This research brief describes work documented in Casualties and Consensus: The Historical Role of Casualties in Domestic Support for U.S. Military Operations (MR-726-RC).

Excerpt: It is now an article of faith in political and media circles that the American public will no longer accept casualties in U.S. military operations, and that casualties inexorably lead to irresistible calls for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. If true, this would not only call into question the credibility of the U.S. Armed Forces in deterring potential adversaries, but would be profoundly important in decisions concerning force structure, doctrine, and military campaign planning, as well as the nature of the country's broader foreign policy, including its alliances and other commitments.

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