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A system and methods for the quasi-remote compression and focusing of a moderate-intensity laser pulse to form a much higher intensity beam that can be directed at a target and used as a probe beam or used in a probe beam converter to generate other forms of electromagnetic radiation or energetic particles. A system for the quasi-remote propagation of high-intensity laser beams in accordance with the present invention comprises a main platform on which a first, “seed” laser pulse is generated, stretched, and amplified, and a remote platform, located at a distance from the main platform, which is configured to receive the amplified and stretched pulse and convert it into the high-intensity laser beam. The high-intensity laser beam in turn can then be converted into one or more probe beams directed at a target object.