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=^= 1.1.4 - Cardassian Union

Created by Captain Lirha Saalm on 12 Jul 2012 @ 12:33pm

Cardassian Union

The Cardassian Union, also referred to as the Cardassian Empire, is an interstellar political entity in the Alpha Quadrant, headed by the civilian Detapa Council and the military Central Command, based on planet Cardassia Prime.

The balance of political power between the Detapa Council and Central Command has shifted numerous time through history, influenced at times by the Obsidian Order, Cardassia's secretive intelligence organization. In 2372, the Detapa Council took control of the government, sparking suspicions of a Dominion-influenced coup and leading to a Klingon invasion. In 2373, Gul Skrain Dukat, then military advisor to the Detapa Council, secretly negotiated an alliance with the Dominion, making himself the nominal head of the Cardassian Union.

Throughout their entire expansionist period, the Cardassian government was a military dictatorship called the Central Command. Although traditionally under the control of the Detapa Council, the civilian ruling body, both the Central Command and the Obsidian Order intelligence agency often operated with virtual autonomy. The two agencies often vied with each other over governmental control and policies. A special military liaison office was present that served to link the Central Command to that of the Obsidian Order. It was effectively considered a neutral position though it had little power over the direction of the Order.

The primary space force of the Cardassian Union is the Cardassian Guard, which is administrated by Central Command. The Obsidian Order served as the primary intelligence organization for the Union, but no longer. A common award given by the Cardassian Union is the Legate's Crest of Valor. Though the Proficient Service Medallion was also a prestigious award. The head of the military and of Central Command was a Cardassian who held the rank of Gul-Tar. A civilian uprising to overthrow the Central Command restored power to the Detapa Council, but it remained influential in politics and society. When the Cardassians concluded their alliance with the Dominion, Cardassia became a virtual dictatorship, with Gul Dukat in command. Following the Dominion War the Cardassian Union became a representative democracy. The Detapa Council acts as the legislature of the Union. In the aftermath of the Dominion War, a democratic government was established, headed by Elim Garak.

On the border of Cardassian space, a new agreement was reached between the Union and the Federation to disband Cardassia's military, instead allowing Starfleet to maintain security and concentrate resources in rebuilding Cardassia. The new agreement prompted the Bajoran coalition to drop its call to charge Cardassians for war crimes in recent conflicts. Starfleet sent a fleet to Cardassia to assist the Cardassians in the dismantling of their military and establish Starfleet's role as Cardassia's protectors.

The Cardassians took a major step toward self-sufficiency when they voted to replace the Reconstruction Committee with democratically-elected leaders. In the weeks leading up to the election, two groups dominated the debate: a civilian coalition with Elim Garak as a prominent member, and a hardliner group calling for the Cardassians to withdraw from the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2386, re-establish the military, and reimpose the Central Command. Garak's coalition won a narrow victory, and in its first act, reformed the Detapa Council as a representative body. The council faced its first controversy when it voted to send six ships as a token force to assist the Federation's recovery efforts in Romulan space. Popular opinion was against the decision, and polls showed that most Cardassians felt that they should have reserved their resources. Not to mention, the Federation Council's decision to cut funding for Cardassian reconstruction by 30 percent made aid to the Romulans even less popular, and support for the council plummeted.

Speaking to reporters from the shattered remains of the University of Culat, Elim Garak defended the Detapa Council's actions.

    "We've seen what suspicion and backroom deals have brought us," Garak said. "We know what happens when we turn our backs on the rest of the galaxy and just worry about what happens on our own street, in our own city, on our own planet. Maybe it's time to try something different."

One of the first industries to be restarted in Cardassian space was mining. A former member of the military, Gul Madred, acquired the rights to several-mineral rich planetoids and began building a large mining operation in the Septimus system. By the end of 2388, the Cardassian economy had grown 20%.

(Created by Evelyn Coleman, USS Galileo)

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