A strike on Iran’s nuclear sites would spark a 30-day war with missile attacks on Israel's cities and as many as 500 dead, according to the Israeli minister responsible for preparing home defences.Telegraph
The above is from an article in the Telegraph. The jingoism in the assessment is alarming in that Israel does not perceive a conflict with Iran as having consequences beyond their own casualties. I also struggle with the small number of predicted casualties (500 according to the article) as the result of a 30 day missile war. A few missile strikes could result in that amount in just a few hours.
The rhetoric for attacking Syria in the US has been staying strong for the last few weeks and now the Turks and French have joined in. It looks more and more like a perfect storm leading to a major conflict in the Middle East. On the homefront, the US has had two horrific mass murders first in Aurora, Colorado and then the attack on the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. There have also been several incidents on armed men showing up in movie theaters. At least one ended up with the vigilante shooting himself in the posterior.
The Internet is fueling passions for conflict with a posting of a document claimed to be a training document for the US Army to attack US citizens in 2016 after the Tea Party leads a revolution in South Carolina. The essay may have been one of those papers someone going through the War College writes as a "what if" exercise but once it hit the Internet, it is now "doctrine" in the minds of conspiracy buffs.
Oh and less I forget, Putin has decided to increase military spending to modernize the Russian military. Gee, I wonder who he is getting ready to deal with?
All of these events make 2012 look like an rather destabilized time. However, the predictions of terrorist attacks at the recently concluded London Olympics did not happen so perhaps all of this sabre rattling will also go silent. It is just seems the preponderance of scenarios makes it unlikely that at least one conflict will not occur before the end of the year.