Messages by the media can also assist in revealing instances where distrust has become dysfunctional. News reports can provide valuable insight into how conflicts are viewed and interpreted by third parties. To the extent that reporting is objective, thorough, and unbiased, the parties to a conflict can avail themselves of the advantages of a third party mentioned above. In addition, how news reports frame the conflict may have a profound impact on how the conflict is interpreted. If the conflict is framed so as to enhance the distrust of one or both groups, the media is serving a dysfunctional role. Since some media prefer to sensationalize and over-dramatize conflict and distrust in order to attract readers/viewers, the media can play an active role in either reducing or increasing distrust in a particular dispute.
There are numerous examples of mistrust being a big reason why nations where involved in conflicts. Two major ones in U.S. history involve the recent war in Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan, and the Cold War. The Cold War was two major world powers who did not trust each other posturing. The current Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan war escalated because of WMD's that were not WMD's.
Yes, mistrust is a major factor in conflicts between nations. Today, nations must look out for themselves in the competitive world economy. This often leads to mistrust. This mistrust can lead to conflict as nations jockey for position on the world stage. The only way to end this type of conflict is for nations to work together toward ending poverty and raising everyone's standard of living.
Many nations are in the right to have a certain amount of distrust in one another. If a nation has the potential motivation to be nefarious towards another nation, then they are to be rightfully kept under scrutinizing eyes. Major conflicts can be the cause of mistrust but nations have many other driving factors that cause conflict.