I have been thinking on this and wanted to know what other Star Trek fans thought as well. I believe that the Cardassians were expert Engineers, but not as focused on battle or science.
1. We know that the Cardassians aren't battle hardened Soldiers like the Klingons or Gorn. Heck, a chief security officer got pounded by Major Kira.
2. We also know that although the Cardassian union expanded, it was limited to a specific sector and the Science/Exploration levels weren't even close to that of the Federation.
If both of these comments are true, how did the Cardassians fight wars against the Federation and Klingons and reach a draw? Why were the Galors and Keldons so feared if they were inferior to the Federation's battleships?
I believe that the Cardassians ability to get the most out of what little they had proved to be the difference. They made vastly inferior cruisers strong enough to battle against stronger factions and that is what Engineers do best.
Just a topic of discussion to pass time...Please let me know your thoughts.