Army Corps Is Faulted on New Orleans Levees

Army Corps Is Faulted on New Orleans Levees

  • This is old news, but it’s hard to avoid the impression that it has been ignored until now.
  • With Hurricane Gustav likely to make landfall with New Orleans on its eastern business end sometime tomorrow, this old news might be bad news.
  • With the Army fighting a war in Afghanistan and another war in Iraq, maybe the Corps of Engineers is spread too thin to be able to attend to its domestic missions at an appropriate level of effort to get the job done right.

  • According to the Corps’ website, their activities outside the US are so extensive and widespread that they have to be organized into 9 districts: Afghanistan, Europe (including Turkey and Africa), Far East (Korea), Gulf Region (Iraq), Honolulu (Pacific islands), Jacksonville (Caribbean), Japan, Mobile (Latin America) and something called the Transatlantic Programs Center (Middle East, Balkans and Africa).
  • With all these military engineering needs at every point on the globe where the US has chosen to project its power, why does it have to be a branch of the US Army that is responsible for federally mandated civil engineering projects here at home?
  • If there’s going to be a civil engineering agency for this in the federal government, shouldn’t it be part of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of the Interior?
  • Alternatively, couldn’t federal funding simply be provided to state and local jurisdictions who could then put the necessary civil engineering projects out to bid?

One Response to “Army Corps Is Faulted on New Orleans Levees”

  1. This video tells the stroy better than most. From a methodological viewpoint the USACE is a private engineering management company mostly funded through appropriations from the Federal governemnt. over 95% of their emplyees are non-military. The name Army Corp is misleading in the extreme. As a construction management company they are promarily interested in very major projects requiring the movement of dirt and the pouring of concrete.

    They only accept projects that are funded, no funding = no interest, as would be expected with any for-profit enterprise. Because of that they are also not interested in any form of emergency response ahead of the disaster that does not include the construction management component.

    Every community that is threatened by flooding must have a system for erecting protection on an emergency basis. There are now several on the market commercially available. One can be seen at But funding for these must be provided by the threatened communties themselves. The cost, although unbudgeted, is an investment that is difficult to aurgue against, spend a dollar save 100 or more.

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