You know what this feels like?
This feels like the alternate Federation from "Yesterday's Enterprise."
We're all still a part of the Federation, but a Federation harried by the constant specter of war.
In this universe we carry utility knives on our belts,
we again fight the Klingons,
Captains go on away missions carrying assault rifles,
we sit around and discuss the merits of our vessels as battleships and how long they can hang in a firefight,
we wear slightly different uniforms, we fly old ships desperately retrofitted to fill gaps in the fleet...
...and behind it all looms the secret spoken only in classified briefings; the Alpha quadrant will fall into ruin within 3 years if something doesn't change.
I've never seen it that way, but now you are saying it... seems prety accurate.