One final note - the first six episodes of season 6 and the final 9 or 10 episodes of season 7 are both war arcs. That alone is ~16 episodes clearly focusing on various aspects of the war. And that's just the easy ones to pick out. Plenty of other war and pre-war episodes both during and prior to those sesaons. So Slateman, sorry, but you're wrong (in my opinion, of course )
Yes I feel strongly about this, and yes I am a damn trek nerd
Look at everything after Sacrifice of Angels
Wedding, mirror universe, Ferengi, Bashir and his I'm so freaking smart, Morn, Runabout is shrunk, Worf trying to bond with his son that isnt' really a Klingon, taking on pirates (in the middle of the war?), Vic Fontaine, rouge starfleet cadets, Time vortex, time wormhole with a captain stranded a long time ago and then, finally, oh yea, there's a war going on. But the only time you really hear about it is when Sisko goes over the casualty list at the beginning of an episode.
The first six episodes of seaon 6 and the final 9 of season 7 should have been season 6. Maybe a couple of character building episodes. The wedding and ... the mirror universe is okay. The rest was filler garbage because the writers didn't know how to approach the topic of war. Because it had never been done in Star Trek before.
This is a station that is a stone's throw away from Cardassia and just happens to guard the only way in to the quadrant for the Dominion. And yet ... not even considered front lines. This was a war that was unheard of in Trek history. It simply hadn't happened. Not at this level or this scale. No one had seen fleet battles like this. No one had seen a ground battle before. Trek had never dealt with issues like PTSD, massive casualties, martial law and other things. The Federation had never been painted as anything other than a Utopia.
And, by your own admission, there are 16 episodes over the course of two seasons that deal with the single most important thing to happen in Star Trek history ... ever. The war effectively started in the middle of season 5 and there are, maybe, 20 episodes that deal with it in any depth. There are two that are actually gut wrenching and deal with real, emotional loss and agony.
Maybe they ran out of money. But I honestly believe that the writers just didn't think their audience would handle a dark storyline like that. Severely underestimated Trek fans in my mind. Or maybe I'm vastly over estimating them.