> I understand the Air Force has had successful tests of their new airborne
> anti-missile laser. This looks to me like the way to go for near-term
> anti-missile systems - it is much easier to hit a missile with a laser than
> another missile.
Yes, and it's considerably cheaper and safer too. Lasers could not only be very effective against missiles, but perhaps even more so against aircraft both as land/ship based AAA and fitted to any (military) aircraft (especially fighter planes). The aircraft's engines could (partially) power the laser.