^I'll never understand readers who assume war is inevitable. In the history of Star Trek
, both screen and prose, stories about open warfare have been very rare. Maybe they've gotten more common starting with DS9, but Star Trek
is not, never has been, and hopefully never will be a franchise that's predominantly about war. If it were, it would've been called Star Wars
, and then George Lucas would've had to think of some other name for his little movie.
Also, keep in mind that the term "Cold War" comes from the real history of US-Soviet Union interactions in the mid-20th century. And that never blew up into open war; on the contrary, it was a decades-long standoff that ended with the collapse from within of one of the competing powers, followed by greatly improved, peaceful relations between the former mortal enemies. So to assume a cold war must inevitably escalate into hot war is to overlook actual history.
The one thing the Pact has been consistently in conflict with has been itself. It's never been anything like a united front; it's been six nations with separate agendas jockeying with each other for advantage. And if anything, their internal conflicts have only been escalating. You talk about "the two powers," but there are at least two major factions within
the Pact that are turning increasingly against each other