Hell, with Huntsville we could even start up our own space program.
NASA peeps would flee pretty face from huntsville if it split from the US.
When you take all these things and remove the EPA and welfare state obligations that come from Washington, we could have a very strong country consisting of only the Southern states.
No, it would be a weak arse country that would end up begging the rest of the states for help in short order.
There might be rich natural resources in those states but the growth industries of the US are not located in the red states. Technology and bio-med are stronger in the blue states.
On top of that, you would see a science brain drain. Scientists are more often democrats than republicans, and they would flee. On top of that, the truly elite universities are in blue states. There are some good schools in the south, but its only a handful.
succession is the worst possible idea I have seen floated. I am up for the US breaking into pieces but the south succeeding isn't the right first step. Much better to have a coordinated break up.