I really wanted to like Dr. Kagan's the Surge: a Military History, but found it vastly disappointing. First, instead of synthesizing information into a narrative which would help a reader, academic or not, understand the American "Surge," Kagan's monograph reads like a laundry list of military engagements, with little or no string drawing them together. Kagan says she can see an operational art of counter-insurgency develop during the American campaign, but even if she can, she certainly cannot communicate it. Second, this work was rife with irritating grammatical errors, including horrific punctuation. Third, despite hundreds of footnotes, it seemed drawn from the after-action reports and experiences of a very select few officers (the Diyala Chapter might as well be written by Col. Sutherland, as she literally pastes three pages of his AAR wholesale into the book), instead of casting a wider net and gaining a breadth of experience in a single area. Finally, Dr. Kagan's work uses vastly too much military terminology, without any definition, description, or example to frame it. What does "Campaign Design" actually mean? I can come up with a contextual definition, but expect there is a specific definition available, although not provided to the reader. Ultimately, Kagan's history of America's defining military operations in Iraq falls completely flat. This book lacked good editing, and was clearly pushed to press.