The Threat of the Borg and the Dominion War brought great changes to how numbers of members of the Federation of Planets judged Starfleet. Ambassador Tripsa of Andor was quoted as saying:
What has Starfleet been doing all these years? If it sees no reason to build warships to protect us, then such matters should be delegated to another agency. . .
Many members felt that Starfleet had not been doing its job in securing defense. As such, the Federation was near disbanment on more than one occasion during the war. Starfleet Command fought hard to keep those members from seceeding, promising a swift end to the Dominion War. Once the war was over, the Federation Council opened a special committee to analyse Starfleet's warmaking capability. The findings were that Starfleet expended more energy towards its own goals of exploration and territorial growth than its providing enough security to the Federation. News of this, seen as a weakness, outraged many Federation members that had joined under knowledge of adequate defensive measures. The Military Reserves was borne out of such concern, if not to keep the unity of the Federation solid.
Amelia Fionta, Minuteskeeper, Federation Council Sessions
During the Dominion War and after is close, Starfleet Intelligence and the Starfleet Defense Committee agreed that to prevent another warring race from infringing upon the peaceful worlds of the Federation, deterrence weapons of mass destruction must be produced. DefOpPlan 3201 called for dedicated arsenal ships to be designed and constructed. Months afterward an alarming plea from the Romulans was received, requesting Starfleet's assistance in combating the Borg. The Romulans had devised the only way to destroy several numbers of cubes: critically damaged Warbirds deactivated the containment fields enveloping the artificial singularity power source. These minute blackholes incurred severe damage to any ship nearby to total destruction. Knowing that a Borg invasion of more than three cubes would cripple Starfleet, Command was interested in meeting with Romulan officials to discuss a plan of operation.
Commander Alfred Jackson, Starfleet Historian
The change in the Romulans attitudes toward Starfleet, and the Federation in general took many in Command
by surprise. Of course there was the apprehension that this was treachery, and many high ranking officials
felt that the Romulans should be ignored. Many were reminded of the Khitomer Conferences and the situation
involving Starfleet and Klingon "loyalists". Not wanting a repeat of history, anyone with anti-Romulan attitudes
were removed from consideration for attendance at the Summit meeting.
The Romulan communique held a sense of urgency and desperation. Since the Romulan's attempts to steal Starfleet technology had failed on several occasions with the loss of vessels and personnel, they sought to use a different approach. Heavy losses to the Borg also helped spark this outreach for trust. The Romulans had also noted that the Federation had been diligent in keeping its word concerning the Neutral Zone, and no Federation Invasion force ever sought to take Romulan worlds. Romulans, it seemed, had gotten over the first disastrous contact with humans that plunged both sides into a war. The humans, and the Federation could be trusted to help. And would do so willingly. . .
Lek Sosanee, Sociologist, University of Deneva
Starfleet, Klingon, and Romulan delegates meet at Vespane II, via unarmed transports as agreed by all members attending the Summit, to squelch any apprehension of deceit from either party. The Romulans surrendered detailed battle assessments of their engagements with the Borg. This was the first step towards building a trusting relationship with the isolationist empire. After four days of talks, it was agreed to void the older Treaty of Algeron, and for all three powers to pool their Intelligence and technology together to build a deterrent defense force against outside hostile races. The borders of the territories would remain, however the Neutral Zone was abolished. Starfleet Command petitioned for the enactment to allow arsenal ships cloaking abilities. Executive Decision 889001/B granted this request over several days of debate.
The treaty called for a location in neutral space to serve as Head Quarters for the United Defense Force. An uninhabited system in the region of the void Neutral Zone along the borders of all three powers was chosen. Starfleet designation System B778 was voted to be called Ron' Saier, an ancient Romulan term (and easily pronounced by all three powers) for forged together.
It was agreed that no vessels under the auspices of the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Romulan Star Empire would fire upon or exchange fire upon the other. Any commander, or individual, or group, that would do so would be court martialed, or tried, for treason and acts of piracy, and face the full punishment under law.
Intelligence and technology beneficial to the United Defense Force would be shared without restrictions, after the delegating authority has factored out any possible risks to their government's national security.
Weapons of mass destruction are to be used as a deterrence, or as defensive measures against advanced hostile races when ship and crew are a risk of being destroyed. Such weapons shall not be used as in an offensive manner unless a state of war exists.
Violation of treaty terms will be dealt with on a case by case basis under previously instated laws and regulations.