And when you are in a cold war, using cheap economics means to bring the west to their knees is dirt cheap compared to a hot war.
Think back to 9/11. Think back to that and the next day. Now make things WORSE . Take away sewage and water. Take away banks. Stop delivery trucks. Stop the trains and hospitals. Stop the electricity. Now, make it last no less than 30 days, though probably more.
And you think that what W/neo-cons did to our economy will come even CLOSE to what China can and more importantly, is attempting to do?
simply replace the explosive payload of the mortar round with semtex or similar plastic explosive. Detonates from electrical charge, not shock or heat, like TNT. (also much more expensive - but with our defense budget, no expense is spared, right?)
I reckon it's about time for another "crisis" to remind us all why we need to keep the NSA apprised of all of our private activity. For our own safety, of course.
How well a reflective surface would work would depend on the laser's power and frequency. Mylar doesn't reflect all frequencies of light and is imperfect at reflecting the ones it does. Pour enough joules onto the target and you don't care that 90% of them are being deflected - the remaining 10% will do the job.
I've always thought that the ideal anti-mortar device would be a radar that told you exactly where the mortar round came from. "You shooting at us? Here, have a little present in return."