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New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
Strategic Forecasting ^ | 9/02/2005 | George Friedman

Posted on 09/02/2005 7:38:04 AM PDT by cll

New Orleans is where it is for a reason: The United States needs a city right there. New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to. Geopolitics is the stuff of permanent geographical realities and the way they interact with political life. Geopolitics created New Orleans. Geopolitics caused American presidents to obsess over its safety. And geopolitics will force the city's resurrection, even if it is in the worst imaginable place.

Send questions or comments on this article to analysis@stratfor.com.

(Excerpt) Read more at stratfor.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: aftermath; hurricane; katrina; neworleans; tropical
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There are many bright minds here in Free Republic. How about if we start tossing ideas on how to rebuild New Orleans (and Gulfport, Biloxi for that matter)? Let's get to work on the New Orleans Reconstruction Authority.
1 posted on 09/02/2005 7:38:06 AM PDT by cll
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To: cll

How big a city do you need to maintain a port?


2 posted on 09/02/2005 7:39:21 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: cll

First, raise the city about 100 ft.


3 posted on 09/02/2005 7:39:40 AM PDT by frogjerk (LIBERALISM - Being miserable for no good reason)
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To: cll

Ideally, I'd say move it upstream. However, the logistics of that are worse than even rebuilding where it is which is bad enough. I really have no idea!

Perhaps bring in a BUNCH of dirt?? Raise up the land? I dunno. They did that in Galveston in 1906.


4 posted on 09/02/2005 7:39:52 AM PDT by RockinRight (What part of ILLEGAL immigration do they not understand?)
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To: cll

Rebuild the ports, foreget the city. Camps or SMALL towns only and rotate the people.


5 posted on 09/02/2005 7:41:11 AM PDT by newbeliever
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To: cll
New Orleans is sinking - even before this tragedy.

Enough is enough - build somewhere else!
6 posted on 09/02/2005 7:42:15 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Mamzelle

Full text here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1475135/posts?page=3196#3196


7 posted on 09/02/2005 7:42:25 AM PDT by cll
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To: cll

This is probably a silly question, but could they rebuild it--at least most of it--on higher ground?


8 posted on 09/02/2005 7:43:12 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Love is the ultimate aphrodisiac!)
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To: cll
I don't agree. Raze it and start over elsewhere. Another Category 4 storm and all that money wasted. This is a golden opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
9 posted on 09/02/2005 7:43:22 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Keep the "charming" elements of NO as an expendable tourist attraction, but move the strategic elements to a better place.


10 posted on 09/02/2005 7:45:00 AM PDT by angkor
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To: cll

rebuild the city?

Right - build the city in the swamp, below sea level, on mud, in hurricane alley ... any other great method to commit suicide can you think of?

The democrats thought it was a great place for the plantations.


11 posted on 09/02/2005 7:45:10 AM PDT by hombre_sincero (www.sigmaitsys.com)
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To: Savage Beast
What higher ground? Its below sea level! Unless you build 30 foot high sea walls - I don't see how you keep the next monster tide out.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
12 posted on 09/02/2005 7:45:10 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Mamzelle
How big a city do you need to maintain a port?

Exactly! Probably only need a city of 50,000 at the most. Bull Doze 90%, raise the ground in the remaining 10%. But what do you do with the thousands of welfare people that called New Orleans home? Maybe New York will take them.

13 posted on 09/02/2005 7:47:42 AM PDT by LongViewSC
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To: cll

So glad to see a fellow Stratfor reader. It's probably the best geopolitical analysis information source out there. I've been subscribed since '00.


14 posted on 09/02/2005 7:48:56 AM PDT by farlander
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To: cll
The obvious is don't allow any building to be built that does not meet Miami-Dade building code, and raise the first habitable floor to FEMA flood plain guidelines. That's what happened in Miami Florida after Andrew.

This should be applied to all hurricane prone areas.

15 posted on 09/02/2005 7:49:26 AM PDT by Tarpon
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: frogjerk

We could just make New Orleans the United State's Venice! Just keep it flooded 24x7. Can you say Gondolas?


17 posted on 09/02/2005 8:00:18 AM PDT by MarkeyD (Cindy - The new 'C' word! I really, really loathe liberals.)
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To: cll

I picture a New World Venice...with alligators.


18 posted on 09/02/2005 8:01:25 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: cll

Fine, but do it smart this next time. Build on pylons or build things which float.


19 posted on 09/02/2005 8:01:41 AM PDT by tamalejoe
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To: MarkeyD

beat me - but I get the alligators


20 posted on 09/02/2005 8:01:56 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: cll
No doubt tons of federal dollars will be blow resurrecting NO from the mud. But to my mind its all a waste.

Some places are just not meant to live in. It isn't like land in this country is in such short supply that they couldn't locate elsewhere.

As for logistical problems regarding the port, this is a golden opportunity to build a new, modern world class facility elsewhere.

As for the policital ramifications: Does anyone really think the citizens of NO will ever show any gratitude to Bush no matter what he does?
21 posted on 09/02/2005 8:06:59 AM PDT by Pessimist
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To: Baynative
Hastert said ... a recipe for disaster and he was immediately criticized for being insensitive.... But, at least in part, he was right.

No, he was fully right. 100 percent right.

PC prevails again in stark defiance of common sense.

22 posted on 09/02/2005 8:07:11 AM PDT by angkor
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To: cll; dirtboy
Here's a sensible suggestion: move New Orleans to higher ground, between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya.
23 posted on 09/02/2005 8:11:33 AM PDT by Wallaby
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To: cll; dirtboy
Here's a sensible suggestion: move New Orleans to higher ground, between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya.
24 posted on 09/02/2005 8:12:21 AM PDT by Wallaby
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To: cll

Idiocy.

Here is the next man made disaster just waiting to happen in Louisiana, and the economic fallout will make Katrina look pale in comparison.



http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:5fNE2-FnzKcJ:www.uh.edu/engines/epi1135.htm++Mississippi+river+to+flow+down+old+river+sooner+or+later&hl=en


25 posted on 09/02/2005 8:12:44 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Baynative

The City of NO is really a port at the mouth of THE GREAT RIVER ROAD. That port is to important to the country to abandon. It can be fixed and made safer.


26 posted on 09/02/2005 8:13:02 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: All

pardon the stutter post.


27 posted on 09/02/2005 8:13:15 AM PDT by Wallaby
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To: tamalejoe
Well Biloxi Mississippi proved floating didn't work either. But high rise condos with proper storm shutters will work. There are plenty of ways to build and live with the hazard, just not the way it was being done. This is one place where low rent project housing may be most appropriate.

The Netherlands has a similar issue and they seem to be coping with it.
28 posted on 09/02/2005 8:18:33 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: Wallaby
Thanks for the callout, Wallaby.

It isn't rocket science. There are four threats to NOLA - hurricane flooding, river flooding, subsidence and a channel shift. Moving the city between the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya would deal with all four. I imagine folks a lot smarter than me have already figured that out and other folks smarter than me are more than capable of designing it and building it. But first we have to take the collective lot of politicians who turned a property catastrophe into a humanitarian catastrophe and somehow give them brain implants so they can do the rebuilding right once.

29 posted on 09/02/2005 8:21:18 AM PDT by dirtboy (Drool overflowed my buffer...)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

See my solution linked in post #24. It deals with that.


30 posted on 09/02/2005 8:21:46 AM PDT by dirtboy (Drool overflowed my buffer...)
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To: cll

They have to rebuild it somewhere.

Where else will I get to see boobies for 29-cent beads?


31 posted on 09/02/2005 8:21:47 AM PDT by Uncle Donuts (The sooner I can leave N. Va., the better.)
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To: Tarpon

I don't think the North Sea storms get quite as bad as hurricanes, though they did have a killer in 1953. And then the Dutch were, well, Dutch. Now they have imported a resentful underclass, just like we did long ago.


32 posted on 09/02/2005 8:23:35 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Savage Beast
This is probably a silly question, but could they rebuild it--at least most of it--on higher ground?

Yeah, the same way they can open a ski resort at Mt. Prospect, Illinois.

Those not familiar with Chicago burbs might not get that.

33 posted on 09/02/2005 8:24:22 AM PDT by capt. norm (Two wrongs do not make a right. It usually takes me at least three..)
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To: Tarpon

The Netherlands doesn't get hurricanes.


34 posted on 09/02/2005 8:24:56 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: heartwood
I picture a New World Venice...with alligators.

And mosquitoes. I do envision a lot of structures on stilts. Not a lot of shanties.

35 posted on 09/02/2005 8:26:06 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: Uncle Donuts

You'll always have "Girls Gone Wild."


36 posted on 09/02/2005 8:26:37 AM PDT by Steve_Stifler
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: dfwgator
The Netherlands doesn't get hurricanes.

True they get worse.

38 posted on 09/02/2005 9:10:56 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: heartwood
IIRC they are trying to protect against 40 foot surge. A whole lot of their country is under sea level and the north sea storms are fierce.

It's pretty easy to protect against the wind, the surge is what destroys everything.
39 posted on 09/02/2005 9:13:29 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: Tarpon

You mean they get worse than 145+ MPH winds and 15 foot storm surges?


40 posted on 09/02/2005 9:16:30 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: frogjerk
West Virginia can be lowered. It would only take a couple of MILLION tandem loads...

I posted my thoughts on Tuesday. I see more agreeing with me, including Mr. Hastart...

But, you got DUMBOCRATS to deal with!


41 posted on 09/02/2005 9:18:56 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: dfwgator
The 1953 Netherlands storm killed about 2000 people. Surge was around 4 meters. They have a hydraulic problem, similar to what the 1935 Labor Day hurricane did to Tampa bay in Florida.

NO is inland and the winds at NO, if you recall, were down considerably from the initial hit on the tip of the Mississippi delta. From what I saw winds at NO were in the 100+ mph range.

What I was suggesting was we study the way the Netherlands are trying to deal with their flood and surge problem, make adjustments and proceed.

Biloxi on the open gulf actually got the Katrina surge, around 29 feet and 145 mph winds. They don't need dikes, they need stout construction. There is building techniques which can resist 155 mph winds, and elevating the building will protect against surge. Similar to how the casino hotels survived. If you noticed, in the TV pictures there was a condo with the break out walls next to the Hard Rock that did pretty good.

While we may not be able to build strong enough to survive everything, we can do much better than the wood buildings on flat ground that got flattened and destroyed in NO and Biloxi.

42 posted on 09/02/2005 9:30:06 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: Tarpon

Agreed. But then again hindsight is 20/20 and that ship sailed a long time ago. What politician would have gotten away with saying. "There is a storm that could hit today, maybe in a hundred years, but we need to destroy your houses and move you out in case that happens." Yeah, right. Sounds like a winning plan to me...NOT!


43 posted on 09/02/2005 9:32:31 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Mamzelle

Agree completely. Look at Lake Charles and Morgan City. There isn't a whole lot there but refineries, ports, and some rail head.

You don't need a ton of civilian infrastructure - just the industrial stuff and bedroom communities.


44 posted on 09/02/2005 9:35:35 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Savage Beast; RockinRight

The last few times I was in Nawlins they were working on new hotels and casinos. Nowadays they're putting massive pillars down before they lay the foundation. I'm not sure if the pillars go to bedrock but tey're supposed to keep them from sinking.


45 posted on 09/02/2005 9:38:42 AM PDT by BJClinton (+ /_\)
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To: dfwgator
Well, I am not sure that would have been impossible, houses could have been bought and gradually rebuilt better and stronger. I was listening to a Baton Rouge station, they all knew it was inevitable. I doubt the Louisiana government has the foresight to have done it though.

In CA the big one is coming, they are retrofitting everything they can afford a little at a time -- but they are doing it.

But now that NO is flat, the opportunity is there to fix old sins.
46 posted on 09/02/2005 9:45:14 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: BJClinton

I think they should just redo the port area and the French Quarter and that is it! Nobody will want to miss Mardi Gru and that is really the only reason people go to New Orleans anyway. Everyone who lived there before should be assisted by the government in finding other locations in the U.S. to live.


47 posted on 09/02/2005 9:51:03 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: Wallaby

It is the only thought out and sensible solution, so it will never be done by our elected idiot leaders.


48 posted on 09/02/2005 10:08:19 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: dirtboy

It may not be rocket science, but your command of earth science is well beyond mine. In some of your other posts on this subject, I've noted that you suggest the French Quarter be preserved by a smaller system of levees on relatively high ground. Since that's the area nearly everyone visits when they see New Orleans, the preservation of that district as a virtual theme park would make the move you suggest more palatable politically.


49 posted on 09/02/2005 10:29:38 AM PDT by Wallaby
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To: Wallaby

The French Quarter structures, charming though they may be, are just splinters held together by the mud the termites spit on them.


50 posted on 09/02/2005 11:58:06 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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