DARFUR UPDATE: The International Community — a guarantor of inaction:

Some non-military options may otherwise be proposed. Travel bans may be imposed on military and civilian leaders, while assets held by Sudanese leaders overseas may be frozen. Most effective might be measures to target Sudan’s oil revenues, which provide the government with most of its cash. Sales of equipment to maintain the country’s oil infrastructure could be limited, for instance. And in extremis Port Sudan could be blockaded, thus choking off all of Sudan’s oil exports at one stroke.

But most of would depend on getting an international consensus. China, Malaysia, India and Russia are all deeply involved in Sudan’s booming oil industry. These are unlikely to support any sanctions that would hurt their own considerable interests. China, which imports about 5% of its oil from Sudan, has been a staunch supporter of Khartoum. Western countries might try unilateral action, but this is rarely effective. America has maintained comprehensive economic sanctions against Sudan since the mid-1990s, yet the economy is booming.

Nor, even if outsiders could agree on rhetoric for a plan B, is there any guarantee that action would follow. Too often, foreign (and in particular Western) countries have talked tough on Darfur but done nothing. In the past the West has bullied the Sudanese government into making commitments, such as to disarm the janjaweed, but when Khartoum failed to do so there was no follow-up. One reason for Khartoum’s assertiveness against the UN in Darfur is that it has learnt that the West, bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, seems to be full of empty threats on this issue. If that perception does not change, nothing else will move fast.

The real problem is that nobody cares enough to do anything.