a geopolitical prize

Erik mentioned this article by Stratfor founder George Friedman:

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.

I think everyone would be well-served to read the whole thing to really grasp what’s been lost, as well as what cannot be abandoned.