When government officials consider how the United States might intervene in crisis situations throughout the world, the likelihood of combat and the probable magnitude of U.S. casualties invariably dominate the deliberations. This is a reflection of what is w an article of faith in political circles: that the American public will longer accept casualties in U.S. military operations and that casualties inexorably lead to irresistible calls for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. However, this thinking is t confined to political decision makers. The Department of Defense (DOD) has institutionalized the political imperative of casualty minimization in various doctrinal publications. More significantly, the desire to minimize U.S. military casualties has achieved an unprecedented significance in the formulation of military strategy in recent conflicts. These trends appear to be gaining momentum, especially within the United States Air Force. However, America's casualty sensitivity is misunderstood. The conventional wisdom that the American public will t tolerate casualties is inaccurate. America's support of military operations involving casualties is dependent on several factors, some more critical than casualties. My research indicates that the public will support operations when the interests at stake seem commensurate with the costs. Additional factors which influence public support are political consensus, actual progress of the conflict, and changing expectations.