The confused ambivalence toward noncombatant immunity apparent among Americans in 1945 had given way by the middle of the 1950s to a widely accepted, if uneasy, reconciliation. Dissenters at the poles of opinion continued to advocate abandoning all protections for civilians or giving up massively destructive methods of warfare, but most Americans appeared weary of the costs of these parsimonious solutions. Forsaking the norm of noncombatant immunity promised international condemnation and distrust. It also threatened Americans’ conceptions of themselves as a humane people. Giving up massively destructive war threatened to heighten Americans’ sense of vulnerability and insecurity. Instead, Americans kept their devastating weapons and adapted the international tradition of noncombatant immunity to their circumstances and purposes.