By: Stephen Shore (admin) 2015.05.31

Col. John Antal
Col. John Antal, U.S. Army ret.
The Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood hosted a Community Breakfast at the Dallas Jewish Community Center to have Col. John Antal update us on the topic of, "Iran and Israel in 2020: Victor or Vanquished?"

Col. Antal spoke on the situation in the Middle East in relationship to the need for a strong U.S. military and a better civilian leadership. He described the U.S. as currently weaker than in the past in its leaderships, its economy, and especially its military. He sees the problems of an increasingly hostile Middle East far more pressing and far greater than any possible climate change concerns which he doesn't foresee affecting us for another million years or so.

During his presentation Col. Antal warned that we need to be concerned that many of the Middle Eastern countries may construct nuclear power plants in the future, suggesting  but not demonstrating a connection between power plants and nuclear weapons, given that there are currently more than three times more countries with nuclear power plants than with nuclear weapons.


Robert G. Epstein introduced Col. Antal

Col. Antal explaining the 5 points of leadership

Col. Antal discussing how he helps to train leaders

More than 100 people attended the breakfast.

While Col. Antal did spend much of his presentation on the weak state of the U.S. economy, the importance of a strong U.S. military, and the need for better leadership and leadership training in the U.S., there was little time devoted to the intricacies of the relationship between Israel and Iran, what the situation currently looks like, or what the U.S. or we as Jews can do to improve an admittedly dangerous situation. Given that the U.S. going into Iraq has only made the situation in the Middle East worse, Col. Antal agreed that going into Iran militarily doesn't seem to be a rational solution either. But no range of solutions was suggested.

All of the attendees, whether they agreed with Col. Antal or not, listened intently and learned. The audience seemed split between those who whole heartedly agreed with Col. Antal, and those who strongly disagreed with much of what he said. No matter which side one was one, most agreed that his presentation was interesting. In fact, after the presentation, 47 people sent emails to program organizer Robert Epstein telling him that they really enjoyed the program and asking when the next program will be held.

About Col. Antal:
Retired Col. Antal served in the U.S. Army for 30 years as a senior staff officer and commander of tank and combined arms combat units. He also served as the Special Assistant to the Untied States Military Academy at West Point, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. He has authored 13 books on military subjects and speaks frequently about leadership, military, and foreign affairs. Col. Antal visited Israel after the Yom Kippur War and participated in training at the Israeli Officers Leaders Course at Mitspe Ramon in the Negev. He last visited Israel in 2008 as part of an effort to bring Israeli military technologies t the U.S. military.
More background is available on Col. Antal's website at american-leadership.com