We liberals had a long and eventually unsuccessful fight against various anti-ballistic missile systems. Back in the 60's it was the Nike-Zeus system which eventually got cancelled. Then it was Reagan's Star Wars and finally it's the system now in place. Part of the argument was that the technology couldn't work, wouldn't work, or at least could be overwhelmed by counter-measures.
These days we seem comfortable with the idea it works, perhaps because our faith in technology is greater these days? That faith is boosted by reports such as this, which describes the test of a system of cameras and laser beams for zapping insects, specifically psyllids which attack citrus. Somehow that seems more impressive to me than attacking ballistic missiles, which as the name states have a path determined by gravity (though modern ICBM's launch maneuverable warheads so are no longer solely ballistic.)