I don't know if this has come up before but- given that INS was set during the Dominion War- how/why would the Federation Council agree to any kind of joint projects with the Son'a knowing, as Riker reveals during an early scene, the Son'a are one of the Dominion's primary suppliers or source of Ketracel-White for the Jem'Hadar in AQ? Seems like something that would be hard- if not impossible- for the Federation Council to simply ignore/overlook during a major war? Or was the Federation Council just REALLY that desperate by then? I'm wondering why they even thought to bring this up unless it was supposed to be important somehow? Did the Son'a ever appear (or were they ever even mentioned) in DS9? I'm on S7 of DS9 and never heard them brought up.......yet.
Weyoun references the Son'a in the DS9 episode 7X17 Penumbra.
Yeah INS doesn't have a stardate so you can be flexible with when it is set. I like to think INS happens after the Dominion War ends. So it doesn't completely undermine how "desperate" the war was as we see and is stated repeatedly on DS9.
By undermine I mean the presentation as it relates to TNG and DS9 during that time period. Maybe the war was a nightmare for Sisko and the gang but for Picard and crew they were probably having a much easier time during the war.
You look at the most notable Dominion War episodes "A Time To Stand, Rocks and Shoals, Sons and Daughters, Behind the Lines, Favor The Bold, Sacrifice of Angels, The Siege of AR-558, Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges, The Changing Face of Evil, and What You Leave Behind" You see the Federation is on the robes quite a lot from the DS9 point of view.
You watch INS and you hear both Picard and Ru'afo talk about the Dominion War as some thing that's in the past. Even Worf who was in many Dominion encounters seems to be more than chipper himself in INS. That's not to suggest the ENT-E had it easy. The sovereign class is a juggernaunt by herself, and we know the Dominion attacked Earth, Betazad, and Vulcan. It's possible they may have led campaigns against other Federation core worlds like Andoria, Tellar, Kronos etc. DS9 was just so damn localized to it's own little niche in the quadrant that any reference to a planet outside Bajor or Cardassia was a very rare occurence. Not to mention other ships fighting the war.