The Ferengi were first introduced to us in TNG, and I read that the writers originally intended for them to be the next big threat of sorts. However, DS9 seemed to portray them as a sort of minor power, essentially a small child which could be brushed aside by the Federation. I never got the impression that the Ferengi were particularly strong. While their emphasis on neutrality has certainly increased rather than diminished their influence, their excessive capitalistic ideals seem to inhibit their development. On the other hand, that same ideological structure regarding economies would seem to make them capable of producing a fair amount of war materials should the need arise. What do you think? While the Ferengi would undoubtedly succumb to a major power as the Federation or Klingons, could they potentially hold their own against the Cardassians or Breen?