Knowing what eventually happens, was the Federation-Cardassian treaty a mistake on the part of the Federation Council and laid the groundwork for Cardassia becoming the Dominion's beachhead in the Alpha Quadrant? Or was it just a reflection of the Federation's ideals to pursue peace and something that was subsumed by the Dominion's plans? I believe on more than one occasion in season 2 it's called a mistake (e.g., even the Jem'Hadar taunt Sisko with the idea that it's a "tactical mistake" during first contact with the Dominion). And I always thought of the plot point as being more about setting up the Maquis for Voyager, but after re-watching the series, the peace treaty arguably plays a very important background role for setting up the conditions for the Dominion War. -The planetary concessions to the Cardassians creates a crisis within Starfleet, to the point that veteran officers were deserting or resigning their commissions to join the Maquis. And if that's happening within Starfleet, there's probably a significant division of opinion among civilians as well. -To the extent the peace treaty created the Maquis and the Maquis destabilized the Cardassian Central Command after the fall of the Obsidian Order, the effect was to create an insurgency on Cardassia's border that A) made the Cardassians look weakened, B) set up the invasion by the Klingons (via some Changeling influence), and C) made the Cardassians more receptive to Dominion membership as a way to claw back influence and stability. And to add to the mistake of it all, across both TNG and DS9, the Cardassians are never really shown to be living up to the treaty. They attack DS9 and try to take it right after Starfleet takes control, and they're caught smuggling weapons to the Cardassian colonies in the DMZ.