Conflict is a part of human nature; it is part of us. It is as natural to us as arguing with your spouse. Warfare is conflict raised to the most decisive level. The vast majority of humans do not want to kill others unless absolutely necessary. Even then, big conflicts in the form of major wars will occur every so often. It cannot be avoided. The past has indicated that it is extraordinarily dangerous to attempt to avoid. Like so many other things in life, it is generally better to face the music sooner rather than later.
Some signs that are pointing toward a big war:
1) Big wars happen every so often. The 20th century had two world wars, but the second ended more than 60 years ago. The world can be due for another. Certainly well before the end of the 21st century. Most likely prior to the 2nd half.
2) The populations of the current clash between Islam and the rest of the world are unprecedented. If the clash ever became an open war, the use of WMD is a certainty. The populations whose support of the issues are much too large for decisive results without WMD. Escalation is a natural part of warfare. Wars are won by the side that escalates the war to a level the other side either cannot or will not match. The pattern of major, modern wars is shorter, but larger, more powerful and destructive wars.
3) The greatest war in man’s history was immediately preceded by the worst economic period in mankind’s history. The risk of hyperinflation in the U.S. could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
It is only a matter of time before another large war breaks out. Historical pattern suggests that this war will be larger than the wars of the past, hence World War III. To prevent wars from becomming large, small ones need to be fought. I like to use the concept of earthquakes. If you do not have the small ones to release the pressure, the big one will come along some day. In the case of humans, all it will take is a spark.