@legion_: Well it sort of depends, but that's an interesting internal point of view. I think at this point a gradual loss of power on the part of NATO is more likely unless Putin gets extremely aggressive. There's only so many places that have Ethnic Russians and not all of them are in the EU sphere of influence. War between China and the US within 20 years is quite likely but I'm not so sure about an EU vs Russia situation; going against Russia in a land war is really bad news even if you're the best commander in thousands of years.
The general thought is that the western countries won't instigate a war, but that Russia will be the ones to declare war on the west. It's no secret that the Russian government view the cold war as a huge defeat, and they want their vengeance. Personally I think Putin want to go down as one of the great Russian leaders, and in his eyes there's no way to do that without a war. Every dictator needs a enemy, and make no mistake, Putin is without a doubt a dictator.
The reason they're waiting, is that they are biding their time, building trade relations and finding new ways to get resources that they get from the west today. A war is gonna cost hella much on both sides in terms of resources. On the other hand, it'll drive down unemployment. Some experts theorize that the economy can never stabilize again without a war. Peace time for such a long period is unheard of in modern history.