Wow it’s only taken, what, 34 years? Okay, okay, that’s not really fair.
Because, I suspect that SDI was a giant scam meant to funnel billions of dollars to defense contractors without ever insisting the produce working technology. It was a safe bet, since our main nuclear-capable rival was the USSR, and we relied mostly on MAD (and then warhead reduction treaties) to keep us safe, so who cares if it turned out taxpayers were paying for, ultimately, nothing?
The fact that we’re just now seeing an effective* test of an ICBM interceptor says something important: Even the bloated, greedy, money-grubbing defense industry is a little bit scared of North Korea’s nuke program, and is beginning to divert some our taxpayer dollars toward actually building something useful this time. And if that doesn’t frighten people, I don’t know what will.
*I should say “apparently” effective — I don’t have all the details of the test’s parameters, so I can’t say for sure it wasn’t rigged or something.