From my read of it, it seemed the author was stating that the idea of holding 2 AL
-1s over the US for "Homeland Security" would not be a good idea as the threat we would have here is from ICBMs, which, as you point out, isn't what the aircraft is designed for. Thus, since we don't need to maintain 2 over the US, the number of aircraft budgeted for should be reduced at best. This passage is the key one:
Remember that not even the Pentagon brass plans to build a defense against the greatest missile threat we face — the 550 missiles with multiple nuclear warheads belonging to the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces. Since the early 1960s, the United States has stood defenseless against an attack by them. It still is.
The missile defense scheme, of which the airborne laser is part, is intended only to offer limited protection from rogue leaders like … well, Saddam Hussein.
If we use the production AL-1A at home, as the deployment plan prescribes, and if we can make it work, as seems doubtful, the airborne laser will protect us from ballistic missiles launched from Ottawa or Mexico City — or Havana.
Of course, Canada, Mexico and Cuba don’t have intercontinental ballistic missiles. Nor does Iraq. North Korea may eventually have a missile that can reach Alaska, but it doesn’t justify this program.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.