LTC Ronald Alcala

LTC Ronald Alcala

Academy Professor


Ronald Alcala is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. He is an Associate Professor and an Academy Professor of Law in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. LTC Alcala also serves as Managing Editor of the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare’s Articles of War blog and as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict. Before joining the faculty, LTC Alcala served as a Judge Advocate in a number of legal positions advising commanders on criminal law, international law, and administrative law issues. His last assignment was in the Office of the Judge Advocate General at Headquarters, Department of the Army. LTC Alcala’s other past assignments include Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Special Operations Command Europe; Chief, Rule of Law, Multinational Division Center, Baghdad, Iraq; and Trial Counsel, Task Force Spartan and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Jalalabad, Afghanistan. LTC Alcala earned a B.A. in History and Classics from Williams College and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. He also holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and an LL.M. in Military Law from the Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Va.

Publications & Presentations

“Afghanistan and Noncombatant Evacuation Operations,” Articles of War (Aug. 5, 2021)

“Opinio Juris and the Essential Role of States,” Articles of War (Feb. 11, 2021)

“Symposium Intro: The ICC Considers the Definition of ‘Attack,’” (with Sasha Radin), Articles of War (Oct. 27, 2020).

“Challenges in Regulating Lethal Autonomous Weapons Under International Law” (with Shane R. Reeves & Amy McCarthy), Southwestern Journal of International Law (2021).

“Rule of Law and Human Rights in Military Stability Operations: Clarifying the Military’s Role in Rule of Law Development,” Department of Justice Journal of Federal Law & Practice (Nov. 2019).

“Five Legal Takeaways from the Syrian War” (with Shane R. Reeves), Harvard National Security Journal (online) (Sept. 30, 2019).

“Chinese Fazhi and the International Order: How Chinese Legal Rhetoric Undermines Rule of Law” (with Eugene (John) Gregory & Shane R. Reeves), Harvard International Review (Sept. 14, 2019).

"The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Law of Armed Conflict" (Eric Talbot Jensen & Ronald T. P. Alcala eds., Oxford University Press, 2019).

“China and the Rule of Law: A Cautionary Tale for the International Community” (with Eugene (John) Gregory & Shane R. Reeves), Just Security (June 28, 2018).

“Federal Court Vacancies Are a Crisis. Military Judges Are the Solution.” (with Shane R. Reeves), Foreign Policy (online) (Dec. 21, 2017).

“Babylon Revisited: Reestablishing a Corps of Specialists for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict,” Harvard National Security Journal (2015).

“Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence,” Military Law Review (Fall 2013) (Book Review).

“Vanquishing Paper Tigers: Applying Comparative Law Methodology to Enhance Rule of Law Development,” The Army Lawyer (Mar. 2011).

“Prosecution Task Forces and Warrant-Based Operations in Multi-National Division–Center” (with John Haberland), in Rule of Law Handbook: A Practitioner’s Guide for Judge Advocates (Center for Law and Military Operations, 2009).