For some beam-control applications, we can rely on the cooperation of the target when gathering information about the target location and the state of the atmosphere between the target and the beam-control system. The typical example is a cooperative point-source beacon on the target. Light from such a beacon allows the beam-control system to track the target accurately, and, if higher-order adaptive optics is to be employed, to make wave-front measurements and apply appropriate corrections with a deformable mirror. In many applications, including directed-energy weapons, the target is not cooperative. In the absence of a cooperative beacon, we must find other ways to collect the relevant information. This can be accomplished with an active-illumination system. Typically, this means shining one or more lasers at the target and observing the reflected light. In this paper, we qualitatively explore a number of difficulties inherent to active illumination, and suggest some possible mitigation techniques.