The conclusion of Norman Angells 1909 book "The Great Illusion" was that since Western economies were so intertwined in trade, that war between major western powers was futile, in that the disruption of trade would be so ruinous that war could not lead to sustained economic advantage. Angells conclusion is frequently unfairly misquoted as stating that "war between European powers is impossible" - which World War I emphatically proved was mere wishful thinking. I wonder if the ghost of Angells' acolytes are walking the corridors of Washington at telling President Trump and lawmakers that a confrontation with Russia over Syria is impossible. I disagree with the wormtongues, this could end in general war.
In reading the US "expert" assessments of foreign policy over some time, I am struck by the prevalence and level of wishful thinking among foreign policy idealists that dominate US foreign policy expertise. Conversely, foreign policy realists are not as likely to fall victim to wishful thinking. I would concur with Walrus that the US likely to misread not only Russia but also Iran, China and North Korea. The realists at SST don't call it "the Borg" for nothing.
The Great illusion