I was recently thinking about the TNG episode The Pegasus again. Looking back on it, I have to say... I really don't think I can buy Picard's decision there.
Admiral Pressman wants to recover a Federation cloaking device from the Pegasus, Riker's old ship. They find it and Riker tells Picard, who knows that it's a blatant violation of the Treaty of Algernon. The cloak also works as a way to phase through matter. So they get trapped inside the asteroid with the Pegasus and have to use the cloak to escape. Picard spills the beans to the Romulans and Pressman and Starfleet Intelligence get into big trouble or something.
Maybe this makes me a bad person, but when I think about the episode now, I can't help but come to the conclusion that the power and usefulness of the cloaking device is probably worth violating the treaty. That's a huge tactical advantage that the Federation just gives up. I feel like, in the greater scheme of things, it would have been better to have reclaimed the device like Pressman wanted, instead of what Picard ended up doing.
It seems like it worked pretty well, since the Enterprise does use it and manages to escape without any disastrous consequences. There's no guarantee that there would be a war with the Romulans. They're just developing it, they aren't outfitting the entire fleet with the things. I think the tactical advantage of having interphasic cloaking devices is worth it. Think how many lives could've been saved in the Dominion War if they had had the technology and used it then.
And ya know, some have speculated that Pressman and Starfleet Intelligence were really working for Section 31. This is kinda weird, cause you'd think that such an important mission would've been handled by a ship crewed entirely by loyal Section 31 agents, instead of given to that ol' softy Picard, who's probably well known for his strict ethical code. It falls apart, doesn't it? Ah well, Section 31 was a shitty idea. Just one of numerous bad ideas from that DS9.
Technically... they were violating the treaty. But in a practical sense, they were working on something that would have been an immense boon to the Federation and its security. I guess I'm just looking at the situation from the perspective of a human in today's world, instead of a Picard with evolved morals in a utopian future.
Ya know, thinking about Starfleet admirals... it's tough to actually find a good one. From the TNG seasons, I think my favorite one is Necheyev. She was really unpleasant, but it seemed plausible that she was at least competent and working for Starfleet's best interests. Everyone else seemed to be really corrupt or under an alien influence or incompetent.
Maybe that's why Janeway got promoted to Admiral.