TACTICAL LASERS….Would Hezbollah even matter if it couldn’t shoot rockets into Israel? After all, rhetoric aside, this is virtually the sum total of their military capability. If we could shoot down Hezbollah rockets with a mobile laser weapon, perhaps we could afford to let them rant vainly away and otherwise ignore them.

Well, it turns out we don’t have the technology to do that reliably. But we’re closer than I would have thought, and Bill Arkin has an interesting and richly detailed account today of the bureaucratic turf fighting that’s prevented serious funding of just such a system. There’s nothing especially partisan here (the program bumbled along under both the Clinton and Bush administrations), but it’s a good example of our unwillingness, even five years after 9/11, to refocus our attention from gigantic strategic weapons onto smaller, less sexy projects that are far more likely to be of use in the low-intensity, asymmetric battlefields of the future. It’s worth reading.

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