Arguably there are a few strategic mis-steps in Iraq that were a bit bigger and that led up to the need for a surge in the first place:
1)The political decision to stop early in first gulf war before the will of the enemy was changed.
2) The political decision to invade after 9/11 with limited WMD evidence and not enough forces to execute phase IV.
3) The political decision to de-Bathitfy the government by the CPA.
The surge was a response to the unanticipated violence that followed. I can understand the remorse and questioning mindset that would lead the author to come to this conclusion. Events like this should be put in context of the past, present, and future. To me personally, the operational value the increased number of troops had is unquestionable. Only time will tell if the strategic benefits have outweighed the costs.