Much of the literature on casualty sensitivity suggests that there is an inverse correlation between casualty levels and public support for war. It also suggests that a public will be more sensitive to local casualties. This article tests these pre-existing theses using data from Canada's participation in the war in southern Afghanistan between February 2006 and 2011. Studying the impact of both provincial and nationwide casualties, it finds no evidence to support these assumptions. Instead, this study finds strong indications that nationwide casualties led to a short-term increase in public support for the Afghan mission. This result is attributed to the sunk cost effect.
|Number of pages
|International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis
|Published - 2013