Courtesy Reuters

When I drafted "Sudan's Perfect War," it was the summer of 2001. The thesis of the article was that Sudan's 18-year-old war could easily go on forever without outside intervention. When oil came on line in 1999, the war was in effect made perfect: oil revenues could pay for the war, and the war itself was necessary to take and hold the land from which the oil came. Moreover, oil made Sudan less dependent on the world's rogue nations for material support, while earning it friends among oil-dependent states, including some members of the Security Council. There was a danger that international

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