Destruction or casualties that are considered reasonable because they happen in the context of a war or military attack. Many would argue that even one lost life should not be considered acceptable damage. The general considered the destruction of the tanks to be acceptable damage since his soldiers returned from the mission alive and uninjured.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
acceptable damageand acceptable losses
Euph. casualties or destruction inflicted by an enemy that is considered minor or tolerable. At present, the enemy's first-strike capability would produce acceptable damage. The general indicated that the fifty thousand casualties were within the range of acceptable losses.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.