Nor/DS9 was designed primarily it seems to be a massive ore processing plant, but unfortunately it's never clear what ore (perhaps dilitium?) they were extracting. So I guess we have to take on screen evidence to mean that the Cardassians were lacking something. It also could come down to centuries of mismanagement by the Cardassian military dictatorship, even an enforced mismanagement to justify their continued control. After all if Cardassia is prosperous and the people have more economic freedom, they might start wanting other freedom as well.

Which leads me to think that Cardassia would probably still have the same struggles it did before, the pressures that led it to anex neighbors and strip mine them. Which means they will have to have some pretty dramatic changes to prosper. Japan after World War 2 might be a good model here. Japan is comparatively resource poor with a highly skilled population, which led it to start invading its neighbors during the 1930s for more resources and putting into a crash course with the U.S. After World War 2 Japan recovered at least in part by using its highly skilled population to manufacture while relying on other countries for raw materials. That kind of system demands the easy flow of resources back and forth between countries. That could easily come if Cardassia opened its borders (which previous to the Dominion War were highly armed and impermeable) and allowed free trade back and forth between them and the Federation.

As far as Elim Garak, I never pictured him as much of a leader. However I can imagine him as some sort of power broker working behind the scenes, kind of like a Shadow Shogun.

And while the Romulans and Klingons may be tempted to divide up Cardassia after the war, it seems like it would be a pretty difficult prospect considering the distance between those powers. While there are no official maps in Star Trek (beyond the vague ones that appear on various displays), most that I've seen including Star Trek Star Charts published by Geoffrey Mandel who worked on Enterprise and are probably the most comprehensive we have place Romulans and Klingons pretty firmly in the Beta quadrant separated from Cardassia and Bajor by a pretty big expanse of the Federation. Even if they wanted to, I doubt they would have the resources and will to maintain territory that far from their home space, especially if the only practical way through would be through Federation Space.

I would like to see where the Cardassians go. When they were first introduced they were one of my least favorite alien races on Star Trek, but over their time on DS9 I grew to really appreciate and love them. Some of my favorite secondary characters in Star Trek are among them like Garak, Dukat and Damar. I think they are among the most tragic civilizations that have been in Star Trek, ironically fighting for that spot with the civilization they ended up terrorizing, the Bajorans. But at least Bajor had something of a happy ending; Cardassia had centuries of poverty, war and sadness ending in the almost total destruction of their homeworld and the loss of over a trillion people.
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Old July 3 2012, 11:25 AM   #29
Nightdiamond
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

R. Star wrote: View Post

But really your arguement that "if they had more technology and resources they would be powerful" doesn't exactly mean much. Of course they would... what does that have to do with anything? If you gave Italy atomic weapons at the beginning of world war 2, they would have conquered the world with or without Germany.. while true that doesn't say anything about Italy as it was itself.
Of course, it seems that it goes without saying that if any power had much more weapons, or a super weapon they would win. Then again, it depends on whose hands they're in.

Germany had the jet planes and the missiles first, and still lost the war.

The ancient Persians had a much larger army and was well equipped and still couldn't defeat the Greeks.

On the other side of the coin, when the Greeks obtained more power, they conquered Persia--power and resources in the right hands.

Not that the Cardassians were going to beat the Federation, they were too far behind. But plug in some more power and resources to their military and intelligence base, the story might change.

I think this is why Dukat often referred to the Cardassians as the potentials leaders of the Alpha Quadrant-they probably thought the same thing.

'If we had just a little more resources and technology, we would dominate everybody else.'


Really the Cardassians were a tragic race more than an evil one. You can almost symathize with where they were and how they got there.
I do to some extent, because you can see the individuals in their society, but the atrocities their government committed against the Bajorans and God knows who else, is the deal breaker.

They were what they were, the militaristic bad guys that were quite obviously behind in technology. Their doctorine seemed to operate on quantity more than quality as you almost never see Cardassian ships operating alone. This is why they also had a first rate Intelligence service... that's low maintence compared to a massive military and often can achieve the same results.
Their intelligence service is another asset that made them dangerous. (to themselves as well as to other powers.)

At times it was hard to know whether Trek considered them a first power threat, or just a minor power that was dangerous to weaker neighbors.

They were either portrayed as dangerous threat, or weaker power with weaker technology. What made them different than the Klingons or Romulans?
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Old July 9 2012, 10:47 PM   #30
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Re: What likely happened to the Cardassian Union after the war

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).
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