After September 11, 2001, a United States newly obsessed with terrorism became even more disoriented, losing sight of its long-term strategic principles altogether. As an alternative, it created a new but unattainable strategic goal, which was the elimination of the terrorist threat...In response to al Qaeda’s assaults, the United States slammed into the Islamic world—particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. The goal was to demonstrate U.S. capability and reach, but these efforts were once again spoiling attacks. Their purpose was not to defeat an army and occupy a territory but merely to disrupt al Qaeda and create chaos in the Muslim world. But creating chaos is a short-term tactic, not a long-term strategy. The United States demonstrated that it is possible to destroy terrorist organizations and mitigate terrorism, but it did not achieve the goal that it had articulated, which was to eliminate the threat altogether...
Recovering from the depletions and distractions of this effort will consume the United States over the next ten years. The first step—returning to a policy of maintaining regional balances of power—must begin in the main area of current U.S. military engagement, a theater stretching from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush. For most of the past half century there have been three native balances of power here: the Arab-Israeli, the Indo-Pakistani, and the Iranian-Iraqi. Owing largely to recent U.S. policy, those balances are unstable or no longer exist. The Israelis are no longer constrained by their neighbors and are now trying to create a new reality on the ground...
Restoring balance to that region, and then to U.S. policy more generally, will require steps during the next decade that will be seen as controversial, to say the least. As I argue in the chapters that follow, the United States must quietly distance itself from Israel. It must strengthen (or at least put an end to weakening) Pakistan. And in the spirit of Roosevelt’s entente with the USSR during World War II, as well as Nixon’s entente with China in the 1970s, the United States will be required to make a distasteful accommodation with Iran, regardless of whether it attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities...
As for obsessed, I would more rightly apply that to the enemies of the United States and its ally, Israel, their economic, cultural and religious orientations (no pun), enemies who come from the darkest denizens of Islam.
As for "distancing", with the missiles being improved, 'distance', whether real or symbolical, doesn't matter. It won't help. Big and Little Satan are a fixture with the Islamic terrorists.
But Friedman does have a strong Jewish side:
Does being Jewish affect the way you view the world, I begin. “Being Jewish keeps things in perspective,” he says, smiling. “We lost two temples... I am keenly aware of Athens and Jerusalem..."
And what does David Goldman there think of Friedman?
...George Friedman has managed to replicate the key features of the intelligence establishment on a private footing. He didn’t invent what I call McStrategy—the splintering of tasks that puts one analyst at the deep fryer, another at sandwich assembly, and a third at the cash register. But the eccentricity of the final product is easily recognizable.
The author will be speaking on January 26 at Carnegie Council.