As it turns out, a mirrored surface is no protection against a high-energy laser. It has been demonstrated in lab tests that the energy transfer is enough to destroy a target.
It was not my intent to make any "blanket statements." Notice that I said merely that a mirrored surface would reduce the missile's vulnerability - perhaps even enough to allow it to survive, e.g., a "near miss."
It has been demonstrated in lab tests that the energy transfer is enough to destroy a target.
As long as those lab tests included such real-world factors as the atmosphere's intrinsic opacity, possible interposing clouds, the gradual widening of the collimated beam, etc., I will accept that.
What about chaff?