Reagan’s Star Wars idea has long been derided as pie in the sky, impossible, waste of funding. As a nation, we’ve approached it from a few different perspectives: missile interceptors (hitting a bullet with a bullet) from land or sea (I like the sea based ones, far more mobile), ground based lasers (Tom Clancy’s Cardinal in the Kremlin approached some of those issues). Now, finally, an airborne laser has knocked a test ICBM down.
Sure, it was versus a liquid fueled rocket, not a solid fuel one (Soviet style was liquid, the US has used solid fuel for a long time), which is easier to detonate, in the air or during maintenance on the ground. Easier to environmentally dispose of though. Anyway, it’s a good first start. We can debate the economic logistics of it, but if it can help keep missiles on the ground and out of the air, great. It probably is useless for a long while against a Cold War style missile attack (MAD), but against a potential rouge state with a dozen missiles? This will certainly help some people sleep easier at night.