However, a recent report by the influential Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) have calculated that economically, a non-laser based defence system could eventually become not only a waste of money, but those economic concerns could affect the nation's security.
Speculating that each anti-ballistic missile costs anywhere from $3.3 million to $15 million each - and the Pentagon expects to take two shots to be sure of a hit - the enemy's missiles are considerably cheaper.
At those rates, America would be expected to overcome an attack by North Korea, but China and Iran would simply be able to produce more missiles for less.
The CSBA calls this a 'cost imposition' dynamic with the United States being the ones imposed upon.
The solution from the CSBA is essentially the same as President Reagan's, which is to base the US missile defence system around lasers.
These lasers would be placed in the care of the U.S. Navy and be called a solid-state laser and exist on platforms attached to navy AEGIS Cruisers.
From a simple physics point of view, lasers travel at the speed of light, 671 million miles per hour, which is 50,000 times faster than the fastest missile ever created.
And even though the laser would have to focus on the missile or warhead for a couple of seconds, that is deemed to be less of a technological problem than hitting a moving missile with another.
The massive cost of producing the laser would be offset by its economy of scale once completed, because it can be fired repeatedly as long as it has a power source.
Opponents of a missile based deterrent say that the expensive rockets can only be used once and that enemies might have a cheaper more plentiful source of missiles to fire at the U.S.
The CSBA feels that instead of firing a one-time use $15 million missile that might miss, a laser powered by electricity would provide accuracy and economy.
'We're currently on a path where an enemy can impose costs against us,' said the report's lead author Mark Gunzinger to AOL
'If we can counter that million-dollar missile with a $10 or $20 beam of light, that's cost imposition against them.'
Initially wanting to develop ship borne lasers to take down intermediate range and cruise missiles, the CSBA feels that an immediate effect of laser development would be to negate the fearsome effect of China's much-vaunted anti-aircraft carrier ballistic missile.