There is a visible shift in sectarian conflict in Iraq. This has a destabilising effect, and may plunge the region into civil war. My prediction is that, given the strategic importance of the region, tensions can only intensify, and spread into Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel and beyond.
One way to diffuse the tensions is a worldwide trend towards alternative energies, adopted on a grand and aggressive scale.
Given that this is an unlikely scenario, we unfortunately face the future with a near certainty of widespread war.