George Friedman wrote an interesting piece for STRATFOR about the strategic importance of New Orleans, its ports and the Mississippi River. He wrote:
“The ports of South Louisiana and New Orleans, which run north and south of the city, are as important today as at any point during the history of the republic. On its own merit, the Port of South Louisiana is the largest port in the United States by tonnage and the fifth-largest in the world. It exports more than 52 million tons a year, of which more than half are agricultural products â€” corn, soybeans and so on. A larger proportion of U.S. agriculture flows out of the port. Almost as much cargo, nearly 57 million tons, comes in through the port â€” including not only crude oil, but chemicals and fertilizers, coal, concrete and so on.”
As a result, he concludes: “New Orleans is not optional for the United Statesâ€™ 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.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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