Insurgents in Iraq get a boost from coverage in the news media that shows support for troop withdrawals from the war torn country, according to a study.
Two Harvard University economists found that insurgent groups are responsive to "antiresolve" statements in the media.
"It shows that the various insurgent groups do respond to incentives and shows that a successful counter insurgency strategy should take that reality into account," Jonathan Monten, a co-author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, told US News and World Report.
Insurgent attacks increased between 7 and 10 percent immediately after a spike in "antiresolve" statements in the media, according to the findings.
The study was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Baghdad was excluded from the study and it did not review overall cost and public debate.