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Federation-Cardassian War

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Federation-Cardassian Wars

Emblem of the United Federation of Planets

Emblem of the Cardassian Union

Date: c.2347-2360s
Location: Federation-Cardassian border
Result: Strategic Stalemate;
Federation-Cardassian Treaty;
creation of the Demilitarized Zone
Belligerents
United Federation of Planets Cardassian Union
Notable commanders
Benjamin Maxwell
Jean-Luc Picard
Edward Jellico
Alynna Nechayev
Raymond
Madred
Evek
Lemec

The Federation-Cardassian Wars, known in the Federation as the Cardassian Wars or Border Wars, were prolonged conflicts between the Federation and the Cardassian Union, which started as far back as 2347 and lasted into the 2350s. (Smaller skirmishes, not officially considered part of the wars, continued into the 2360s.) The ensuing stalemate by the mid-2360s advantaged neither side in firepower or territory. A 2367 truce enforced an end to hostilities but left key questions unresolved; the finalized treaty, unsigned until 2370, formed a demilitarized zone between the powers, creating a new border and clarifying claims to planets such as Dorvan V. (TNG: "The Wounded", "Journey's End", "Chain of Command, Part I", "Chain of Command, Part II"; DS9: "Tribunal")

The use of the plural "wars" may indicate that cease fires, treaties and declarations of war took place more than once. This also helps to explain the seemingly confused dating.

The wars raged in a series of conflicts of various sizes as the two powers struggled to protect their individual interests. A major incident was the Setlik III massacre. The Federation starship USS Rutledge under the command of Captain Benjamin Maxwell was the first vessel to respond to the colony's distress calls. The Rutledge went on to become involved in other conflicts during these wars. Many members of the ship's crew exhibited signs of xenophobia towards Cardassians thereafter. (TNG: "The Wounded") The USS Tecumseh, commanded by Captain Raymond, also saw extensive combat. (DS9: "Nor the Battle to the Strong")

Prior to 2355, the USS Stargazer was involved in a truce offering by the Federation in sector 21503. After making contact with a Cardassian warship, Captain Picard lowered the ship's shields as a gesture of good will, but the Cardassian commander ignored the gesture and disabled the Stargazer's weapons and impulse engines. The Stargazer managed to regroup and flee. (TNG: "The Wounded")

This was at some point between the mid-2340s and 2355.

While Kathryn Janeway held the rank of lieutenant, she was a member of an away team defending a Federation outpost from Cardassians during the border conflict. The Cardassians fought for the outpost for weeks, and at one point ended up in a three day long firefight. In the end, Starfleet secured the outpost and all members of the away team were decorated by Starfleet Command. (VOY: "Prey")

This was before 2363 when Janeway became a commander on the USS Billings, placing her on the USS Al-Batani under Owen Paris.

Much of the fighting went on in the area of space that would later become the DMZ. The Beloti sector was a hot spot during the wars, and in the 2350s, gravitic mines were deployed in the sector. (TNG: "Ethics") The Cardassian Union pushed into Federation space, and Federation systems such as Minos Korva were disputed territory during the wars. In 2369, two years after the established truce, the Cardassians unsuccessfully attempted to take the system. (TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II") Members of Starfleet further feared that the Cardassians would try to annex the Igo sector in that year. (TNG: "Realm of Fear")

Losses during the wars left deep scars on both sides. For instance, Gul Evek lost two of his three sons during the Cardassian Wars, and Captain Benjamin Maxwell lost his entire family. Starfleet officers such as Will Kayden and Raymond Boone died during the war. Popular Federation ambassadors Spock and Sarek (Spock's father) disagreed publicly over the Cardassian Wars, which led to a serious divide in their relationship and family. (TNG: "Journey's End", "The Wounded", "Unification I"; DS9: "Tribunal") Tensions remained between the two expanding powers. Many seasoned veterans from both sides were called upon by their respective governments to face each other again during the Dominion War that began in late 2373.

From what we know of the Maquis and the DMZ, it seems this war started because the Federation and the Cardassians colonized a number of Class M planets in proximity to each other. Both sides seem to have recognized a different border line. The Cardassians sought to annex several crucial worlds along the border, perhaps because of the same resource shortages that had led them to the Occupation of Bajor, while perceiving Federation colonization in a similar context.

Chronology Edit

2347 
Cardassians attack Setlik III, claiming preemptive strike
2350 
Federation citizens (Native Americans) settle on the disputed Dorvan V
2350s 
Gravitic mines deployed in the Beloti sector
Prior to 2355 
USS Stargazer makes a truce offer, it is rejected with force
Prior to 2358 
The wars claim many adult Camorite lives and Camor V government records
Prior to 2363 
Cardassians attempt to take a Federation outpost leading to weeks of combat
Mid 2360s 
Conflicts settle into an effective stalemate
2366 
Open hostilities end
2367 
Ceasefire agreement signed
Starfleet notices suspicious activity near Cardassian border
USS Phoenix attacks Cardassian outposts without orders
2368 
USS Denver hits a gravitic mine
A truce is established, but questions remain about the border
2369 
Starfleet suspects Cardassians of planning to annex Igo sector
The Cardassians attempt to take Minos Korva
2370 
The Federation-Cardassian Treaty is finalized and the DMZ formed
Prior to 2371
The Jankata Accord is signed by both parties

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